Bearcat Women's Team Finishes Fourth at Northwest Invitational

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's swimming team took fourth place in the final team standings, as the Northwest Invitational concluded on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Linfield College. The Bearcat men's squad finished in seventh place. Lewis & Clark College won the women's team title, while Pacific Lutheran University claimed the men's team championship.

In the women's competition, Lewis & Clark scored 810 points to run away with the title. Whitman College was second with 594 points, Linfield finished third at 351, Willamette took fourth at 344 and the College of Idaho was fifth at 338. Willamette held a slim 192-187 lead for third place in front of Linfield after Friday's events, but the Wildcats outscored the Bearcats by 12 points on Saturday.

The women's team standings also included Pacific University in sixth with 239 points. The University of Puget Sound took seventh with 211 points and Mills College was eighth with 193 points.

Shannon Gima (Sr., Alameda, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS) achieved Willamette's top individual finish of the day, as she took third place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:04.30. She was 1.24 seconds behind Nancy Alexander of Whitman in second place and 0.87 seconds in front of Rachel Griffith of Mills College in fourth. Rose Hollingsworth of Linfield won the event in 1:02.52.

WU's Gwen Schulze (So., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS/Austin College) was fourth in the 100-yard butterfly and concluded the race barely in front of teammate Bridget Sutherland (Sr., Everett, WA/Everett HS), who finished fifth. Schulze clocked in at 1:03.65 and Sutherland was timed at 1:03.77. Erin Pettersen of Whitman won the race at 1:02.25.

In the Northwest Invitational's longest race, the 1,650-yard freestyle, Jenna Larrow (So., Boise, ID/Timberline HS) of Willamette earned fourth place with a time of 19:41.95. She missed third place by just 3.33 seconds over the 66-length race. Hanna Connett (Fr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) earned sixth place for the Bearcats in the 200-yard breaststroke, as she recorded a time of 2:47.15.

Willamette's women's team placed third in the 200-yard medley relay after completing the event in 2:01.39. Swimming for WU in the relay were Gima, Connett, Schulze and Sutherland. WU took fourth place in the 400-yard freestyle relay, as Sutherland, Schulze, Connett and Whitney Pryce (So., Glastonbury, CT/Glastonbury HS) combined for a time of 3:58.51.

In the consolation finals, WU's top finishes for the women's team were registered by Sutherland and Pryce in the 200-yard freestyle. Sutherland took second in the consolation final and 10th overall with a time of 2:10.06, missing first place in the consolation race by just 1.01 seconds. Pryce was third in the consolation final and 11th overall in 2:11.81.

Pacific Lutheran scored 610 points to finish at the top of the men's team standings. Whitman tallied 579 points to take second place, while Linfield was third just seven points back at 572. The College of Idaho was fourth at 328, Pacific was fifth at 321, Lewis & Clark held sixth at 252, Willamette followed in seventh at 231 and Puget Sound was eighth at 219.

John Schmidtbauer (Fr., Whittier, CA/Whittier HS) and Kevin Tangeman (So., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) both reached the championship final in the 200-yard freestyle, while Pete Kahn (Jr., Billings, MT/Billings Senior HS) competed in the consolation final. Schmidtbauer finished seventh with a time of 1.55:89 and Tangeman took eighth at 2:02.02. Kahn finished 10th overall, after placing second in the consolation final at 1:59.23.

Matt Tanigawa (So., Kailua, HI/Hawaii Baptist Academy) was seventh in the 400-individual medley. Tanigawa registered a time of 4:52.89.

Schmidtbauer won the consolation final in the 100-yard butterfly. He entered the race after finishing 16th in the preliminaries, but swam past the field in the consolation finals with a time of 59.83. He placed ninth overall.

Other Willamette results in the consolation finals (not mentioned above) were:

• Lauren Gard
Women's 200-yard Breaststroke (3:08.30, 13th place)
• James Huang
Men's 200-yard Breaststroke (2:40.72, 15th place)
• Pete Kahn
Women's 100-yard Backstroke (1:04.13, 14th place)

The Willamette swimming teams do not compete again until Jan. 11, 2008, when they will host Whitman College in a Northwest Conference dual meet. Start time is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST).

Complete Final Results

Northwest Invitational at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. -

Note: Events 19-36 were held on Saturday.
Scroll down on the results page to get to Saturday's results.

Shannon Gima took third place in the 100-yard backstroke on the second day of the Northwest Invitational.

Shannon Gima took third place in the 100-yard backstroke on the second day of the Northwest Invitational.