Willamette Women Swim Past Pacific, 116-60

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's swimming team won eight events, including both relays, as the Bearcats downed Pacific University, 116-60, in a Northwest Conference meet on Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Forest Grove Aquatic Center. In the men's competition, Pacific edged the Bearcats, 82-74.

Willamette's women picked up their first win of the season to improve to 1-4 overall. The Willamette men dropped to 0-5 on the season. The women's team from Pacific fell to 0-6 overall, while Pacific's men moved to 1-5 with their first dual victory since the program was resurrected in 2004. All four squads have played only NWC dual matches this season, so their NWC records match their overall records.

Brittany Thiemens (Sr., Bellevue, WA/Bellevue Senior HS) won two events for the Bearcat women's team. She took first place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.18 seconds, as WU claimed first, second and fourth in the event. Thiemens also won the 100-yard freestyle in 58.56 seconds, leading a 1-2-3 finish for the 'Cats.

WU opened the meet by winning the women's 200-yard medley relay. Shannon Gima (Sr., Alameda, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS), Hanna Connett (Fr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS), Bridget Sutherland (Sr., Everett, WA/Everett HS) and Whitney Pryce (So., Glastonbury, CT/Glastonbury HS) combined for the win in 1:54.92. The Bearcats held a 0.47 lead over Pacific.

Jenna Larrow (So., Boise, ID/Timberline HS) won the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:55.81. Larrow finished second in the 500-yard freestyle, as she clocked in at 5:49.27, missing first place by just 4.11 seconds. Alex Prigge of Pacific won the event.

Other individual winners for the Bearcat women's team were Connett, Sutherland and Gwen Schulze (So., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS/Austin College). Connett earned first place in the 200-yard individual medley, as she concluded the race in 2:24.41 to edge out Schulze (2:24.72) in a 1-2 finish for Willamette. Sutherland took first in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:25.71 while swimming unopposed. Schulze won the 200-yard backstroke in 2:21.57 for a margin of victory of just over three seconds in front of Pacific's Kristen Mathis (2:24.59).

The Bearcats completed their victory with a triumph in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Swimmers for WU in the event were Larrow, Bekah Hykan (So., Superior, CO/Monarch HS), Lauren Gard (So., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) and Lindsay Mumm (Jr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS). Their winning time was 1:49.29. Willamette's "B" team took second in 1:56.78, while Pacific placed third in 2:00.13.

John Schmidtbauer (Fr., Whittier, CA/Whittier HS) won two events for the Willamette men's team for the second day in a row. Against Whitman College on Friday (Jan. 11), he won the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events. On Saturday at Pacific, he finished first in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle races.

In the 100 freestyle, Schmidtbauer registered a time of 51.23 seconds. Teammate Matt Tanigawa (So., Kailua, HI/Hawaii Baptist Academy) placed second at 52.30 seconds. In the 200 freestyle, Schmidtbauer won with a time of 1:54.07 for a sizable margin of victory (13.9 seconds).

Senior Greg Henselman (Corvallis, OR/Kamiak HS) also won two events for the Bearcats. He was unopposed in both the 500-yard freestyle and the 1,000-yard freestyle. He recorded times of 5:45.72 and 12:21.85, respectively.

Willamette won the 200-yard freestyle relay to complete the meet, but couldn't catch Pacific for the overall win. Schmidtbauer swam the first leg of the 200 free relay, with Tanigawa, Matt Tangeman (So., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) and Pete Kahn (Jr., Billings, MT/Billings Senior HS) following. The Bearcats' time was 1:36.06. Pacific ended the race at 1:39.74.

The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 19, for their final home match of the season, as they take on Linfield College in NWC action. Meet time is set to begin at 1 p.m. (PST).

Men - Pacific University 82, Willamette University 74
Women - Willamette University 116, Pacific University 60
Brittany Thiemens won the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle events against Pacific.

Brittany Thiemens won the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle events against Pacific.

John Schmidtbauer won two events for the second day in a row.

John Schmidtbauer won two events for the second day in a row.