Schulze Places Fifth, Thiemens Takes Seventh, at NWC Championships

By Neil Patel, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6804

FEDERAL WAY, WASH. -- Gwen Schulze (So., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS) and Brittany Thiemens (Sr., Bellevue, WA/Bellevue Senior HS) led the way for the Willamette women's swimming team with fifth and seventh-place finishes, respectively, at the Northwest Conference Championships on Saturday, Feb. 9. Schulze took fifth in the finals of the 100-yard butterfly, while Thiemens took home seventh in the finals of the 100-yard breaststroke.

Kevin Tangeman (So., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) and John Schmidtbauer (Fr., Whittier, CA/Whittier HS) were the leaders of the Willamette men’s team on Saturday. Tangeman claimed a 12th place finish in the finals of the 100-yard butterfly, while Schmidtbauer placed 13th in the 200-yard freestyle.

The Whitworth University women’s team scored 294 points to extend their lead to 48 points over 11-time defending conference champion Puget Sound. Whitworth is in first place with 520, while UPS is in second with 472. Lewis & Clark College is third at 281, Whitman College is fourth at 274, Willamette University is fifth with 189, Linfield College ranks sixth with 176, Pacific Lutheran University is seventh at 149, and Pacific University is eighth with 100 points.

In the men’s competition, Whitworth remained in first place and improved to 477.5 points. The University of Puget Sound was in second with 394 points, while Linfield sat in third with 329 points. Whitman held fourth place with 321.5 points, while PLU was fifth with 253. Lewis & Clark ranked sixth with 159, Willamette was seventh with 117 and Pacific held eighth with 111 points.

Schulze placed fifth in the 100-yard butterfly by clocking in at 1:01.13 seconds. Samantha Kephard of Whitworth won the race with a time of 56.74 seconds. Thiemens achieved her seventh-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:12.11 and was just seven one-hundredths of a second out of sixth place. Amy Polansky of UPS took first place in 1:07.59, while Kelley O’Dell from UPS took second with a time of 1:10.59.

The Bearcats also scored strongly in the women’s 100-yard backstroke, taking home seventh and 16th place. Shannon Gima (Sr., Alameda, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS) placed seventh with a time of 1:02.39, while Whitney Pryce (So., Glastonbury, CT/Glastonbury HS) took home 16th with a time of 1:08.62 seconds. Rose Hollingsworth of Linfield claimed first place with a time of 58.65 seconds.

Pryce took 14th place in the women’s 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:08.77 seconds. Natalie Turner of Whitworth placed first with a time of 1:53.19.

Tangemen placed 12th in the men’s 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.63 seconds, only eight one-hundredths of a second from 11th place. Schmidtbauer placed 13th in the men’s 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.27, while Josh Parfitt of Linfield took home first with a time of 1:42.61.

Schmidtbauer, Tangeman, Pete Kahn (Sr., Billings, MT/Billings HS), and Matt Tanigawa (So., Kailua, HI/Hawaii Baptist Academy) also teamed up to place fifth in the men’s 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:36.21. Linfield took first with 6:52.89, while Whitworth placed second at 7:03.13.

Hanna Connett (Fr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) placed 10th in the women’s 400-yard individual medley with a time of 5:01.26, while Sarah Mirick of UPS took first with a time of 4:39.40. Bridget Sutherland (Sr., Everett, WA/Everett HS) won the consolation finals in the women’s 100-yard butterfly, and placed ninth overall, as she recorded a time of 1:02.40.

Connett and Sutherland joined Pryce and Gima to finish sixth in the women’s 800-yard freestyle relay at 8:26.25, while Whitworth finished first at 7:45.45 seconds. Gima, Schulze, Thiemens, and Connett also placed fifth in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:57.10, only 0.71 seconds out of fourth place. UPS won the event with a time of 1:50.49.

The Northwest Conference Swimming Championships conclude on Sunday, Feb. 10, with preliminaries at 10 a.m. (PST). Finals are scheduled to get underway at 5 p.m.

Gwen Schulze took fifth place in the 100-yard butterfly at the NWC Championships. She's shown here in the breaststroke earlier this season.

Gwen Schulze took fifth place in the 100-yard butterfly at the NWC Championships. She's shown here in the breaststroke earlier this season.