Thiemens Earns Fifth Place in 50-Yard Freestyle at NWC Championships

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

FEDERAL WAY, WASH. -- Willamette University senior swimmer Brittany Thiemens (Bellevue, WA/Bellevue Senior HS) took fifth place in the finals of the women's 50-yard freestyle on the first day of the Northwest Conference Championships, Friday, Feb. 8 at the King County Aquatic Center. Thiemens registered a time of 25.25 seconds during the finals. The NWC Championships will continue on Saturday, before ending on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Thiemens was WU's top finisher on the opening day. The Willamette women's team concluded the evening session in sixth place out of eight teams with 77 points. WU was just 11 points behind Lewis & Clark College, which held fifth place. Whitworth University led the women's competition with 226 points.

In addition to placing fifth in the finals, Thiemens also recorded a season best time in the preliminary heats of the 50 freestyle. She achieved a time of 25.13 seconds in the prelims to cut 0.83 seconds off her previous top time of 25.96 seconds. Brittany Gresset of Whitworth won the NWC title in the 50 freestyle, as she concluded the finals in 24.08 seconds

Gwen Schulze (So., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS) placed fourth in the consolation finals of the 200-yard individual medley, as she placed 12th overall with a time of 2:20.02. Hanna Connett (Fr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) took 14th place in the 500-yard freestyle by clocking in at 5:29.72 in the consolation finals. Shannon Gima (Sr., Alameda, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS) was 16th in the 500 freestyle at 5:40.89.

Willamette's women placed fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:45.77, finishing just in front of Linfield, which completed the race 0.12 seconds later at 1:45.89. The Bearcats were sixth in the 400-yard medley relay in 4:14.47.

The Bearcat men's team was seventh out of eight teams. Willamette finished the day with 57 points and needed 12 points to match Lewis & Clark for sixth place. Whitworth's men's squad was in first place with 206 points.

John Schmidtbauer (Fr., Whittier, CA/Whittier HS) was 13th overall in the 50-yard freestyle. His time in the consolation finals was 23.18 seconds. Matt Tanigawa (So., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood Baptist Academy) finished 14th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:05.81.

Willamette placed sixth in the men's 400-yard medley relay, as the Bearcats registered a time of 3:54.45. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, WU took seventh place at 1:33.22.

Brittany Thiemens took fifth place in the 50-yard freestyle on the first day of the NWC Championships.

Brittany Thiemens took fifth place in the 50-yard freestyle on the first day of the NWC Championships.