Willamette Opens Swimming Season at NWC Sprint Pentathlon

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's and women's swimming teams opened the 2008-09 season by competing at the Northwest Conference Sprint Pentathlon on Friday, Oct. 31. The Sprint Pentathlon was hosted by Pacific University at the Forest Grove Aquatic Center.

Freshman Michael McGeehan (Moscow, ID/Moscow HS) was Willamette's top finisher in the men's competition as he took 12th place. Hanna Connett (So., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) led the Bearcat women's team by placing 18th.

The University of Puget Sound won the men's team title with 284 points. Pacific Lutheran University finished second at 175 points, Linfield College was third at 126, Whitman College placed fourth at 92, Pacific was fifth with a score of 61.5, Willamette was sixth at 36, and Lewis & Clark College was seventh at 0.50.

Lewis & Clark College claimed the women's team title with 243.5 points, as the Pioneers edged out Puget Sound by one-half point. UPS took second with 243.0 points, while Pacific was third at 153, Pacific Lutheran finished fourth at 66, Linfield was fifth at 28.5, Whitman ended up sixth with 22, and Willamette was seventh at 19.

The individual men's champion was Jay Jones from Pacific Lutheran, who recorded a five-event time of 2:39.63. His times were 55.40 seconds in the 100-yard individual medley, 24.55 seconds in the 50-yard butterfly, 26.83 seconds in the 50-yard backstroke, 29.24 seconds in the 50-yard breaststroke and 23.61 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle.

Lindsay Nixon of Lewis & Clark wont he women's individual title. She recorded a combined time of 3:01.48. She earned a time of 1:02.98 in the 100-yard individual medley, plus times of 28.34 seconds in the 50-yard butterfly, 29.90 seconds in the 50-yard backstroke, 33.93 seconds in the 50-yard breaststroke and 26.33 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle.

Following McGeehan for the Willamette men was James Huang (Sr., Portland, OR/Sunset HS), who took 42nd with an overall time of 3:02.14. Jacob Munson-McGee (Fr., Las Cruces, NM/Las Cruces HS) finished 55th at 3:08.67. A total of 73 men's swimmers completed all five events.

Connett was one of three Willamette women in the Top 30. Janelle Higashida (Fr., Kaneohe, HI/Hawaii Baptist Academy) was 23rd and earned a combined time of 3:14.67. Kara Koetje (Fr., Arlington, WA/Stanwood HS) placed 26th with an overall time of 3:17.99. The Sprint Pentathlon featured 98 swimmers in the women's division who completed all five events.

Overall, four Bearcat men and eight WU women finished the five-event competition. The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Northwest Conference Relays. Lewis & Clark will host the Relays at the Zehntbauer Swim Pavilion in Portland, Ore., starting at 11 a.m. (PDT).

COMPLETE RESULTS
NWC Sprint Pentathlon
Forest Grove, Ore.
Hosted by Pacific University
Michael McGeehan was Willamette's top finisher at the NWC Sprint Relays.

Michael McGeehan was Willamette's top finisher at the NWC Sprint Relays.

Hanna Connett led the Willamette women's team.

Hanna Connett led the Willamette women's team.