Willamette Women, College of Idaho Men, Win in Swimming

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's swimming team defeated the College of Idaho, 104-82, at the WU Natatorium on Friday, Jan. 23. In the men's competition, the Coyotes defeated Willamette, 109-74. The Bearcat women's team improved to 2-4 on the season. The Willamette men are 1-4.

College of Idaho upped its men's record to 2-3. The Lady Yotes remained winless at 0-5.

Jenna Larrow (Jr., Boise, ID/Timberline HS) and Hanna Connett (So., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) each won two events for the Bearcat women's team. Larrow took first in both of the distance events, winning the 1,650-yard freestyle in 19:28.85 and achieving victory in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:46.93.

Connett earned her triumphs in two of the shorter freestyle races. She won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:07.13 and finished first in the 100-yard freestyle in 59.80 seconds.

Other winners for the Willamette women's team were Gwen Schulze (Jr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS/Austin College) and Laura Coddington (Fr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS). Schulze touched first in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:22.95. Coddington's time of 2:32.74 led a 1-2 finish for the 'Cats in the 200-yard backstroke. Hannah Buchner (Fr., Lawrence, KS/Lawrence HS) took second in 2:35.80.

College of Idaho won three individual women's events. Phon Savell claimed two of the victories with first place finishes in the 200-yard individual medley (2:22.70) and the 200-yard breaststroke (2:37.30).

The women's teams split the relay races. WU claimed a 2.97-second win in the 400-yard medley relay in 4:35.98. College of Idaho won the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 4:05.50.

Auri Clapp from C of I took first place in the closest women's race, as she won the 50-yard freestyle by just 0.03 seconds at 27.81. Janelle Higashida (Fr., Kaneohe, HI/Hawaii Baptist Academy) was second in 27.84 seconds.

Although the Yotes won the men's competition with seven individual victories, the Bearcats placed first in both relays, including the closest finish of the night. WU edged out the Yotes by just 0.02 seconds in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the end of the meet. The Bearcats clocked in at 3:42.88, with Bryan Valera-Gengler (Fr., Salem, OR/North Salem HS) touching the pad at nearly the same time as John Green from College of Idaho (3:42.90).

Green, who also won two individual events, swam a 49.39-second split to make up most of Willamette's lead during the final leg, but wasn't able to catch Valera-Gengler at the finish. Green earned his individual victories int he 50-yard freestyle in 22.47 seconds and the 100-yard freestyle in 52.10 seconds.

Kemp Smith and Scott Mikelonis also won two events for the Yotes. Smith took first in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 21:21.22 and the 200-yard butterfly in 2:16.28. Mikelonis placed first in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:12.58 and the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:29.29.

Valera-Gengler was joined on WU's 400-yard relay team by Michael McGeehan (Fr., Moscow, ID/Moscow HS), Matt Tanigawa (Jr., Kailua, HI/Hawaii Baptist Academy) and Jacob Munson-McGee (Fr., Las Cruces, NM/Las Cruces HS). Willamette also won the men's 400-yard medley relay with a time of 4:04.26.

John Schmidtbauer (So., Whittier, CA/Whittier HS) earned first place for the 'Cats in the 200-yard freestyle, as he clocked in at 1:54.51. Kevin Tangeman (Jr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) also recorded a victory for WU with a time of 5:45.33 in the 500-yard freestyle.

The Bearcat swimming teams will travel to nearby Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., on Saturday, Jan. 24. Start time for the Northwest Conference dual meet is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PDT).

College of Idaho 109
Willamette University 74

Willamette University 104
College of Idaho 82
Jenna Larrow won the 1650 free and the 500 free to help WU defeat the College of Idaho.

Jenna Larrow won the 1650 free and the 500 free to help WU defeat the College of Idaho.

Hanna Connett took first place in the 100 free and the 200 free

Hanna Connett took first place in the 100 free and the 200 free

John Schmidtbauer won the 200-yard freestyle.

John Schmidtbauer won the 200-yard freestyle.