Willamette Women Defeat Lewis & Clark, 104-95

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's swimming team opened its Northwest Conference dual match schedule with a 104-95 victory over Lewis & Clark College on Friday, Nov. 6 at Cone Field House. Willamette is 1-0 on the season, 1-0 in the NWC. Lewis & Clark dropped to 0-1, 0-1 in the NWC.

In the men's competition, Lewis & Clark defeated the Bearcats, 144-56. L&C is 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 0-1 overall, 0-1 in the conference.

Hanna Connett (Jr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) led the Willamette women's team, as she won two events and finished second in another. She was stellar in the distance events, winning the 1,000-yard freestyle in 11:40.25 and taking first in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:45.26.

In both races, Connett started a 1-2 finish for the Bearcats, with Jenna Larrow (Sr., Boise, ID/Timberline HS) taking second place each time. Larrow completed the 1,000 free in 11:45.59 and swam the 500 free in 5:47.28.

Connett claimed second place in the 100-yard breaststroke. WU teammate Janelle Higashida (So., Kaneohe, HI/Hawaii Baptist Academy) won the event with a time of 1:14.75. Connett finished the race in 1:17.74.

Gwen Schulze (Sr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap/Austin College) also won two events for the WU women's team. She took first place in the 100-yard butterfly after clocking in at 1:02.83. She also prevailed in the 100-yard backstroke, as her time of 1:05.06 allowed her to edge out Cat Menkel-Lawrence of L&C, who finished in 1:05.28.

Also for the Bearcats, Lauren Ballinger (Fr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) won the 200-yard freestyle. She recorded a time of 2:06.49.

Rachael Cazden achieved first place finishes for L&C in the sprints. She was victorious in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.68 seconds and won the 100-yard freestyle in 55.13 seconds. Menkel-Lawrence placed first for L&C in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:20.32.

The Pioneers also won both of the women's relay events. The 200-yard medley relay was very close, with L&C clocking in at 1:58.97 and WU following just 0.25 seconds later at 1:59.22. Swimming for WU were Schulze, Higashida, Kara Koetje (So., Arlington, WA/Stanwood HS) and Ballinger.

Senior Matt Tanigawa (Kailua, HI/Hawaii Baptist Academy) was Willamette's only first place finisher in the men's events. He won the 200-yard individual medley at 2:10.02. He also finished second in the 100-yard butterfly, as his time of 1:01.25 was 0.77 seconds behind Steven Carreno of L&C, who took first in 1:00.48.

Carreno was one of three Pioneer men to win two events. In addition to the 100 fly, he won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:58.11.

Josh Spegman of L&C won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:24.44 and the 1,000-yard freestyle in 11:03.43. Isaac Ekblad prevailed in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.17 seconds and the 100-yard freestyle in 52.51 seconds.

Ekblad's triumph in the 50 free was part of a close finish by three swimmers. Ekblad won by just 0.04, as Michael McGeehan (So., Moscow, ID/Moscow HS) of Willamette took second place at 23.21 seconds. Shuichi Matsumoto of L&C placed third in 23.34 seconds.

Lewis & Clark won the men's relay races. The Pioneers clocked in at 1:44.52 in the 200-yard medley relay and registered a time of 1:40.15 in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Willamette will travel to Tacoma, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 7 to take on the University of Puget Sound in another NWC match-up. The action is set to begin at 1 p.m. (PST).

Lewis & Clark College 144
Willamette University 56

Willamette University 104
Lewis & Clark College 95
Hanna Connett won two events and placed second in another to lead the WU women to victory.

Hanna Connett won two events and placed second in another to lead the WU women to victory.

Matt Tannigawa won the 200-yard individual medley.

Matt Tannigawa won the 200-yard individual medley.