Lutes Swim Past Bearcats in Final Dual Meet of Season

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Pacific Lutheran University was victorious over Willamette University in men's and women's swimming on Saturday, Jan. 30, in the final dual meet of the season for both Northwest Conference members. The PLU women's team defeated the Bearcats, 126-73, while the Lute men's team downed Willamette, 85-9.

The Lutes improved to 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the NWC in women's swimming. PLU's men's team upped its record to 4-5 on the season, 3-4 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 1-6 overall (1-6 NWC) in women's swimming and to 0-7 overall (0-7 NWC) in men's swimming.

Up next for the Lutes and the Bearcats will be the NWC Championships, set for Feb. 12-14 in Federal Way, Wash. The event will be held at the King County Aquatic Center.

Gwen Schulze (Sr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS/Austin College) and Lauren Ballinger (Fr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) were event winners for Willamette.

Schulze took first place in the women's 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:03.55. She led a 1-2 finish, as Kara Koetje (So., Arlington, WA/Stanwood HS) of WU was second in 1:07.12 after holding off Kasey Dorcas of PLU (1:07.55).

Ballinger triumphed in the 100-yard freestyle. She completed the race in 58.20 seconds for a narrow win over Elizabeth Althauser of PLU, who finished second in 58.47 seconds.

Three Pacific Lutheran swimmers won two events apiece. For the PLU women, Casey Jackson earned first place in the 50-yard freestyle in 26.83 seconds and in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:01.58. Jackson also swam the first leg on PLU's winning 200-yard medley relay team, which opened the meet with a time of 1:59.09 to defeat Willamette (2:01.41) by 2.32 seconds.

Alex Limoges and Matthew Kim were double event winners for the PLU men's team. Limoges took first in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:49.40 and won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.27 seconds. Kim was the winner of the 50-yard freestyle in 23.94 seconds and achieved first place in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:08.14.

In addition to winning the 100-yard freestyle, Ballinger of Willamette took second place in the 200-yard freestyle (2:06.46). Schulze added a second place finish in the 100-yard backstroke (1:06.01) to her victory in the 100-yard butterfly.

Jenna Larrow (Sr., Boise, ID/Timberline HS) also provided solid results for the Bearcats. She earned second place in both distance races, as she recorded a time of 11:46.17 in the 1,000-yard freestyle and concluded the 500-yard freestyle in 5:46.45.

Ian McGahan (Fr., Tacoma, Wash./Stadium HS), the lone swimmer for the WU men's team, placed third in the 100-yard butterfly at 1:06.93 and was third in the 500-yard freestyle at 5:52.22.

McGahan finished the 500 free just 1.37 seconds out of second place, which was claimed by Michael Brasgalla of PLU in 5:50.85. Bryce Manso won the 500 for the Lutes with a time of 5:42.41.

Pacific Lutheran swam exhibition in the men's 100-yard freestyle and the men's 100-yard backstroke. There were no relay events for the men.


Pacific Lutheran University 126
Willamette University 73

Pacific Lutheran University 85
Willamette University 9

Gwen Schulze won the 100-yard butterfly in 1:03.55.

Gwen Schulze won the 100-yard butterfly in 1:03.55.