Whitworth Defeats Bearcats in NWC Swimming

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitworth University defeated Willamette University in men's and women's swimming on Friday, Jan. 15 at the WU Natatorium. In the women's competition, Whitworth downed the Bearcats, 137-57. In the men's competition, the Pirates were victorious, 59-11.

It was Willamette's first home meet since the Bearcats took on Lewis & Clark College on Nov. 6, 2009.

Both of Whitworth's teams improved to 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the Northwest Conference. The Willamette women's team fell to 1-2 overall, 1-2 in the NWC, while the Bearcat men dropped to 0-3 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

Lauren Ballinger (Fr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) and Gwen Schulze (Sr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS/Austin College) each won an event for the Willamette women's team.

Ballinger took first in the 50-yard freestyle, winning a close race with Anna Case of Whitworth. Ballinger touched out at 26.69 seconds, just 0.04 in front of Case, who was clocked at 26.73 seconds. Kayla Kosaki (Fr., Hilo, HI/Waiakea HS) of Willamette placed third in 27.42 seconds.

Schulze won the 200-yard individual medley, as she complete the race in 2:22.43. She won by about one-half second over Stephanie McFarland of the Pirates, who finished in 2:22.96. Kara Koetje (So., Arlington, WA/Stanwood HS) of Willamette placed third with a time of 2:32.00, as she held off Rachel Longton of Whitworth (2:32.44).

Ballinger placed second in the 100-yard freestyle with a tie of 57.79 seconds. Natalie Turner won the event for the Pirates in 55.13 seconds.

Schulze achieved a second place finish for the Bearcats in the 200-yard backstroke. Her time of 2:19.53 was 1.34 seconds behind Makayla Palmer of Whitworth, who posted a winning time of 2:18.19.

For Whitworth, Turner and Palmer each won two races and contributed to the Pirates' victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Turner took first place in both the 1,600-yard freestyle distance event (17:29.42) and the 100-yard freestyle sprint event (55.13 seconds). Palmer, in addition to finishing in front of Schulze to win the 200-yard backstroke, also won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:03.55.

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Whitworth achieved first place in 3:51.50. Palmer swam the first leg and Turner provided the anchor leg to complete the race.

The Bearcats have just two swimmers on their men's team. As a result, Whitworth swam exhibition in many of the men's races.

Willamette will swim at home again on Saturday, Jan. 16, when the Bearcats will host Whitman College. Meet time at the WU Natatorium is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PST).

Whitworth University 137
Willamette University 57

Whitworth University 59
Willamette University 11
Head Coach Leslie Shevlin times a race for the Bearcats.

Head Coach Leslie Shevlin times a race for the Bearcats.