Schulze Places Second in 100-yard Butterfly Prelims, Advances to Finals at NWC Meet

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

FEDERAL WAY, WASH. -- Gwen Schulze (Sr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS/Austin College) of Willamette University finished second in the preliminary round of the women's 100-yard butterfly with a career-best time of 1:00.66 to advance to the Championship Finals at the Northwest Conference Swimming Championships on Saturday, Feb. 13. Four other Willamette swimmers advance to the Consolation Finals of their respective events on the second day of the NWC Meet.

Schulze trailed only Ashley Lecoq of Whitworth University, who placed first in the 100-yard butterfly with an NCAA provisional qualify time of 57.08 seconds. The third fastest qualifier for the finals was Mac MacAfee from the University of Puget Sound with a time of 1:00.93.

The preliminary time for Schulze narrowly eclipsed her previous career-best time of 1:00.69, set during the preliminary round of the 2008 NWC Championships. Schulze barely missed moving into the top five all-time at Willamette, as she finished the 100 fly just 0.04 behind Danika Williams' fifth-ranked time of 1:00.62 in 1994.

Schulze is off to a tremendous NWC Meet. On Friday, she set a career-best time of 2:16.82 to win the Consolation Finals and place ninth overall in the 200-yard individual medley.

Finals in all of Saturday's events at the King County Aquatic Center will be held during tonight's evening session. The NWC Championships will conclude on Sunday.

Schultz led a strong showing by the Bearcats in the 100 fly. Kara Koetje (So., Arlington, WA/Stanwood HS) placed ninth in the prelims and will compete in the Consolation Finals. Her time of 1:02.09 just missed qualifying her for the Championships Finals, as McKenzie Giusti of Puget Sound edged her out for eighth place in the prelims at 1:01.86.

Kayla Kosaki (Fr., Hilo, HI/Waiakea HS) took 14th in the 100 fly prelims. She will join Koetje in the Consolation Finals.

Also advancing to the Consolation Finals for Willamette on Saturday were Lauren Ballinger (Fr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) and Hanna Connett (Jr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS). Ballinger finished 11th in the 200-yard freestyle prelimins. Connett placed 13th in the 400-yard individual medley prelims.

DAY 2 PRELIMS
NWC Swimming Championships
King Country Aquatic Center
Federal Way, Wash.
Feb. 12-14, 2010
Gwen Schulze achieved a career-best time of 1:00.66 in the preliminary round of the 100 butterfly at the NWC Meet.

Gwen Schulze achieved a career-best time of 1:00.66 in the preliminary round of the 100 butterfly at the NWC Meet.