Bearcats Complete Weekend at Husky Invitational

By Sara Elcano, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

FEDERAL WAY, WASH. -- The Willamette University swimming teams completed action at the 62nd Annual Husky Invitational on Sunday, Dec. 5 at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center. Competition began on Friday, Dec. 3. There were seven NCAA schools competing at the Invitational and 20 USA Swimming Club teams. Northwest Conference opponents Lewis & Clark College, the University of Puget Sound, Whitman College and Whitworth University all competed at the Invite.

Erin Parkinson (Fr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) posted two personal-best performances for the Bearcats. Parkinson swam an 18:57.94 in the 1,650-yard freestyle to finish 22nd. In the 200-yard breaststroke she finished 31st after swimming a 2:36.25.

Freshman Austin Williams (University Place, WA/Curtis Senior HS) touched the wall at 20:57.75 in the men's 1,650-yard freestyle. His time was a personal best as he finished 21st. Williams earned a 42nd place finish in the 200-yard butterfly. He swam a 2:41.33 in the event, a season best for Williams.

Chelsea Ibarra (Sr., Santa Cruz, CA/Georgiana Bruce Kirby Prep) and Lauren Ballinger (So., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) each earned season-best times in their events. Ibarra finished 61st in the 200-yard backstroke as she swam a time of 2:50.43. Ballinger posted a time of 56.32 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle to finish 70th.

Freshman Chris Whitehead (Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) competed in two events for the Bearcats. Whitehead finished 46th in the men's 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:39.73. In the 100-yard freestyle he finished 97th after touching the wall at 54.52 seconds.

Men's team captain Ian McGahan (So., Tacoma, WA/Stadium HS) swam his way to a 41st place finish in the men's 200-yard butterfly. McGahan completed the race with a time of 2:28.59.

"I was very impressed with our ability to get up and swim season-best times on the last day of a very long weekend," said Head Coach Leslie Shevlin. "We are now ready to prepare for the second half of the season."

Willamette does not compete again until Friday, Jan. 14 at Whitworth University.

Erin Parkinson swam her way to two personal-best times on Sunday.

Erin Parkinson swam her way to two personal-best times on Sunday.