Whitworth Sweeps Willamette in Swimming

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Whitworth University defeated Willamette University in men's and women's swimming on Friday, Jan. 14. The Pirates downed the Bearcats, 165.5-28.5 in the women's competition. Whitworth claimed a 167-17 victory over the Willamette men's team.

Lauren Ballinger (So., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) of Willamette took second place in the women's 50-yard freestyle. She tied for second in the women's 100-yard freestyle.

In the women's 50 free, the winner was Brenda Foster of Whitworth with a time of 25.43 seconds. Ballinger followed in second at 26.01 seconds. In the women's 100 free, Jennifer Benson won for the Pirates by completing the race in 53.11 seconds. Ballinger and Whitworth's Renae Jennings tied for second place, as each swimmer finished in 56.31 seconds.

Kara Koetje (Jr., Arlington, WA/Stanwood HS) returned to action for Willamette after recovering from a broken arm suffered during the fall semester. On Friday, she competed on the women's 200-yard medley relay team and entered two individual races.

Koetje placed third in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:07.02, just 0.09 behind Phoebe O'Kane of Whitworth in second. Ashley Lecoq won the event for the Pirates in 1:00.90. Koetje was fourth in the women's 400-yard individual medley and helped Willamette finish third in the 200 medley relay.

Erin Parkinson (Fr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) of Willamette took third place in the women's 100-yard breaststroke after clocking in at 1:14.62.

For the Willamette men's team, Austin Williams (Fr., University Place, WA/Curtis HS) placed second in the 1,000-yard freestyle in 12:49.56. Chris Whitehead (Fr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) was fourth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:36.20.

Abby Pavelko won two events for the Whitworth women's team. Pavelko claimed first place in the 400-yard individual medley at 4:47.40 and took first place in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:16.48.

The Whitworth men's team received to individual victories from Kelen Darling. He finished first in the 400-yard individual medley by touching out with a time of 4:06.32 and won the 500-yard freestyle at 4:49.00.

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

The Bearcats will swim at Whitman College on Saturday, Jan. 15. The action is set to get underway at 1 p.m. (PST).


Whitworth University 165.5
Willamette University 28.5

Whitworth University 167
Willamette University 17

Lauren Ballinger placed second in the 50 free and tied for second in the 100 free.

Lauren Ballinger placed second in the 50 free and tied for second in the 100 free.