Linfield Downs Bearcats in Men's and Women's Swimming

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Linfield College defeated Willamette University in Northwest Conference men's and women's swimming on Friday, Feb. 4 on the Linfield campus. The Wildcats won the women's competition, 132-63, and also took the win in the men's events, 123-32.

Willamette's women took first place in three individual events, plus the 200-yard freestyle relay. The first win was earned by Erin Parkinson (Fr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) when she prevailed in the 1,000-yard freestyle at 11:35.32. Lauren Ballinger (So., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatche HS) provided the next two wins for the Bearcats by taking first place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.66 seconds and finishing first in the 100-yard freestyle in 57.22 seconds.

The Bearcats' victory in the 200 free relay was started by Kayla Kosaki (So., Hilo, HI/Waiakea HS). Chelsea Ibarra (Sr., Santa Cruz, CA/Georgiana Bruce Kirby Prep) swam the second leg and was followed by Parkinson. Ballinger supplied the anchor leg, as WU registered a time of 1:50.10.

Linfield's women claimed first place in the 200-yard medley relay in 2:00.23 to open the meet. The Wildcats also triumphed in six individual events, with Megan Sandall winning two races. She registered a victory in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:21.38 and was first in the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:13.52.

Sandall's win in the 100-yard breaststroke was earned in a close race, with the top four swimmers clocking in less than two seconds apart. Sandall was followed by Parkinson, who took second for WU in 1:14.39. Rachel Codd of LC was third with a time of 1:14.97 and Susan Barnes (Fr., Santa Fe, NM/Desert Academy) of Willamette was fourth at 1:15.28.

Koetje placed second for WU in the 100-yard butterfly. Her time was 1:04.46, as she edged out Natalie Groat of Linfield, who placed third in 1:04.57. Cat Nakamura won the event with a time of 1:02.97. Kayla Kosaki (Jr., Arlington, WA/Stanwood HS) swam the 100-yard backstroke in 1:10.71, finishing behind only Kim Smith, who took first place at 1:07.54.

Chris Whitehead (Fr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) achieved a win for the Willamette men's team in the 100-yard freestyle. He completed the race in 54.19 seconds for a narrow margin in front of Linfield's Conor Colahan, who finished next in 54.21 seconds. Thomas Gilmore of Linfield was third at 54.88 seconds.

Whitehead earned second place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:08.48. Tyler Huynh won the event for Linfield, as he claimed a time of 1:06.69.

Other second place finishes for the Bearcat men's team were achieved by Ian McGahan (So., Tacoma, WA/Stadium HS) in the 500-yard freestyle and by Austin Williams (Fr., University Place, WA/Curtis HS) in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

Three Wildcats won two events apiece in the men's competition. Marc Pereira took first place in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:45.11. He was first in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:05.14 while swimming unopposed. Sean Iwamasa swam to victories in the 50-yard freestyle (24.09 seconds) and the 100-yard butterfly (56.03 seconds). Lee Rivers attained wins in the 200-yard individual medley (2:07.08) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:11.25).

It was the final dual match of the season for Linfield and Willamette. Linfield's women improved to 3-5, 2-5 in the NWC, while the Wildcat men's team went to 3-7 overall, 1-6 in the NWC. The Willamette women's team moved to 1-8 overall, 0-7 in the NWC, while the WU men's squad fell to 0-8 overall, 0-7 in the conference.

Up next for the Bearcats will be the Northwest Conference Championships on Feb. 25-27. The meet will be take palce at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore.

Linfield College 132
Willamette University 63

Linfield College 123
Willamette University 32
Freshman swimmer Erin Parkinson.

Freshman swimmer Erin Parkinson.