Willamette Completes First Day of Northwest Invitational

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- The Willamette University swimming teams competed in the first day of the Northwest Invitational on Friday, Nov. 18 at Linfield College. Both of Willamette's teams ended the day in seventh place in the overall standings.

Whitworth University topped the women's standings with 229 points, while Pacific University was second with 162.5 points. Pacific Lutheran University was an additional 2.5 points back in third place at 160. Whitman College held fourth place at 130, Linfield was fifth at 97, College of Idaho was sixth at 61 and Willamette was seventh at 53.

In the men's standings, Whitworth owned first place with 273.5 points. Whitman College followed in second place at 162.5 and Pacific Lutheran was third at 148. Linfield was in fourth place at 86, with College of Idaho in fifth at 83.5 and Pacific in sixth at 82.5. Willamette was seventh with 57 points.

Zander Le Bel (Fr., Dallas, TX/Richardson HS) achieve the top finish for the Bearcat men's team, as he took 11th place in the 500-yard freestyle. His time of 5:09.76 was just 0.38 away from the top 10.

Also for the WU men's squad, Sean Piper (Fr., Normandy Park, WA/John F. Kennedy HS) earned 16th place in the 200-yard individual medley. Piper completed the race in 2:08.80.

Hope Nelson (Fr., Providence, RI/South Kingstown HS) of the Willamette women's team improved by more than 12 seconds on her seed time to take 16th in the women's 500-yard freestyle in 5:47.14.

WU claimed sixth place in three relays. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Bearcats achieved a time of 1:48.26 to finish 1.27 seconds out of fifth place and easily outpace College of Idaho for sixth. The Bearcats also took sixth in the men's 200-yard freestyle relay at 1:34.75, missing fifth place by 0.42 seconds to Linfield and finishing 1.17 seconds behind C of I in fourth place. Willamette was sixth in the women's 400-yard medley relay with a time of 4:30.88.

The Northwest Invitational will continue on Saturday, Nov. 19. The action is set to begin at 10 a.m. (PST).

Northwest Invitational
Hosted by Linfield College
McMinnville, Ore.
Nov. 18-19, 2011
Zander Le Bel placed 11th in the men's 500-yard freestyle.

Zander Le Bel placed 11th in the men's 500-yard freestyle.