Whitworth Defeats Willamette in NWC Swimming

Parkinson Places Second in Women's 500 Freestyle and 200 Breaststroke

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitworth University defeated Willamette University in men's and women's swimming on Friday, Jan. 13 in Northwest Conference action at the Willamette Natatorium. The Whitworth men won 153.5-42.5, while the Pirates won the women's competition, 150-38.

Both of Whitworth's teams improved to 3-0 overall and to 3-0 in the NWC. The Willamette women fell to 2-3 overall, 0-3 in the NWC. The Bearcat men's team dropped to 0-4 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

Erin Parkinson (So., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) placed second in two events for the Bearcats. She was second in the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard breaststroke, which were consecutive women's events. In the 500 free, she registered a time of 5:35.96 seconds to trail only Melissa Callaghan of Whitworth, who won in 5:32.77. In the 200 breast, Parkinson was timed at 2:38.00. Melissa Barringer of Whitworth took first place in 2:32.90.

Also achieving a second place finish for the WU women's team was Hope Nelson in the 100-yard freestyle. She was close at the finish, but Marit Borth of Whitworth held on for first place in 57.24 seconds, while Nelson followed at 58.88 seconds.

The Willamette women earned second place in the 400-yard freestyle relay. WU's team of Nelson, Kayla Kosaki (Jr., Hilo, HI/Waiakea HS), Kersey Bars (Fr., Springfield, OH/Springfield HS) and Lauren Ballinger (Jr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) completed the race in 3:59.94. Whitworth took first place in 3:47.18.

Sean Piper (Fr., Normandy Park, WA/John F. Kennedy HS) of Willamette finished a close second in the men's 200-yard individual medley. Piper, who led for a good portion of the race, missed first place by about one-fifth of a second. Kellen Pacheco of Whitworth won the race in 2:07.30, with Piper clocking in at 2:07.51.

Piper was third in the 200-yard backstroke. He earned a time of 2:02.40. Wesley Walton won the event for the Pirates in 1:58.05, while Anthony Fish of Whitworth was second at 2:01.59.

Multiple individual event winners for Whitworth were Abigail Pavelko for the women, plus Luke Welle and Wesley Tatum for the men. Pavelko won the 200-yard butterfly in 2:22.25, but swam unopposed. She also won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10:53.58.

Welle placed first in the men's 1,000-yard freestyle and the men's 500-yard freestyle. He won the 1,000 with a time of 10:17.91 and claimed victory in the 500 at 4:58.72. Tatum earned first place in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.25 seconds and was first in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:05.53.

The Bearcats will remain at home to host Whitman College on Saturday, Jan. 14. Meet time at the WU Natatorium is slated for 1 p.m. (PDT).

Whitworth University 153.5
Willamette University 42.5

Whitworth University 150
Willamette University 38

Sean Piper placed second in a close battle with Kellen Pacheco of Whitworth in the 200-yard individual medley.