Pacific Outscores Willamette in Swimming

Bearcats Compete against Boxers at WU Natatorium

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Pacific University defeated Willamette University in men's and women's swimming on Friday, Jan. 20 at the WU Natatorium. The Pacific women's team outscored the Bearcats, 122-60, and the Boxer men's squad downed Willamette, 119-66.

Zander Le Bel (Fr., Dallas, TX/Richardson HS) and Sean Piper (Fr., Normandy Park, WA/John F. Kennedy HS) each won an individual event for the Bearcats. Le Bel took first place in the men's 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:09.03, as he won by 13.15 seconds over Evan Burrell of Pacific, who took second in 11:22.18. Piper won the men's 200-yard backstroke in 2:05.40 to finish in front of three Pacific swimmers, including Joel Cowley, who placed second at 2:10.22.

Le Bel added a second place finish for Willamette in the 500-yard freestyle. He completed the race in 5:25.21. Dylan Cramer won the 500 freestyle for the Boxers with a time of 5:17.03.

Piper provided WU with second place in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.62. He finished behind Kramer Ichimura of Pacific, who took first place in 2:06.24.

Also for the Bearcats men's team, Alex Burkhart (Fr., Los Gatos, CA/Los Gatos HS) placed second in two events, while Chris Whitehead (So., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) claimed second in one event. Burkhart was second in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.92 seconds and also took second in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:00.72. Whitehead finished second in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:30.73.

Marshall Balderston (Fr., Eugene, OR/Marist Catholic HS) battled in the men's 50-yard freestyle, but finished third in 24.49 seconds. Michael Hargitt of Pacific won the race in 23.83 seconds, while Cramer took second for the Boxers at 24.42 seconds to narrowly edge out Balderston.

The Bearcats won the men's 400-yard freestyle relay in a close finish, as Willamette clocked in at 3:32.64 and Pacific completed the race in 3:33.56. The Boxers competed exhibition in the relay. Swimming in the 400 free relay for Willamette were Le Bel, Burkhart, Balderston and Whitehead.

Hargitt won three events for Pacific. In addition to taking first place in the 50 freestyle, he also won the 200-yard butterfly in 2:11.88 and the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:24.09. Damian Plancarte took first place in two events for the Boxers, as he won the 100-yard freestyle at 53.50 seconds and the 200-yard freestyle at 1:56.37.

Erin Parkinson (So., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) placed second in two events for the WU women's team, while Kersey Bars (Fr., Springfield, OR/Springfield HS) and Laura Coddington (Sr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) each claimed second place in one event.

Parkinson was second in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:41.00 and also took second in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:42.36. Amanda Clark of Pacific won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:16.21. Allison Clark registered the top time in the 200 breaststroke for the Boxers at 2:33.34, but swam exhibition in the event and her win was not included in the team scoring.

Bars placed second in the 200-yard freestyle by earning a time of 2:12.91. Allison Clark won the event for Pacific in 2:05:77, while Stephanie Suda of Pacific was third in 2:13.76.

Lauren Ballinger (Jr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) of Willamette was third in a close race in the women's 50-yard freestyle. Alexandria Bing won the race for the Boxers in 27.12 seconds, with Stacie Struble of Pacific in second at 27.32 seconds. Ballinger finished next in 27.58 seconds. Bing of Pacific also won the 100-yard freestyle in 58.94 seconds.

In addition to winning the 500-yard freestyle, Amanda Clark of Pacific also won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:18.60.

Willamette's women fell to 2-5 overall, 0-5 in the Northwest Conference, while the WU men's team dropped to 0-6 overall, 0-5 in the NWC. Pacific advanced its women's record to 3-3 on the season, 2-3 in the NWC. The Pacific men moved to 2-4 for the year, 1-4 in the conference.

The Bearcats will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Meet time is slated for 1 p.m. (PST).


Pacific University 119
Willamette University 66

Pacific University 122
Willamette University 60

Willamette's Zander Le Bel won the men's 1,000-yard freestyle in 11:09.03.

Willamette's Zander Le Bel won the men's 1,000-yard freestyle in 11:09.03.