Bearcats Compete in Preliminary Heats at first day of NWC Championships

Guffey earns spot in 500 Freestyle Consolation Final

By John Lind, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

FEDERAL WAY, WASH. -- The 2013 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships are underway, and several members of the Willamette swimming teams have already competed during the preliminary races held this morning, Friday, Feb. 8.

Alex Guffey (Fr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) placed 12th in the men's 500-yard freestyle preliminary race, which earned him a spot in the consolation final tonight. The finals for the men's 500 free are scheduled to begin at 6:43 p.m. PST.

The NWC Championship format advances the top 16 swimmers in the preliminary races into the evening's finals. The top eight finishers compete in the "A" championship final, while the second eight compete in the "B" consolation final.

Guffey finished with a time of 4:48.89, which was almost eight seconds better than his seeding time of 4:56.44. Galen Sollom-Brotherton of Whitman College earned the top time in the the preliminary races in 4:35.32. Guffey's qualifying for the consolation final assures that he will score for Willamette in the team competition.

In the women's 500-yard freestyle, Erin Parkinson (Jr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) came up just short of qualifying for the final race. Parkinson finished with a time of 5:31.39, 0.8 seconds better than her seeding time of 5:32.19, but finished in 20th place. Katherine Duvall of Whitworth University registered the top time in the preliminary at 5:05.12.

In the women's 50-yard freestyle, Malia Santos (Kailua-Kona, HI/Kealakehe HS) narrowly missed qualifying for the consolation final. Santos finished in 23rd place, but her time of 25.48 was only .22 seconds off of Whitman's Melissa Barringer. The preliminary was tight, as Barringer qualified for the consolation final in 16th place with a time of 25.26.

The first day of the NWC Swimming Championships will conclude with the finals in today's events running from 6 p.m. through 8 p.m. Willamette will field teams in four relays tonight, including both the men's and women's 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard medley relay. Individual preliminaries will resume Saturday morning.

Northwest Conference
Swimming Championships
Hosted by Willamette University
At King County Aquatic Center
Federal Way, Wash.
February 8-10, 2013
Alex Guffey qualified for the consolations finals in the men's 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:48.89 in the prelims.

Alex Guffey qualified for the consolations finals in the men's 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:48.89 in the prelims.