Parkinson, Merrill and Masei Win Events, but Bearcats Fall to Whitman

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitman College downed Willamette University in Northwest Conference swimming on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the WU Natatorium, as the Missionaries claimed a 137-66 win in men's action and a 151-52 victory in the women's competition.

The Missionaries are now 2-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Northwest Conference in men's and women's swimming. Willamette's teams fell to 0-2 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.

A trio of Willamette swimmers won individual events.

Erin Parkinson (Sr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) achieved first place in the women's 1,650-yard freestyle in 18:28.38. Shelby Merrill (Fr., Thousand Oaks, CA/Westlake HS) touched out first in the men's 1,650-yard freestyle in 18:16.60. Alika Masei (Fr., Salem, OR/West Salem HS) won the men's 100-yard backstroke in 54.72 seconds.

Parkinson led a 1-2 finish for the Bearcats in the women's 1,650. She was followed by Hope Nelson (Jr., Providence, RI/South Kingstown HS) in second place at 19:32.16.

Merrill earned his win in the men's 1,650 by building a final lead of just over eight seconds. Dalton Cooper of Whitman placed second in 18:24.65.

Masei won by 0.38 in the men's 100 back. Nic Win from Whitman took second place in 55.10 seconds.

Four Whitman swimmers each claimed victorious in two events.

For the women's team, Tai Hallstein won the 50-yard freestyle in 25.06 seconds and the 100-yard freestyle in 54.94 seconds, while Cameo Hlebasko took first place in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:01.57 and the 200-yard freestyle at 2:01.79.

Missionaries on the men's team who won two events were Sean Terada and Cole Weinstein. Terada placed first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.91, as he edge out Alex Guffey (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) of Willamette. Guffey was second in 1:49.47.

Terada also won the 100-yard butterfly in 55.10 seconds. He led a 1-2 finish for Whitman, as Dane Kawamoto placed second in 55.22 seconds. Freshman Dan Aki (Union City, CA/James Logan HS) of Willamette was third at 56.99 seconds.

Weinstein recorded the best time in the 400-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle. His 400 I.M. was clocked at 4:23.82 and his 500 free lasted 5:10.63.

In addition to taking second place in the 200-yard freestyle, Guffey also placed second for Willamette in the 100-yard freestyle. His time was 50.08 seconds. Sam Starr of Whitman won th 100 free in 48.89 seconds.

The meet concluded with two competitive races in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Whitman's women won the first race in 1:43.54, while holding off the WU team of Malia Santos (So., Kailua-Kona, HI/Kealakehe HS), Parkinson, Nelson and Michaela Zuber (So., Sacramento, CA/Sheldon HS). Willamette's time was 1:46.23.

In the men's race, Whitman took first in 1:31.68. Willamette followed at 1:34.97, with Zander Le Bel (Jr., Dallas, TX/Richardson HS), Alex Burkhart (Jr., Los Gatos, CA/Los Gatos HS), Merrill and Masei swimming for the Bearcats.


Whitman College 137
Willamette University 66

Whitman College 151
Willamette University 52

Erin Parkinson was victorious in the women's 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:28.38.

Erin Parkinson was victorious in the women's 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:28.38.