Nine Willamette Swimmers Reached Finals at Corvallis Senior Open

Le Bel Advances to Finals in Three Events; Masei is Fourth in 100-yard Backstroke

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

CORVALLIS, ORE. -- Nine Willamette University swimmers achieved a total of 13 entries into the "A", "B" or "C" finals of the Corvallis Senior Open on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Osborn Aquatic Center. The meet was hosted by the Corvallis Aquatic Team and featured swimmers from 22 area club teams plus the Bearcats.

"It was a great meet," said Willamette Head Coach Leslie Shevlin. "The coaching staff was very proud of the team and we're ready to see what they can do during the spring semester."

Ten of the entries in the finals were earned by seven members of the Willamette men's team. The top finisher for the Bearcats was Alika Masei (Fr., Salem, OR/West Salem HS), who achieved fourth place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 54.20 seconds. In addition, Masei placed ninth in the prelims of the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:03.42.

Alex Guffey (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) competed in the "A" final of the 50-yard freestyle and took eighth place in 22.76 seconds. He also claimed fifth place in the prelims of the 200-yard freestyle at 1:47.04.

Zander Le Bel (Jr., Dallas, TX/Richardson HS) reached the finals in three events. He won the "C" final and was 17th overall in the 50-yard freestyle. His time in the finals was 22.98 seconds. He tied for 22nd in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:52.78 in the "C" final and took 23rd in the 400-yard individual medley at 4:29.65 in the "C" final.

Josh Bumgarner (Fr., Walla Walla, WA/Walla Walla HS) swam in two finals. He was first in the "C" final of the 400-yard individual medley in 4:27.32 to place 17th overall. He took 20th place in the 100-yard breaststroke after finishing fourth in the "C" final.

Dan Aki (Fr., Union City, CA/James Logan HS) was 14th in the 200-yard butterfly. He placed sixth in the "B" final with a time of 2:08.34. Also in the 200 butterfly, Andrew Lum (So., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) of Willamette was 18th after taking second in the "C" final in 2:05.29.

Chris Whitehead (Sr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) qualified for the "B" final in the 100-yard breaststroke. He finished 15th overall with a time of 1:04.53 in the finals, after swimming 1:04.78 in the prelims.

Willamette placed seventh and 13th in the 400-yard medley relay. The team of Masei, Whitehead, Lum and Guffey was seventh in 3:45.07. Le Bel started WU's second team on its way to 13th place in 3:52.46. Swimming after Le Bel on the relay team were Bumgarner, Aki and Shelby Merrill (Fr., Thousand Oaks, CA/Westlake HS).

Two members of the WU women's team combined for three entries into the finals.

Malia Santos (So., Kailua-Kona, HI/Kealakehe HS) reached the "B" final in the 200-yard butterfly after setting a personal record time of 2:22.30 during the prelims. In the finals, she completed the race in 2:23.21 for 16th place overall. Santos added 24th place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.02 seconds in the "C" final.

Hope Nelson (Jr., Providence, RI/South Kingstown HS) also competed in the "C" final of the 50-yard freestyle. Nelson took 23rd place with a time of 25.99 seconds during the finals.

The Bearcats will return to action at their Winter Training in San Diego, Calif., set for Jan. 2-9.


Corvallis Senior Open
Corvallis, Ore.
Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Zander Le Bel advanced to the finals in the 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley.

Zander Le Bel advanced to the finals in the 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley.