Willamette Men Clinch 105-95 Victory over Pacific with Win in Final Event

Boxers Defeat Bearcat Women, 140-62

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's swimming team won the 400-yard freestyle relay in the final event of the night to clinch a 105-95 victory over Pacific University in Northwest Conference action on Friday, Jan. 17 at the WU Natatorium. The Pacific women's team defeated the Bearcat women's squad, 140-62.

Willamette's men claimed the season series with Pacific, earning a win and a tie in their two meetings. The Bearcats and the Boxers tied 129.5 to 129.5 at Pacific on Nov. 23. The Bearcats are now 1-5-1 on the season, 1-4 in the NWC. Pacific's men fell to 1-6-1 overall, 0-5 in the NWC.

The Pacific women's team upped its record to 5-3 overall and improved to 2-3 in the NWC. The Bearcat women slipped to 0-7, including 0-5 in the NWC.

Alex Guffey (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) led the Willamette men's team by winning the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle, and by swimming the anchor leg on the victorious 400-yard freestyle relay team. WU also received a first place finish from Alika Masei (Fr., Salem, OR/West Salem HS) in the 200-yard backstroke.

In the 100 free, Guffey registered a winning time of 50.41 seconds. He finished 1.34 seconds in front of Patrick Daniels from Pacific, who placed second in 51.75. Guffey won the 200 free in 1:49.73, barely edging out Carter Suzuki, who ended the race 0.18 later with a time of 1:49.91 for the Boxers.

Masei's victory in the 200 backstroke was achieved in 2:03.27. Willamette placed 1-2-4 in the event, with Josh Bumgarner (Fr., Walla Walla, WA/Walla Walla HS) in second at 2:12.32 and Jason Bayang (Fr., Wahiawa, HI/Hoala School) in fourth at 2:20.87. Paul O'Day took third for Pacific in 2:20.18.

Willamette entered the final men's event with a narrow 92-91 lead, but took first place and third place in the relay to move the final margin to 10 points.

Andrew Lum (So., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) swam the first leg for WU and kept things close, with Spencer Chandler earning a 1.31-second lead for the Boxers during the first 100 yards. Zander Le Bel (Jr., Dallas, TX/Richardson HS) gave WU a lead of 1.34 seconds after the second leg.

Shelby Merrill (Fr., Thousand Oaks, CA/Westlake HS) increased the margin for the Bearcats to 3.55 seconds with a solid third leg for Willamette. Guffey swan a 49.14 split on the final leg, as WU took first place in 3:24.75, while Pacific placed second in 3:30.44.

Charles Morse took first place in three events for the Pacific men. He won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:10.52, placed first in the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10:22.82 and was first in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:01.27. Merrill of Willamette was second behind Morse in both the 500 free (5:12.12) and the 1,000 free (10:28.88).

Willamette's only win in the women's competition was attained by Hope Nelson (So., Providence, RI/South Kingstown HS) in the 200-yard freestyle. Nelson earned a time of 2:03.22, as she won by 3.36 seconds. Alex Bing of Pacific was second in 2:05.58.

Nelson placed second in the 100-yard freestyle and swam the initial leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay. Her time in the 100 free was 56.50 seconds. Katie Porter of Pacific won the 100 free in 54.96 seconds.

In the women's 400-yard freestyle relay, Pacific swimmers Kristine Valdez, Stacie Struble, Rachel Webster and Amanda Clark combined to win with a time of 3:49.48. Led by Nelson, Willamette was second in 3:56.91.

Multiple event winners for the women's team from Pacific were Clark in the 500-yard freestyle and 1,000-yard freestyle, Porter in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle, and Webster in the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard butterfly.

Clark won the 500 free in 5:25.05, while Erin Parkinson (Sr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) of Willamette was second in 5:37.85. The winning time for Clark in the1,000 free was 10:58.94.

Porter, in addition to finishing in front of Nelson in the 100 free, took first place in the 50 free in 25.89 seconds. Malia Santos (So., Kailua-Kona, HI/Kealakehe HS) of WU was second in the 50 free at 26.77 seconds.

Webster's winning times were 2:22.10 in the 200-yard individual medley and 2:18.40 in the 200-yard butterfly.

The Bearcats will swim at Lewis & Clark College on Saturday, Jan. 18. Meet time in Portland, Ore. is slated for 1 p.m. (PST).


Willamette University 105
Pacific University 95

Pacific University 140
Willamette University 62

Post-meet Interviews

Alex Guffey won the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle events. He also swam the anchor leg in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Alex Guffey won the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle events. He also swam the anchor leg in the 400-yard freestyle relay.