Puget Sound Holds Off Bearcats, 113-91, in Men's Swimming

Loggers Win Women's Competition, 138-66

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Willamette University provided the University of Puget Sound with a big battle in Northwest Conference swimming on Friday, Nov. 15, but the Loggers were able to hold off the Bearcats, 113-91. The Bearcats won five men's events, including a pair of 1-2 finishes.

In the women's competition, Puget Sound defeated Willamette, 138-66. Willamette took first place in three women's events.

Puget Sound's men upped their record to 3-0 on the season, 3-0 in the NWC. The UPS women's team improved to 2-1 overall, 2-1 in the NWC. Both Willamette teams fell to 0-3 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

All of the races were measured in meters since Puget Sound has a short course pool with metric distances.

Shelby Merrill (Fr., Thousand Oaks, CA/Westlake HS) registered two wins for the Willamette men's squad. He took first place in the 800-meter freestyle with a time of 9:30.32 and triumphed in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:33.83.

Merrill led a 1-2 finish in the 400-meter freestyle. Zander Le Bel (Jr., Dallas, TX/Richardson HS) of WU was second in the race at 4:39.51, as he held off Warren Asfazadour of UPS, who finished third at 4:40.42.

The margin of victor for Merrill in the 800-meter freestyle was 11.41 seconds. Asfazadour placed second in 9:41.73.

Alika Masei (Fr., Salem, OR/West Salem HS) won for Willamette in the 200-meter individual medley.

Masei's time was 2:18.67, providing him with a margin of 6.36 seconds in front of Jarik Bainco of Puget Sound in second at 2:25.03. Josh Bumgarner (Fr., Wall Walla, WA/Walla Walla HS) from WU was third in 2:25.36, while Clayton Jacobson of UPS placed fourth in 2:25.80.

Alex Guffey (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) of Willamette finished first in the 100-meter freestyle in 55.62 seconds. Second place went to Jacobson in 56.57 seconds. Guffey also placed a close second in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 2:01.90. Teale Kitson of Puget Sound won the event in 2:01.62.

Also winning an event for the Bearcat men's team was Chris Whitehead (Sr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) in the 200-meter breaststroke. Whitehead recorded a time of 2:43.03. Bumgarner from Willamette made it a 1-2 finish by taking second place at 2:43.67. Zander Biro of UPS was third at 2:45.45.

Puget Sound had the men's victory secured before the final relay, but Willamette still provided strong competition in a close race. The Loggers' team of Mitch Kilgore, Kitson, Evan Hamamoto and Derek Frenzel finished the 400-meter freestyle relay in 3:48.42. Willamette's team of Andrew Lum (Honolulu, HI/Punahou School), Merrill, Le Bel and Guffey were timed at 3:49.35.

Hope Nelson (Jr., Providence, RI/South Kingstown HS) led the Willamette women's team with a pair of victories. She took first place in the 200-meter freestyle and the 400-meter freestyle.

She prevailed in the 200 free by edging out Bailey Strom of UPS by just 0.13. Nelson's time was 2:16.76, while Strom achieved a time of 2:16.89.

In the 400 free, Nelson was clocked at 4:51.07. Caitlin Fuller from Puget Sound was second at 4:51.91.

Malia Santos (So., Kailua-Kona, HI/Kealakehe HS) of WU was the winner by 0.02 in virtually a photo finish in the 50-meter freestyle. Santos won in 29.03 seconds, with Anne Shirey of UPS in second at 29.05.

Willamette's Erin Parkinson (Sr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) took second by 1.29 seconds in the women's 200-meter breaststroke. Shirey placed first in 2:59.09, while Parkinson completed the race in 3:00.38.

Melissa Norrish of Puget Sound won two consecutive women's events for the Loggers. She was first in the 200-meter individual medley at 2:32.83 and then triumphed in 200-meter butterfly at 2:34.05.

The Bearcats will take on Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 16. Meet time is set for 10 a.m. (PST).


University of Puget Sound 113
Willamette University 91

University of Puget Sound 138
Willamette University 66

Shelby Merrill of Willamette won the men's 800-meter freestyle and the men's 400-meter freestyle.

Shelby Merrill of Willamette won the men's 800-meter freestyle and the men's 400-meter freestyle.