Bearcats Tie Pacific, Fall to College of Idaho, in Men's Swimming

Willamette Women's Team Loses to Boxers and Lady Yotes

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Willamette University swam against Pacific University and the College of Idaho in a non-conference meet on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Pacific. Competitors swam head-to-head in some events and against time in two or three heats in other events. The entire meet was scored as a double-dual with three sets of team scores.

In the men's competition, Willamette and Pacific tied 129.5 to 129.5, while the College of Idaho held off Willamette, 133-119, and downed Pacific, 135-114. The women's match-ups ended with the College of Idaho outscoring Willamette, 146-114, while Pacific downed Willamette, 177-80, and defeated the Lady Yotes, 158-102.

Alika Masei (Fr., Salem, OR/West Salem HS) had a great day for the Bearcats. He won three individual events and contributed to a Willamette victory in the 200-yard medley relay.

Masei and teammates Chris Whitehead (Sr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS), Andrew Lum (So., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) and Alex Guffey (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) combined to win the 200-yard medley relay at the start of the men's events. The Bearcats achieved a time of 1:41.55 to edge out the College of Idaho by .04 for first place. The Coyotes took second in 1:41.59. Pacific was third in 1:43.70.

Later, Masei won the 100-yard backstroke, the 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley. In the 100 back, he registered a time of 54.16 seconds to win by more than two seconds. In the 200 back, he prevailed in 1:59.82, as he bested the field by just under four seconds.

Masei's winning time in the 200 I.M. was 2:03.04. He won by exactly one second over Michael Hargitt from Pacific. Hargitt finished at 2:04.04, just .01 in front of Corbin Cooper from C of I, who earned third place in 2:04.05.

Also for the Willamette men's team, Guffey placed second in two events and Shelby Merrill (Fr., Thousand Oaks, CA/Westlake HS) won one event.

Guffey achieved second place in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.45 seconds and was second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:49.50. He missed first place in the 100 free by 0.76, with Cooper winning the event in 48.69 seconds.

Merrill was second in the 1,000-yard freestyle, which he completed in 10:38.81. He also recorded a third place finish in the 500-yard freestyle, as he attained a time of 5:12.94.

In the men's 200-yard freestyle relay, the Bearcats took second place behind the Coyotes, but finished in front of the Boxers to earn a tie in the overall scoring between Willamette and Pacific. C of I took first place in 1:30.42 and Willamette followed in second at 1:32.72. Pacific placed third in 1:34.48.

Swimming for the Bearcats in the 200 free relay were Zander Le Bel (Jr., Dallas, TX/Richardson HS), Lum, Merrill and Guffey.

Hope Nelson (Jr., Providence, RI/South Kingstown HS) and Erin Parkinson (Sr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) from the Willamette women's team each placed second in two events and achieved third place in one event.

Nelson earned second place in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:03.13 and also gained second place in the 100-yard freestyle in 56.52 seconds. The 100 free was won by Kirby Roberts from the College of Idaho in 56.12 seconds. Nelson finished third in the 500-yard freestyle at 5:32.52.

Parkinson swam to second place results in the 1,000-yard freestyle at 11:22.93 and in the 200-yard breaststroke at 2:40.58. She was third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:13.29.

Willamette's women placed first in the 200-yard medley relay. Pacific swam exhibition in the event, but did not beat WU's official winning time. The Bearcats clocked in at 1:43.51, and the College of Idaho was a close second after completing the race in 1:43.86.

The 200 medley relay team for Willamette included Nelson, Parkinson, Lindsay Clark (So., Juneau, AK/Juneau-Douglas HS) and Malia Santos (So., Kailua-Kona, HI/Kealakehe HS).

WU will swim at the CAT Senior Open in Corvallis, Ore., on Sat., Dec. 7. It will be the Bearcats' last competition before the Winter Break.

Willamette University 129.5
Pacific University 129.5 (tie)

College of Idaho 133
Willamette University 119

College of Idaho 135
Pacific University 114

College of Idaho 146
Willamette University 114

Pacific University 177
Willamette University 80

Pacific University 158
College of Idaho 102

Alika Masei won three individual events and helped Willamette win the men's 200-yard medley relay.

Alika Masei won three individual events and helped Willamette win the men's 200-yard medley relay.