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Willamette Competes at Northwest Conference RelaysSalem-News.com Sports
(McMINNVILLE, Ore.) - The Willamette University men's and women's swimming teams participated in the Northwest Conference Relays on Saturday. The meet, which was hosted by Linfield College, featured men's relay events, women's relay events and mixed relay events.
Whitworth University won the men's team standings, the women's team standings and the overall standings. The Pirates scored 80 points in the men's relays and tallied 76 points in the women's relays. Whitworth achieved an overall total of 186 points.
In the women's standings, Whitworth was followed by the University of Puget Sound in second with 42 points. Pacific Lutheran University and Whitman College tied for third place with 40 points. Pacific University took fifth at 36 points, while Linfield College was sixth at 20 and Willamette was seventh at 10. Lewis & Clark College did not compete.
Willamette's top event was the women's 600-yard freestyle relay. The Bearcats placed fourth in the event with a time of 6:22.97, less than two seconds behind Whitman, which finished in third place. Sylvie Peterson (Fr., Eugene, OR/Sheldon HS), Erin Parkinson (Fr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) and Lauren Ballinger (So., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) each participated in the relay.
The Bearcats finished fifth in the mixed 200-yard medley relay and the women's 300-yard butterfly relay.
In the mixed 200 medley, the swimmers for Willamette were Peterson (first leg) and Ballinger (fourth leg) from the women's teams, plus Chris Whitehead (Fr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) and Ian McGahan (So., Tacoma, WA/Stadium HS) from the men's team in the second and third legs, respectively. WU recorded a time of 1:58.21.
Peterson swam the anchor leg on the Willamette women's 300 fly relay team. Kara Koetje (Jr., Arlington, WA/Stanwood HS) covered the first leg and Kayla Kosaki (So., Hilo, HI/Waiakea HS) completed the second leg. The overall time for the Bearcats was 3:21.49.
Whitworth's 80 points topped the men's team standings. The University of Puget Sound placed second with 42 points, Pacific Lutheran and Whitman tied for third place with 40 points. Pacific was fifth at 38 points, Linfield was sixth at 22 points and Willamette was seventh with 22 points. L&C did not compete.
Combined team scores at the end of the meet were Whitworth 186, Whitman 112, Puget Sound, 108, Pacific Lutheran 102, Pacific 88, Linfield 48 and Willamette 16.
The NWC Relays and the NWC Sprint Pentathlon, hosted by Willamette on Friday (Oct. 29), gave the Bearcats a quality start to the season.
"They had a really good weekend," Willamette Head Coach Leslie Shevlin said regarding the WU swimmers. "On Friday, I was very impressed with the performances from the newcomers. All of the upperclassmen swam better than they did last year.
"At the relay meet, we really came together as a team," Shevlin noted. "It was a good starting point as we look toward next weekend's home meet."
Willamette's next competition is set for Friday, Nov. 5, when the Bearcats will host Mills College (Calif.) and the College of Idaho in a tri-meet. The first event is slated to begin at 6 p.m. (PDT). Mills will compete in the women's events, while College of Idaho will participate in the men's events and the women's events.
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