Traveling to Tacoma, Wash., the two swim teams geared up for their first dual meet of the season. Linfield fell to the University of Puget Sound on Nov. 11 and 12.
“This weekend, our team really came together and supported each other,” junior Rhiannon Ladwig said. “The team spirit was high and I think we made a strong Linfield presence against UPS.”
Though the men’s team fell 97-164 against the Loggers, it didn’t go down without a fight. Junior Seth Ruwitch placed first in both the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing in 1:12.30, and the 200-meter breaststroke, coming in at 2:24.16. He also placed second in the 400-meter individual medley, which he finished in 5:13.72.
“Our team has improved in a number of ways since our last meet, but most notably I would say that everyone seems much more determined this time around,” senior Marc Pereira said in an email. “We had some tough events at some tough pools this weekend. The temperature and the architecture at the pools this weekend were difficult to deal with, but overall we did pretty well. I expect our times will be improving a lot in the next few weeks.”
Junior Miles Phillips and sophomore Lee Rivers also placed well. Phillips placed second in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:09.49, and Rivers placed second in his three events.
For the women’s team, sophomore Natalie Groat placed first in the 200-meter freestyle. Meanwhile, freshman Kelcie Kimura placed first in the 50-meter freestyle, beating University of Puget Sound swimmer Ava Williams by .05 seconds.
“There were many great swims, and I think Natalie Groat had an amazing weekend. She swam the 200 butterfly each day and also did well with the 200 free against UPS,” Ladwig said. “Also, Alex Lyles was a freshman who did very well. He was put in difficult events and pulled through with a great time and a smile.”
Athletes who were on the team in previous years have high hopes for this year’s team.
“The team hopes to rank much higher this year than we did last year,” Pereira said. “ I think it’s an achievable goal too, with our bigger number of swimmers and the new talent we have.”
The Wildcats will host their next six meets, with the next competition being the Northwest Invitational.
Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.