FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Nearly every Linfield swimmer posted a season-best time over the first two days of the Northwest Conference Championships held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. After 12 events on each side spread out over four sessions Friday and Saturday, the Wildcat men sit in sixth place and the women rank seventh of eight teams.
Defending champion Whitworth leads all teams in both men’s and women’s competition, with an incredible 225-point advantage on the men’s side and just an eight-point lead on the women’s side.
For the Wildcat men, the event that bore the most fruit was the 100-yard breaststroke, in which Seth Ruwitch finished fourth (season-best 1:00.13) and Chris Purdy took eighth (season-best 1:02.72). Together, the duo contributed 26 points to Linfield’s team score.
Lee Rivers (Sr., Renton, Wash.) made his mark in the 200 freestyle, taking eighth in a season-best time of 1 minute, 45.74 seconds. In the consolation finals of the same event, Ian Coker (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished seventh (season-best 1:50.65).
Wrapping up Saturday’s individual events for the Linfield men was A.J. Wagoner (Jr., Clackamas, Ore.), who was seventh in the consolation finals of the 100 backstroke (season-best 58.12).
Kelcie Kimura registered the highest finish for the Linfield women’s team, taking fourth in the consolation finals of the 200 freestyle (season-best 1:58.83). In an exciting finish, teammates Tori Nickerson (Jr., Oak Harbor, Wash.) and Brandi Halemano reached the wall at the exact same time in the consolation finals of the 100 breaststroke. They tied for third place in 1 minute, 10.89 seconds, a season best time for both swimmers.
Also scoring points for the Wildcat women were Maggie May (Sr., Aberdeen, Wash.) and Catherine Nakamura, who placed sixth and eighth, respectively, in the consolation finals of the 100 backstroke. May reached the wall in 1 minute, 5.12 seconds and Nakamura finished in 1 minute, 5.61 seconds. Both were season-best times.
Friday night, Rivers led the Wildcat contingent with a fifth-place effort in the 200 individual medley (season-best 1:57.20). Ruwitch finished sixth in the consolation finals of the same event (season-best 2:02.24). Competing the 500 freestyle, Coker improved his time by nearly 18 seconds, taking seventh in the consolation final with a time of 4 minutes, 59.77 seconds.
On the women’s side, three swimmers represented Linfield in the consolation finals of the 200 individual medley, scoring a total of 14 points. Kimura won the event in a season-best time of 2 minutes, 14.20 seconds, Nickerson was fifth (season-best 2:17.18) and May took eighth (2:22.60).
Whitworth sits in first place on the men’s side with 585 points, followed by: Whitman (360), Puget Sound (326), Pacific Lutheran (318), Pacific (174), Linfield (160), Willamette (117) and Lewis & Clark (100). The Pirates also lead the women’s competition with 428 points, trailed closely by Puget Sound (420). Other team scores are: Whitman (347), Pacific (239), Pacific Lutheran (232), Lewis & Clark (196), Linfield (138) and Willamette (107).
AHEAD: The third and final day of the NWC Championships is Sunday. The first session begins at 10 a.m. with all action wrapping up that evening at the final session, which starts at 5 o’clock.
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128