FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Led by six top-8 performances, the Linfield swim clubs wrapped up the third and final day of the Northwest Conference Championships Sunday evening at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
Improving on their team finish from a season ago, the Wildcat men placed sixth of eight teams. The Linfield women, meanwhile, took seventh.
Whitworth clinched its 10th consecutive team championship on the men’s side, but the favored Pirate women – who held the lead over the first two days – were upset by Puget Sound.
Representing the Wildcat women in the finals of their respective events were Kelcie Kimura and Katie Main. Kimura placed sixth in the 100-yard freestyle in a season-best time of 53.80 seconds, while Main took sixth in the 200 butterfly (season-best 2:17.63).
Maggie May (Sr., Aberdeen, Wash.) and Catherine Nakamura placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the consolation finals of the 200 backstroke. Also contributing points to Linfield’s team score were Tori Nickerson (Jr., Oak Harbor, Wash.) and Megan Sandall. Nickerson was fourth (season-best 2:32.96) and Sandall eighth (season-best 2:34.23) in the consolation finals of the 200 breaststroke. Sandall’s time was a full nine seconds better than her previous best this season.
Rounding out the top performances on the women's side were Taylor Schroeder and Devin Pritchard (Jr., Portland, Ore.), who finished 5-6 in the consolation finals of the 200 butterfly. Both posted season-best times, with Schroeder completing the race in two minutes, 27.90 seconds and Pritcherd finishing in two minutes, 28.85 seconds.
On the men’s side, Ian Coker (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Troy Thomas (Jr., Portland, Ore.) were the first swimmers to score points for Linfield in the 1,650 freestyle. Both significantly improved their times: Coker knocked 31 seconds off of his previous best (17:35.69) en route to a 10th-place finish and Thomas improved by 40 seconds (18:36.30) to place 16th.
Seth Ruwitch finished fifth in the 200 breaststroke (season-best 2:15.42) and was followed Chris Purdy, who came in eighth (season-best 2:22.17). Lee Rivers (Sr., Renton, Wash.) took third in the consolation finals of the 200 backstroke (season-best 1:59.28) and A.J. Wagoner (Jr., Clackamas, Ore.) was eighth in the same event (2:06.56).
Wrapping up individual competition was Miles Phillips. He placed fourth in the consolation finals of the 200 butterfly (season-best 2:00.20).
Puget Sound claimed the team championship on the women’s side with 623 points, edging a Whitworth team that tallied 606 total points. Other team scores included: Whitman (506), Pacific (375), Pacific Lutheran (327), Lewis & Clark (303), Linfield (206) and Willamette (150).
The men’s team race wasn’t even close, as Whitworth (796) defeated second-place Whitman (572) by a whopping 224 points. Other team scores included: Pacific Lutheran (500), Puget Sound (480), Pacific (255), Linfield (231), Willamette (163) and Lewis & Clark (153).
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