By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Cassie Tallman (Jr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) and Mark Yuvienco (Jr., San Jose, CA/Bellarmine College Prep) set school records in the 200-yard individual medley during their respective championship finals on Friday, Feb. 10 at the 2017 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships. Tallman broke her own record in the women's 200 I.M. with a time of 2:10.25, while Yuvienco's time of 1:56.29 in the men's 200 I.M. broke a record set 24 yards ago.
The NWC Championships got underway on Friday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. Action will continue on Saturday, Feb. 11 and Sunday, Feb. 12.
Willamette also set a school record while placing fifth in the men's 400-yard medley relay. The Bearcats were timed at 3:31.35 to break the record of 3:33.93 set in 1992.
Tallman took third place in the women's 200-yard individual medley. Her previous school record time was 2:10.32 set at the NWC Championships in 2015. On Friday, Kaedi Fry of Linfield College won the 200 I.M. in 2:08.35. Kelli Callahan from University of Puget Sound was second at 2:09.88, just 0.44 in front of Tallman.
Yuvienco broke the Willamette men's record in the 200-yard individual medley that was set by Tim Roth at 1:57.06 in 1993. In Friday's championship final, he finished sixth, only 0.28 out of fifth and 0.42 out of fourth.
Competing in the consolation finals in the 200 I.M. were Niki Kates (Fr., Truckee, CA/Forest Charter School) from the WU women's team and Derek Ludwig (Fr., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS), Alika Masei (Sr., Salem, OR/West Salem HS) and Ben Hedman (Fr., Davis, CA/Davis HS) from the Bearcat men's team.
In the women's consolation final, Kates registered a time of 2:15.21. She placed 15th overall.
Ludwig won the men's consolation final and placed ninth overall in 1:56.87. His time was faster than Roth's previous school record from 1993 that Yuvienco broke in the championship final. Yuvienco and Ludwig became the first Bearcats to break the 1:57 mark.
Masei placed 12th overall and Hedmen took 16th place overall after swimming in the consolation final. Masei's time was 1:58.96 in the consolation final, while Hedman was timed at 2:01.74.
In the men's 500-yard freestyle, Shelby Merrill (Sr., Thousand Oaks, CA/Westlake HS) of Willamette reached the consolation final. He took second place in the consolation race in 4:47.38 and finished 10th overall. Colin Hakeman (Fr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) also competed in the consolation final. He placed 16th after producing a time of 4:51.73.
Rachel Harvill (So., Alamo, CA/Monte Vista HS) took 13th place overall for the Bearcats in the women's 50-yard freestyle. Her time in the consolation finals was 24.95 seconds.
Other Top Performances for Willamette
In addition to setting school records in the 200 I.M., Tallman and Yuvienco achieved quality times in the preliminary heats. Tallman's prelim time of 2:10.72 is the fourth fastest in Willamette history. Likewise, the prelim time for Yuvienco of 1:57.14 is the fourth fastest on the Bearcats men's all-time list.
Kate Harvey (Jr., Atlantic Beach, FL/Duncan Fletcher HS) and Anna Burdine (So., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS) swam well in the prelims of the women's 500-yard freestyle, but just missed the consolation final. Harvey was 18th overall in 5:30.08, as she missed the cut by 0.55. Brudine was 19th with a time of 5:30.78.
Willamette's time in the women's 400-yard medley relay of 4:06.03 ranks fourth all-time for the Bearcats. WU placed seventh in Saturday's race.