By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- The six seniors on the Willamette University swimming teams were celebrated by the Bearcats prior to their final home meet on Saturday, Jan. 26 against Linfield College. During the dual meet that followed, Linfield won the men's competition, 119-86, and the Wildcats earned a 130-74 advantage over the Bearcats in the women's events.
Both of Willamette's teams ended the dual meet season at 2-6 overall and 2-6 in the Northwest Conference. Linfield's men improved to 7-1 overall and 7-1 in the NWC. The women's team from Linfield upped its record to 6-2 overall, 6-2 in the NWC.
Willamette won a total of five events. Winners for the Bearcats were Kiley Lin (Sr.Jr., Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS) in the women's 100-yard butterfly, Niki Kates (Jr., Truckee, CA/Forest Charter School) in the women's 100-yard backstroke, Evan Segimoto (So., Alamo, CA/The Athenian School) in the men's 50-yard freestyle, Ben Fritz (So., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS) in the men's 500-yard freestyle, and Mykah Fujiwara (Sr., Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) in the men's 100-yard breaststroke.
Seniors honored prior to the meet were women's swimmers Lin, Anna Burdine (Sr., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS) and Rachel Harvill (Sr., Alamo, CA/Monte Vista HS), and men's swimmers Fujiwara, Owen Davis (Sr., Boulder, CO/Boulder HS) and Nick Leibman (Sr., Dubai, United Arab Emirates/American School of Dubai).
"Today was a day for celebration as we honored our six seniors for all their contributions to our program over the past four years," Willamette Head Coach Brent Summers said. "It has been a pleasure to watch them grow over the past four seasons."
Lin won the women's 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:03.43. She won by 0.51 over Anne Walkup of Linfield, who placed second in 1:03.94.
Also for the Willamette women's team, Kates was victorious in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:03.90, as she edged out Yianka Hoyer from Linfield by a slim 0.12 margin. Hoyer was timed at 1:04.02 for second place. The Bearcats placed 1-3-4 in the event, with Jensine Rasmussen (Jr., Tacoma, WA/Stadium HS) in third at 1:07.90 and Corinne Pierson (Fr., Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) in fourth at 1:08.06.
Segimoto led a 1-2-3 finish for the Bearcats in the men's 50-yard freestyle. He won the race in 23.72 seconds, while Keaton Adams (Fr., Colorado Springs, CO/Doherty HS) touched out 0.04 later to gather second place at 23.76. Greg Wells (Fr., Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) was third in 24.62.
In the men's 500-yard freestyle, Fritz earned first place in 5:02.35. He held off David Flores, who took second for the Wildcats in 5:03.45. Fujiwara won the men's 100-yard breaststroke by completing the race in 1:03.44. Zachary Sherlock from Linfield took second place 0.87 later with a time of 1:04.31.
Burdine placed second for Willamette in two women's events. She was second in 2:09.94 in the 200-yard freestyle, which was won by Emily Samudio of Linfield in 2:08.61. Burdine also was second in the 500-yard freestyle, as she registerd a time of 5:46.82. The winner of the women's 500 freestyle was Lottie Steward from Linfield with a time of 5:41.16.
For the Bearcat men's team, Derek Ludwig (Jr., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS) attained a close second place result in the 100-yard butterfly. He was timed at 54.69 seconds, as he touched out 0.41 after Joseph Simpson of Linfield, who won the race in 54.28 seconds.
Evette Dow won two individual events for the Wildcats. She placed first in the women's 200-yard individual medley at 2:15.48 and was first in the women's 100-yard freestyle in 56.84 seconds.
Up next for Willamette will be the 2019 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships, set for Feb. 7-10 in Federal Way, Washington. The NWC Championships will be held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Evan Segimoto led a 1-2-3 finish for the Bearcats in the
men's 50-yard freestyle. He won the race in 23.72 seconds
and was quickly followed by Keaton Adams of Willamette in
second place at 23.76. Greg Wells placed third for WU in 24.62.