Whitman Defeats Willamette in Northwest Conference Swimming

Derek Ludwig (Jr., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS)
Derek Ludwig (Jr., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Whitman College outscored Willamette University in men's and women's swimming on Friday, Nov. 16 during a Northwest Conference dual meet at the WU Natatorium. Whitman won the women's competition, 158-46. The Blues also prevailed in the mens' competition, 121-82.

Whitman's teams both improved to 3-0 overall and to 3-0 in the Northwest Conference. Both of Willamette's teams fell to 0-2 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.

The Willamette men's team won both relay events, as the Bearcats took first place in the 400-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.

"I'm pleased with how today's meet against Whitman went," Willamette Head Coach Brent Summers said. "The Blues are very tough on both sides (men and women) and we had some great swims tonight. The men got two quality wins int he 400 medley and 400 free relays, and we had many close races throughout the individual events. The women did a fantastic job of racing tonight, and I'm pleased to see improvements we've made since our meet against Pacific Lutheran."

In the men's 400-yard medley relay, Willamette's team of Derek Ludwig (Jr., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS), Mykah Fujiwara (Sr., Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School), Ben Hedman (Jr., Davis, CA/Davis HS) and Daniel Fang (So., Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/Catholic HS) registered a winning time of 3:46.59. The Bearcats edged out Whitman's top team by 0.17, as the Blues took second place in 3:46.76.

Swimming for the Bearcats in the men's 400-yard freestyle relay were Ludwig, Jacob Hulti (Jr., Astoria, OR/Astoria HS), Fang and Ben Fritz (So., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS). They combined to win the race in 3:25.11. Whitman placed second with a time of 3:28.97.

The Bearcats earned second place finishes in six of the men's individual events and in three of the women's individual events.

Fujiwara was second in both the men's 200-yard individual medley and the men's 200-yard breaststroke. In the 200 I.M., he registered a time of 2:06.97. He was 0.87 out of first place, which went to Fisher Munro of Whitman in 2:06.10. In the 200 breaststroke, Fujiwara completed the race in 2:19.78. Aiden Laird of the Blues took first place in 2:18.37.

Fritz of Willamette was second in the men's 1,000-yard freestyle, as he finished the race in 10:39.17. Colin Hakeman (Jr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) of Willamette placed third in 10:42.67. Whitman's Evan Marqurdt won the 1,000 in 10:28.06.

In the men's 200-yard butterfly, Hedman was second in 2:01.57. Michael Chang of Whitman won the event with a time of 2:00.22.

Also placing second for the Bearcat men's team were Hulti in the 100-yard freestyle and Hakeman in the men's 500-yard freestyle. Hulti's time was 53.56 seconds in the 100 free, while Hakeman registered a time of 5:09.32 in the 500 free. Frtiz of WU placed third in the 500 at 5:13.38. Marquardt won the 500 for the Blues in 5:04.30.

Willamette women's swimmers who took second place in an individual event were Niki Kates (Jr., Truckee, CA/Forest Charter School), Kiley Lin (Sr./Jr., Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS) and Anna Burdine (Sr., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS).

Kates was second in the 200-yard individual medley. She achieved a time of 2:25.83. The 200 I.M. was won by Ashley Joe for the Blues in 2:21.01.

Lin took second place in the 200-yard butterfly at 2:20.76. Isabella White of Whitman won the 200 butterfly in 2:17.03. Burdine placed second in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:45.85. The event was won by Annika Hobson from Whitman in 5:39.16.

The Bearcats barely missed second place in two women's races. In the 200-yard backstroke, Kates was third in 2:19.74, as she missed second place by just 0.64. In the 100-yard freestyle, Rachel Harvill (Jr., Alamo, CA/Monte Vista HS) finished third in 57.67 seconds, just 0.10 out of second place.

Willamette swam well in the women's 400-yard medley relay. Whitman took first place in 4:14.87, followed by the Bearcats at 4:17.69. Helping Willamette grab second place were Kates, Min Wei (Fr., Fushun, China/Cascade HS), Lin and Harvill.

Up next for the Bearcats is another NWC meet on Saturday, Nov. 17 against Whitworth University. Action is set to begin at 11 a.m. (PDT) at the WU Natatorium.

Daniel Fang

Big Moment of the Meet for Willamette

Daniel Fang swam the anchor leg for Willamette during
the men's 400-yard medley relay. When he entered the
pool, the Bearcats held a slim 0.18-second lead. The Blues
managed to gain only 0.01, as Fang completed the race
with Willamette in first place at 3:46.59. Whitman took
second in 3:46.76. Also swimming for WU on the relay
team were Derek Ludwig, Mykah Fujiwara and Ben Hedman.