Willamette Places 1st in 13 Events, Wins Team Titles, on 2nd Day of Bruin Invite

Anna Burdine (Sr., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS)
Anna Burdine (Sr., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

NEWBERG, Ore. -- Willamette University continued its success at the 2018 Bruin Invitational in men's and women's swimming as the meet concluded at the Chehalem Aquatic Center on Sunday, Dec. 2. The Bearcats won 13 out of 18 events on Sunday to finish the meet with 22 wins in 34 events. Willamette also won the overall team titles in the women's competition, men's competition and combined standings.

The Bearcats were first in the women's standings with 866 points. George Fox University finished in second with 825 points, and Mills College (Calif.), which competes only in women's athletics, was third with 345 points. Pacific University, which only participated at the Bruin Invitational on Saturday, placed fourth with 319 points.

In the men's standings, Willamette was first with 1,036 points, while GFU took second place with 470 points and Pacific was third with 151 points. As in the women's competition, Pacific only participated on Saturday.

Willamette earned the combined team title with 1,902 points. George Fox followed in second at 1,295 and Pacific was third at 470. Mills was fourth at 345.

"Day two of the Bruin Invite saw many more great swims from the Bearcats," said Willamette Head Coach Brent Summers. "Everyone on the team qualified for finals, which I was very excited about. We had many personal best times and even more season best times. Once again, we had some quality wins and some great races that helped show us where we are at this time of year.
"The Bruin Invite was a great way for us to cap of the fall semester," Summers noted. "I'm really looking forward to our Winter Training and the spring dual meets before finishing up at the Northwest Conference Championships in February."

Two Bearcats each won two individual events on Sunday. Anna Burdine (Sr., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS) placed first in the women's 1,650-yard freestyle and won the women's 400-yard individual medley. Ben Hedman (Jr., Davis, CA/Davis HS) grabbed first place in the men's 400-yard individual medley and also finished first in the men's 200-yard butterfly.

Top Willamette Women's Results

Burdine's winning time in the 1,650-yard freestyle was 19:20.87, as she completed the race with a 43.38-second lead. In the 400 I.M., Burdine was timed at 5:01.87. Teammate Jensine Rasmussen (Jr., Tacoma, WA/Stadium HS) placed second at 5:15.93.

Other individual event winners for the Willamette women's team on Sunday were Min Wei (Fr., Fushun, China/Cascade HS), Niki Kates (Jr., Truckee, CA/Forest Charter School), and Kiley Lin (Sr./Jr., Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS).

Wei registered a time of 1:10.10 in the final of the 100-yard breaststroke. Cameron Taggesell (So., Sonoma, CA/Sanoma Valley HS) of WU placed third in 1:13.62, and was just 0.12 out of second place, which went to Joanna Zuckerman of George Fox at 1:13.50.

Kates led a strong 1-2-3 finish for the Besrcats in the 100-yard backstroke. She won the event in 1:00.64, while Lin was second in 1:00.07 and Corinne Pierson (Fr., Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) was third at 1:01.59. Pierson edged out Olivia Gibson of George Fox, who placed fourth in 1:01.61.

In the 200-yard butterfly, Lin took first place in 2:16.40. It was her fastest time of the season.

The Bearcats earned the winning time in the 200-yard medley relay at 1:52.65. Willamette's top medley relay team included Piearson, Wei, Lin and Rachel Harvill (Sr., Alamo, CA/Monte Vista HS). George Fox was second at 1:57.35, as the Bruins edged out Willamette's "B" entry, which took third place in 1:57.75.

Top Willamette Men's Results

Hedman earned his win in the 400 I.M. with a time of 4:14.73. Colin Hakeman (Jr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) of WU was second in 4:22.94. Hedman prevailed in the 200-yard butterfly at 1:56.90 to lead a 1-2 finish for the Bearcats. Derek Ludwig (Jr., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS) was second at 2:05.12.

Ben Hedman (Jr., Davis, CA/Davis HS) Additional Bearcats on the men's team who were victorious in one of Sunday's individual events were Mykah Fujiwara (Sr., Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School), Ben Fritz (So., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS) and Hakeman.

The 100-yard breaststroke was won by Fujiwara in 1:02.46, as he took first place by 1.58 seconds. Zach Johnson of GFU was second in 1:04.04, while Nick Leibman (Sr., Dubai, United Arab Emirates/American School of Dubai) of WU was third at 1:07.75.

In the 200-yard freestyle, seven of the eight competitors were from Willamette. Fritz led the way with a winning time of 1:48.48. Daniel Fang (So., Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/Catholic HS) was second at 1:49.37, and Alexander Hougan (Jr., Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) placed third in 1:51.64.

All three swimmers in the 1,650-yard freestyle also represented the Bearcats. Hakeman won the distance race in 17:39.96, while Robert Daugherty (Fr., Reno, NV/Damonte Ranch HS) was second in 18:31.53. Brendan Otani (So., Kahului, HI/Kamehameha School) took third place in 19:28.59.

WU took first and second place in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The "A" team for the Bearcats featured Fritz, Jacob Hulti (Jr., Astoria, OR/Astoria HS), Fang and Ludwig, who combined for a time of 3:21.29. Willamette's "B" entry achieved a time of 3:27.38 through the efforts of Hougan, Keaton Adams (Fr., Colorado Springs, CO/Doherty HS), Gregory Wells (Fr., Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) and Evan Segimoto (So., Alamo, CA/The Athenian School). George Fox was third in 3:28.88.

In the 200-yard medley relay, the Bearcats were victorious in 1:42.29 with a narrow win over the Bruins, who placed second at 1:43.22. Swimming for Willamette were Ludwig, Fujiwara, Fang and Fritz.

Mykah Fujiwara (Sr., Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School)

Big Moment of the Day for Willamette

Mykah Fujiwara won the men's 100-yard breaststroke in
1:02.46, as he finished 1.58 seconds in front of Zach
Johnson of George Fox, who was second in 1:04.04.
Fujiwara also swam on Willamette's 200-yard medley
relay team on Sunday, helping the Bearcats register a
time of 1:42.29 to win by just under a second.