By Eric Del Prado
This past weekend the men’s and women’s swim teams competed in the Oregon Senior Open at the Osborn Aquatic Center. This event was hosted by the Corvallis Aquatic Team. The team performed well, with many qualifying events taking place on Friday and Saturday morning, and the final events taking place on Saturday night.
Sophomore Ben Hedman came in third place in the 200-yard butterfly on Friday, and senior Cassie Tallman came in seventh place in the 100-yard breastroke. Because of their performance they both qualified for the “A” final in their events. Senior Mark Yuvienco also raced in the “A” final, coming in fifth place. Tallman’s performance in the breaststroke put her in the record books, as she now has the second best time in Willamette history.
Hedman and sophomore Derek Ludwig competed in the men’s 200-yard individual medley. Hedman came in 10th place, and this performance put him at 6th place in the Willamette record books. Ludwig also had a solid performance, coming in 13th place. There was also the 1,000-yard freestyle, in which sophomore Colin Hakemen competed for the men, finishing with a time of 10:24 and junior Anna Burdine competed for the women, finishing in 11:14. Both of these times were personal bests for these two swimmers. The men’s 400-yard medley relay team also swam well, as they came in sixth place, with a time 3:42. The women’s 400-yard medley relay was able to come in 12th place with a time of 4:11.
Saturday saw many of the Bearcats continue to improve on their times and swim well in the finals of their respective events. Hedman led the way with a fourth place finish in the “A” final of the 400-yard individual medley. Hedman swam a personal best 4:12. Also swimming in an “A” final, Ludwig came in seventh place in the 100-yard butterfly. Tallman cemented her name in the history books with a time of 2:26 in the preliminary races for the 200-yard breastroke, coming in eighth place of the “A” final, with a time of 2:28.
Many more Bearcats swam well at this event, as 87% of the races had a season best time from a Bearcat swimmer. This event ended their fall season, but the Bearcats will look to continue to improve on their successes going into the spring season. They will start their training for the spring season with a trip to San Diego. This trip provides for great bonding and great training opportunities, as they can only focus on swimming for the week. The team will have the Northwest Conference meet circled in February, as that is the event they are looking towards to show how much they have improved.