This past week from Feb. 7 to 10, the WU swim team has been in Federal Way, WA at the Northwest Conference (NWC) Championships. All nine teams from the NWC raced against each other at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center in their final meet of the season.
In the first day of the four day tournament, WU started strong and broke two school records in the men’s 800-yard free relay and 200-yard medley relay. WU timed a 7:02.28 in the men’s 800-yard free relay and 1:49.24 in the 200-yard medley relay. WU’s 800-yard freestyle team included sophomore Ben Fritz, junior Alexander Hougan, sophomore Daniel Fang and junior Derek Ludwig. Even with their record-breaking time in the 800-yard free medley, WU was edged out by Lewis & Clark, who beat them by .23 seconds for third place. In the men’s 200-yard medley relay, Ludwig, senior Mykah Fujiwara, Fang and Fritz placed sixth. WU swimmers senior Anna Burdine, junior Niki Kates, junior Jensine Rasumussen and senior Rachel Harvil placed eighth in the 800-yard freestyle relay.
On the second day of the meet, Kates earned fifth in the championship final of the women’s 200-yard individual medley. Fritz placed sixth in the men’s 500-yard freestyle and Ludwig finished seventh in the men’s 200-yard individual medley. All three swimmers earned a spot on the Second Team All-NWC Honors. WU also placed seventh in the women’s 400-yard medley relay and achieved the second fastest time in WU’s history with a time of 4:23.00. The Bearcats’ men’s team followed this up by placing eighth in the men’s 400-yard relay.
Junior Colin Hakeman placed in fourth in the men’s 400-yard individual medley and was .82 seconds away from third place. Fritz placed fourth in the men’s 200-yard freestyle. Ludwig earned sixth place in the men’s 100-yard butterfly. Ludwig set the school record for the men’s 100-yard butterfly with a time of 51.42 seconds. Senior Kiley Lin finished sixth in the women’s 100-yard backstroke. Lin also managed to get eighth place in the 100-yard butterfly.
On the last day of the meet, five Bearcats, Fritz, Kates, Lin, Ludwig and Fujiwara, finished their respective races in the top eight. Fritz earned fourth in the men’s 1,650-yard freestyle and set the WU record with a time of 16:22:00. He also set the record in the 1,000-yard freestyle race with a time of 9:54.46. Kates took fifth place in the women’s 200-yard backstroke. Lin raced in the women’s 200-yard butterfly and achieved sixth place. Ludwig placed sixth in the men’s 200-yard butterfly and got a personal best time of 1:56.76. Fujiwara got eighth place in the men’s 200-yard backstroke.
Whitworth took home first place with 665.5 points followed by Linfield in second with 481 points. WU took seventh place with 260 points ,beating out George Fox University who had 241.5 points and Pacific University who had 132 points.
In the women’s championships, Whitman also took first with a score of 559 points. Linfield, who held a small lead over Whitman after Saturday, ended the meet in second place with a score of 521. WU placed seventh with 239 points followed by George Fox University with 208 points and Pacific Luthern with 105 points.