Parkinson Finishes Eighth in Women's 100 Breaststroke at NWC Championships

Piper Achieves 11th Place in Men's 100 Backstroke, Le Bel is 11th in Men's 400 I.M.

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

FEDERAL WAY, WASH. -- Erin Parkinson (So., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) of Willamette University earned eighth place in the championship final of the women's 100-yard breaststroke during the second day of the 2012 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Sean Piper (Fr., Normandy Park, WA/John F. Kennedy HS) from the Willamette men's team finished third in the consolation final of the 100-yard backstroke to take 11th place overall. Zander Le Bel (Fr., Dallas, TX/Richardson HS) placed 11th in the men's 400-yard individual medley by earning third place in the consolation final.

Parkinson claimed her eighth place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:11.49 during the championship final. The event was won by Tracy Wormwood from the University of Puget Sound, who set the NWC record by completing the race in 1:04.35.

Piper registered a time of 54.80 seconds in the consolation final of the 100-yard backstroke. In the preliminary round held earlier on Saturday, Piper recorded a season-best time of 54.13 seconds.

Le Bel completed the consolation final of the 400 I.M. in 4:28.85. His time was 10.01 seconds faster than his top time prior to the NWC meet and was just over six seconds faster than his time of 4:34.90 during the prelims.

Also reaching the consolation finals for Willamette was Chris Whitehead (So., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) in the men's 100-yard breaststroke. Whitehead took fifth place in the consolation final to secure 13th place overall with a time of 1:05.33. He was timed at 1:05.91 during the preliminary heats.

Other top Willamette results on Saturday:

Lauren Ballinger (Jr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) was 18th in the women's 200-yard freestyle. She earned a time of 2:04.27 in the prelims, as she missed the consolation final by 1.59 seconds.

Ann Hues (Fr., Boise, ID/Timberline HS) was 19th and Kersey Bars (Fr., Springfield, OR/Springfield HS) was 20th in the women's 100-yard backstroke. Hues completed the race in 1:06.50 and Bars finished in 1:07.47.

The Willamette men's team took seventh place in the 200-yard medley relay in a battle for sixth through eighth. Lewis & Clark College placed sixth in 1:42.69, while WU claimed seventh just 0.27 seconds later at 1:42.96. Linfield College was eighth at 1:43.46. Whitworth won the race with a time of 1:33.41.

At the end of the second day, Willamette was in eighth place in the women's team standings with 107 points. The Bearcats were in seventh place in the men's team standings with 117 points. Whitworth led the women's standings with 428 points and also topped the men's standings with 585 points.

The NWC Championships will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 12. Action at the King County Aquatics Center will include a morning session starting at 10 a.m. (PST) and an evening session starting at 5 p.m.

An extended story will be posted later.

2012 NWC Swimming Championships
At King County Aquatic Center
Federal Way, Wash.
Feb. 10-12
Erin Parkinson of Willamette took eighth place in the championship finals of the 100-yard breaststroke.

Erin Parkinson of Willamette took eighth place in the championship finals of the 100-yard breaststroke.