WU and Linfield Battle into Final Women's Race before Wildcats Win, 106-98

Bearcats Fall to Linfield in Men's Competition, 113-89

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- The Willamette University and Linfield College women's swimming teams battled through all 11 events during their Northwest Conference dual meet on Saturday, Jan. 26 before the host Wildcats gained a narrow 106-98 victory over the Bearcats. WU held a slim 94-93 lead heading into the 200-yard freestyle relay, but Linfield took first and third in the race to win the meet.

The Wildcats recorded a time of 1:42.74 to win the women's 200 freestyle relay. The Bearcats finished second in 1:47.95

Linfield's women improved to 1-6 on the season, 1-6 in the NWC, while Willamette fell to 2-8 overall, 0-7 in the NWC.

The men's competition also featured a close battle, as Linfield defeated the Bearcats, 113-89. The Wildcats moved to 2-5 on the season, 2-5 in the NWC. WU ended its dual-match season at 3-8 overall, 1-6 in the NWC.

Annie Marinello (So., Corvallis, OR/Philomath HS) led the Willamette women's team by winning two close races in her individual events and by helping the Bearcats claim a narrow victory in the 200-yard medley relay.

Marinello prevailed in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:50.67 to win by 0.18 over Megan Sandall of Linfield, who finished at 4:50.85. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Marinello won with a time of 1:10.04, as she edged Sandall by 0.18. Sandall took second place in 1:10.22.

Willamette won the 200 medley relay by just 0.38, as Michaela Zuber (Fr., Sacramento, CA/Sheldon HS), Marinello, Kayla Kosaki (Sr., Hilo, HI/Waiakea HS) and Malia Santos (Fr., Kailua-Kona, HI/Kealakehe HS) combined for a time of 1:57.46. Linfield completed the race in 1:57.84.

For the Bearcat men's team, Alex Guffey (Fr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) matched Marinello's performance with two wins plus a triumph in the medley relay. He won the 200-yard freestyle by over eight seconds in 1:49.77. He took first place in the 500-yard freestyle by 12.73 seconds with a time of 5:01.54.

Guffey also swam the first leg on WU's victorious 200-yard medley relay team. The Bearcats registered a winning time of 1:45.46 to hold off Linfield, which finished in 1:46.92. Joining Guffey on the relay team were Chris Whitehead (Jr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS), Andrew Lum (Fr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) and Nick Barton (Fr., Oregon City, OR/Clackamas HS).

Willamette achieved several additional individual victories during the meet.

Hope Nelson (So., Providence, RI/South Kingstown HS) recorded two wins for the Bearcat women's team. She won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 11:38.71 early in the meet and later won the 100-yard freestyle in 56.62 seconds.

Erin Parkinson (Jr., Everson, WA/Ferndale HS) took first place in the women's 500-yard freestyle in 5:36.53.

Zander Le Bel (So., Dallas, TX/Richardson HS) prevailed in the men's 1,000-yard freestyle, as he earned a time of 10:54.14.

The women's 50-yard freestyle and women's 100-yard butterfly featured close races won by Linfield. In the 50 free, Kelcie Kimura won in 25.80 for the Wildcats, with Santos from Willamette in second at 26.23 seconds. In the 100 fly, Katie Main of LC took first at 1:03.23, edging out Santos, who clocked in at 1:03.42.

Another close race was the women's 100-yard backstroke, won by Maggie May of Linfield at 1:03.98. Zuber of WU placed second in 1:04.36.

Sean Iwamasa won the men's 50-yard freestyle for the Wildcats in 23.67 seconds. Kulananalu Tarnas (Fr., Kamuela, HI/Hawaii Preparatory Academy) of Willamette was second at 24.05 and Barton of WU was third at 24.07.

The top three finishers in the men's 100-yard butterfly were close, with Mile Phillips of Linfield winning in 55.80 seconds. Iwamasa took second in 55.86 seconds and Lum of WU was third in 56.33.

Willamette will now prepare for the Northwest Conference Championships, which the Bearcats will host at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash., from Friday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 10. All eight NWC men's teams and all eight women's teams will be competing.


Linfield College 113
Willamette University 89

Linfield College 106
Willamette University 98

Annie Marinello won close races in the 400 I.M. and the 100 breaststroke. She also helped WU win the 200 medley relay.

Annie Marinello won close races in the 400 I.M. and the 100 breaststroke. She also helped WU win the 200 medley relay.