Pacific Lutheran Wins Swim Meet against Bearcats

Piper Finishes First Twice, Helps WU Earn Victory in 400-yard Medley Relay

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Pacific Lutheran University achieved victories in men's and women's swimming against Willamette University on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Lutes defeated Willamette 134.5-69.5 in the men's competition. The PLU women's team won 146-55.

Willamette made strong showings in several events, including a win in the men's 400-yard medley relay early in the meet, plus three wins in men's individual events and one win in a women's individual event.

Sean Piper (So, Normandy Park, WA/John F. Kennedy HS) led the Bearcats by winning two of the men's races and swimming the first leg on Willamette's victorious 400-yard medley relay team.

Piper took first place in the 200-individual medley in 2:07.83, as he won by 2.32 seconds over Corban Elliott of the Lutes. He also finished first in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:04.08 for a margin of victory of 2.11 seconds versus Chase Mesford of PLU.

In the 400 medley relay, Piper, Chris Whitehead (Jr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS), Andrew Lum (Fr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) and Alex Guffey (Fr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) combined for a time of 3:49.85. The Bearcats won by just over three seconds, as Pacific Lutheran finished second at 3:52.89.

Guffey provided Willamette with another victory when he took first place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.82 seconds. Dan Simons from PLU took second place in 51.48.

It was a strong meet for Guffey, who also placed second in the 200-yard freestyle. His time of 1:49.41 was 1.36 seconds behind Brain Ruggles, who won for the Lutes in 1:48.05.

Kulananalu Tarnas (Fr., Kamuela, HI/Hawaii Preparatory Academy) of WU took second in the men's 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:26.80. Ruggles claimed first place, as he touched out at 2:18.74. Tarnas outlasted Andre Tacuyan of PLU, who finished third in 2:27.07.

In the women's 200-yard breaststroke, Michaela Zuber (Fr., Sacramento, CA/Sheldon HS) registered a win for the Bearcats. She completed the race in 2:22.22. to win by just over one-half second. Amie Wilson from Pacific Lutheran was second in 2:22.78.

Hope Nelson (So., Providence, RI/South Kingstown HS) achieved second place in two events for Willamette. She was second in the 1,000-yard freestyle in 12:10.90 and also finished second in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:50.31.

Malia Santos (Fr., Kailua-Kona, HI/Kealakehe HS) and Christa Rohrbach (Fr., Concord, CA/Clayton Valley HS) each placed second in an individual event for Willamette. Santos took second in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:24.83. She was a bit more than a second behind Toni Castillo of PLU, who won the race in 2:23.72.

Rohrbach earned second place in the 200-yard freestyle. Her time was 2:11.91. Kina Ackerman won the 200 free in 2:08.49.

Willamette placed second in both of the women's relays. In the 400-yard medley relay, Zuber, Summer Elias (So., Elko, NV/Elko HS), Kayla Kosaki (Sr., Hilo, HI/Waiakea HS), and Santos combined for a time of 4:35.07 to edge out PLU's second entry by 0.04.

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Nelson, Zuber, Kosaki and Santos were timed at 3:56.32, as they finished 0.49 in front of the Lute's second entry. PLU's top free relay team won the race in 3:54.04.

Both of Pacific Lutheran's teams improved to 4-0 overall, 4-0 in the Northwest Conference. Both of Willamette's teams fell to 0-4 overall, 0-4 in the NWC. The Bearcats have opened the dual meet season by taking on the top four teams in the NWC.

Pacific Lutheran, University of Puget Sound, Whitman College and Whitworth University are all 4-0 in the NWC in men's swimming. Three of the four women's teams from those colleges also are undefeated at 4-0. The Puget Sound women's team is 3-1 in the NWC.

Willamette's next action will be at the CAT Senior Open from Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 in Corvallis, Ore.


Pacific Lutheran University 134.5
Willamette University 69.5

Pacific Lutheran University 146
Willamette University 55

Photo gallery
(By Naomi Stukey, Photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Sean Piper won the men's 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard backstroke. He also helped WU take first place in the 400-yard medley relay.

Sean Piper won the men's 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard backstroke. He also helped WU take first place in the 400-yard medley relay.