HILLSBORO, Ore. — The Whitman Blues are set to defend the men’s and women’s Northwest Conference titles, while the Whitworth men and Pacific Lutheran women hope to ride momentum from the dual season into the 2018 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships hosted by Whitworth at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. from February 9-11.
Preliminary swims are scheduled for 10 a.m. each day of the meet, while finals on Friday and Sunday will begin at 6 p.m. and the Sunday finals open at 5 p.m.
Pacific Lutheran was the slim preseason favorite according to a poll of the conference coaches, with defending champions Whitman picked second by three points behind the Lutes.
Both teams enter the championships coming off a strong dual season, having posted 6-1 conference dual records. Whitman topped Pacific Lutheran 113-92 in January, while Linfield bumped off Whitman in November by a 104-101 score line. Linfield was picked third in the preseason poll and finished duals 5-2.
The Lutes enter as the preseason favorite and boast a stable of swimmers that includes freshman Kaycee Simpson (Graham, Wash.) who will enter among the favorites in most events she enters in Federal Way. Simpson has the top time this season in the 200-yard breaststroke with a NCAA B-Standard time of 2:21.68, while also holding the top time in the 100-yard butterfly (58.30), 200-yard butterfly (2:06.12). Simpson also has the second fastest time in the 400-yard individual medley (4:36.40) and third fastest time in the 200-yard individual medley (2:11.09).
Aspen Monkhouse (Fr., Port Orchard, Wash.) has the third quickest mark this season in the 50-yard freestyle at 24.51, while Taylor Bingea’s (Jr., Woodinville, Wash.) 18:17.70 in the 1650-yard freestyle is the third fastest time this season. The Lutes’ also have Victoria Nguyenle’s (So., Lynwood, Wash.) 100-yard breaststroke time of 1:06.52 and 2:24.08 200-yard breaststroke, which are both the second fastest times in the conference this season.
Whitman boasts a strong roster entering NWC Championships, including Zoë Hill (Fr., Anacortes, Wash.), Mara Selznick (So., Park City, Utah), Sarah Davidson (So., Woodinville, Wash.), who all boast top-three NWC times heading to Federal Way. Hill has the number two time in the 50-yard freestyle having swam a 24.50 on December 3. Selznick holds the 200-yard freestyle number three time with a December swim of 1:58.07 and the third best mark in the 100-yard backstroke at 58.65. Davidson is one of the favorites entering the 1650-yard freestyle with the second fastest conference time in the 2017-18 season at 18:10.57.
Evette Dow (Jr., Salem, Ore.) looks to lead Linfield with the second fastest times in Northwest Conference in both the 200-yard backstroke (2:05.42) and 200-yard individual medley (2:10.02), while also holding the third fastest time in the 400-yard individual medley (4:39.59). Kaedi Fry (Jr., Bellevue, Idaho) has the top time entering the championships in the 200-yard backstroke (2:04.97) and the second fastest 500-yard freestyle time at 5:11.59.
Puget Sound’s Kelli Callahan (So., Aspen, Colo.) enters the championship with the top time in five events and the second fastest time in a sixth. Callahan tops the NWC ranking in the: 200-yard freestyle (1:53.67), 500-yard freestyle (5:08.33), 100-yard breaststroke (1:06.40), 200-yard individual medley (2:07.25) and 400-yard individual medley (4:33.14). Calista Skog (So., Kenmore, Wash.) holds the top marks in the 50-yard freestyle (24.38) and 100-yard freestyle (53.84).
Lewis & Clark will look to the duo of Samantha Duran (So., Claremont, Calif.) and Kassie Kometani (Jr., Hawi, Hawaii) to score top three points in events as the pair boast top three times from the regular season. Kometani has the third fastest time in the 100-yard freestyle (54.37), while Duran has the second fastest time in the 200-yard freestyle (1:57.07), 100-yard backstroke (58.47), 200-yard butterfly (2:13.05) and the third fastest time in the 100-yard butterfly (58.78).
The Whitworth Pirates have two swimmers with top three times entering the championship meet with Molly Vagt (Fr., Oak Harbor, Wash.) boasting the top time in the 1650-yard freestyle (17:58.03) and third best time in the 500-yard freestyle (5:13.20). Hannah Galbraith (So., Aloha, Ore.) holds the top mark in the 100-yard backstroke (58.12) and third best in the 200-yard backstroke (2:06.63).
Willamette’s Cassie Tallman (Sr., Seattle, Wash.) will look to score in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events after posting the third fastest times in the conference during the season, with a 1:06.98 in the 100-yard breaststroke and 2:26.24 in the 200-yard breaststroke. Pacific (Ore.) could see points from Kayla Knock (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events.
The Whitman Blues were picked at the beginning of the season to repeat as Northwest Conference champions, but Whitworth topped the dual standings in 2017-18 with a perfect 7-0 season and hopes to carry the strong dual season into the pool at the championship meet.
After finishing unblemished in the dual season, Whitworth looks to a roster that includes six swimmers with top three times in the conference entering the championships. Patrick Wilber (Sr., Oceanside, Calif.) has the top mark in the 100-yard backstroke (50.38), while Eben Schumann (Jr., Mukilteo, Wash.) has the top time in the conference and a B-qualifying time in the 100-yard butterfly (49.09). Ryan Grady (Fr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) has the fastest time in the NWC in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:08.55), and boasts the third fastest time in 200-yard freestyle (1:44.55), 500-yard freestyle (4:47.14) and the 400-yard individual medley (4:10.21).
Jacob Brook (Jr., Draper, Utah) boasts the second fastest time in the 1650-yard freestyle (16:36.02), while Owen Lempert (So., Auburn, Wash.) has the third quickest time in the 100-yard freestyle (47.71). Rounding out the top three times for the Pirates, Byron Rossmiller (So., Portland, Ore.) has the second fastest time in the 400-yard individual medley (4:10.04) and the third best mark in the 200-yard backstroke (1:52.15).
The Lutes finished second in the dual standings and will be led at the NWC Championships by Dennis Liu (Sr., Renton, Wash.), who holds the second fastest time in the NWC in the 100-yard breaststroke (58.72) and the 200-yard breaststroke (2:09.13). Paul Jett (Sr., Sammamish, Wash.) has the third quickest time in the conference in the 100-yard butterfly (52.18) heading to Federal Way
Linfield could make some noise at the championship meet with four swimmers holding top-three times across nine events. Daisuke Fitial (Fr., Salem, Ore.) has the fastest time in the 200-yard individual medley (1:55.61), Neirton Oliveira (Jr., Fortaleza, Brazil) tops the rankings in the 200-yard backstroke (1:51.19) and Noah Cutting (So., Salem, Ore.) is sports the fastest 400-yard individual medley time (4:06.07) at the end of the dual season. Fitial, Cutting, Oliveira and Trevor Gourley (Jr., Philomath, Ore.) all boast the second fastest time in the NWC in individual events, while Cutting and Oliveira also sport the third fastest times in one event each.
The defending champion Blues, hope for strong sprint freestyle swims from Clark Sun (Sr., San Francisco, Calif.), who has the fastest time in the NWC in the 50-yard freestyle (20.81), 100-yard freestyle (45.94) and 200-yard freestyle (1:40.57).
Dylan Reimers (So., Rocklin, Calif.) hopes his strong dual season helps push Puget Sound toward the podium at the conference meet. Reimers has the top mark in the NWC in the 500-yard freestyle (4:40.47) and 1650-yard freestyle (16:15.11), Reimers’ 1650-yard freestyle mark is a B-Qualifying time. Reimers also holds the second fastest time in the 200-yard freestyle (1:41.68). Nick Mitchell (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) and Ian Conery (Jr., Saint Paul, Minn.) have the third fastest times in the 1650-yard freestyle (16:41.87) and 100-yard breaststroke (59.39), respectively.
Lewis & Clark enters the championship meet led by Miles French (Sr., Seattle, Wash.), who has the fastest 100-yard breaststroke time in the conference at 58.66 and third quickest 200-yard breaststroke at 2:11.64.
Willamette’s Ben Hedman (So., Davis, Calif.) has the fastest mark in the 200-yard butterfly (1:56.09) and third quickest 200-yard individual medley (1:57.75), while Mark Yuvienco’s (Sr., San Jose, Calif.) 1:57.05 in the 200-yard butterfly is the second fastest in the conference. Raymond Miller (Sr., Portland, Ore.) of Pacific (Ore.) is the Boxers’ top swimmer entering the championships with the fourth fastest 200-yard freestyle time (1:46.25) and fifth quickest 200-yard butterfly (1:58.85.)