by Peter Houston-Hencken
The women’s swim team took third place with a score of 475 at the NWC Swimming Championships last weekend while the men’s team took first place with a score of 700. The victories at the meet in Federal Way, Washington allowed the men’s team to remain at the top of conference holding a 7-0 record. The women’s team holds third place in conference with a record of 5-2.
The men started off the meet strong and won two events. Senior Wes Walton took first in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:49. Walton, along with sophomore Patrick Wilber, senior Kyle Wicks and freshman Eben Schumann, gained 40 points for the Pirates for winning the 400-yard medley relay in 3:20.
“I got the points for the team and that’s what really matters,” Walton said. “Last year we lost our conference championship streak and so this year we’ve been out for blood.”
The women’s team finished Friday with only one win from junior Jacqueline Beal in the 200-yard individual medley. However, the team received a total of 103 points. With four athletes placing in the top eight for the event, the team collected 53 points in the event. The women ended the night in fourth place behind Whitman College.
The men increased their standing on Saturday by winning four events and reaching a score of 475. The relay team beat Linfield in the 200-yard medley relay by just under three seconds. Walton finished first in the 400-yard IM with a time of 3:58 and Schumann won the 100-yard butterfly in 49 seconds.
With this conference meet being his first, Schumann took time to prepare weeks ahead of time and perfect his technique.
“I found time to come in during practice to do some filming with the GoPro and iPad just to look at my slow-motion form underwater,” Schumann said. “It showed me what I needed to fix in the next couple weeks.”
Bael took first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57 seconds. Bael helped the Pirates collect 193 points on Saturday giving them a total of 296 and a solid third place standing.
The men won four events on Sunday giving them a total of 700 points for the meet. The men’s team took first place with more than a 150-point lead.
The women won one event on Sunday and ended the meet with a total of 475 points. The women’s team ended in third place three points behind Whitman College.
“A lot of people stepped up and swam really well this weekend,” junior Jerusha Dressel said. “Our improvement from last year is due to the fact that so many freshman and sophomores were able to step up.”
The swim team has yet to learn which of their athletes will attend the NCAA Division III Championships in March.