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PLU Swim Teams Both 3-0 After Defeating Linfield

Basil Whaley
Basil Whaley

McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Both Pacific Lutheran swimming teams improved to 3-0 in dual meets after a Friday night sweep of the host Linfield Wildcats. The Lutes men scored an easy 151-53 victory and the women's squad won 120.5-83.5.

The PLU men won 10 of 11 events, but also used outstanding depth to put away the Wildcats. On the women's side, Pacific Lutheran won seven events, so depth played an important role for the Lutes women.

"It was a double win and we had strong swims by the entire team, much better than last week," PLU head coach Matt Sellman said.

Men: PLU 151, Linfield 53

The Lutes opened the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay, where Joseph Parker, Brian Ruggles, Daniel Simons and Phil Rempe clocked a winning time of 1:42.67.

Justin Murrell took the 1650 freestyle (17:41.85), leading teammates Connor Osterlund and Kevin McKay to a 1-2-3 finish. The Lutes accomplished the same feat in the 400 individual medley, led by Andre Tacuyan (4:31.46) and followed by Corban Elliott and Jacob Deines.

"Murrell and Osterlund learned a lot about strategy and efficiency in the mile today," Sellman said. "They improved a lot technically."

Chase Mesford took the 200 freestyle (1:47.98), with Jake Dacus placing third and Daniel Pedack fourth. Mesford came back later to win the 100 freestyle (48.97), and again it was a 1-3-4 PLU finish with Alexander Dassoff and Tyler Meade in third and fourth.

Ruggles swam a season-best time to win the 50 freestyle (22.06), with Basil Whaley and Meade finishing third and fourth. In the final individual event of the meet, the 100 breaststroke, Ruggles (1:01.87) made it six wins in six races through the first three meets. Dassoff and Pedack placed third and fourth.

"Chase had two very strong swims in the 100 and 200, and Ruggles had two strong swims as well," Sellman said.

In the 100 butterfly, Rempe placed first (54.03) with Whaley and Dacus placing third and fourth. There was yet another 1-3-4 finish in the 100 backstroke with Elliott winning (56.86) and Parker and Tacuyan finishing in the next spots for PLU.

Linfield picked up its only event victory in the 500 freestyle where Lee Rivers (5:06.33) held off PLU's Murrell and Cameron Webber.

Pacific Lutheran won its 10th race in the 11-event schedule, and in fact took the top two spots in the 200 freestyle relay. Combining to win the race were Rempe, Parker, Simons and Mesford (1:30.81).

Women: PLU 120.5, Linfield 83.5

Kina Ackerman and Hanna Armstrong were both double-event winners for the Lutes.

Ackerman won a tough double, finishing first in both the 1650 freestyle (18:45.82) and the 400 individual medley (4:59.22). Coming back at the end of the meet in the 500 free, she ran out of steam and placed fourth in a race won Armstrong. "Kina swam the ultimate triple," Sellman said, "and she swam very well in the first two before fatigue caught up to her in the 500."

Armstrong's wins came in the 200 freestyle (1:59.71) and the 500 freestyle (5:20.84). She also rallied PLU to a win in the 200 freestyle relay at the end of the meet.

Toni Castillo went under one minute to take the 100 butterfly (59.93), with Kelly Jernigan placing third and Melissa Dean fourth, and Pacific Lutheran showed its strength in the 100 backstroke by taking the top four places. Natasha Sioda placed first (1:03.29), followed by Nicole Schalk, Darla Avis and Rachael Nelson.

The closing 200 freestyle relay came down to a battle between the final swimmer for both teams, Armstrong for the Lutes and Megan Sandall for Linfield. Armstrong, after her earlier victory, touched the wall just ahead of Sandall to give PLU the win by .02 seconds (1:42.27).

"Armstrong swam a great anchor in the 200 free relay to help win it," Sellman said.

Pacific Lutheran takes its swim show down the road to Salem on Saturday for another conference dual meet against winless Willamette.

- PLU -