Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
TACOMA, Wash. - The Pacific Lutheran University women's swimming team sent off its seniors in style on Saturday afternoon, crushing crosstown rival University of Puget Sound 197-46 to cap off an undefeated run through the Northwest Conference dual meet slate for the third consecutive season.
"I was really pleased with how we approached this meet and making sure with our attitudes and effort that we ended the regular season on a high note," said Head Coach Matt Sellman. "The team definitely showed the fatigue of the last week of hard training and lifting before we start to taper, and I'm super excited to get the rest coming in the next few days as we prepare for NWC Championships."
The Lutes swept the top three spots in the 200-yard freestyle with Darcie Booth touching the wall in 2:00.63 to secure top billing. Erica Muller was second (2:02.43) with Jessica Stenberg ensuring the sweep after clocking a 2:05.62. PLU added another sweep in the 100-yard breaststroke with Danielle Booth (1:08.71) outdueling Victoria Nguyenle (1:08.87) for the top position while Whitney Mundle was third (1:13.26).
The top three again belonged to the Lutes in the 100-yard freestyle with Danielle Booth snagging the win in 55.30 followed by Darcie Booth (55.69) and Muller (56.91). Nguyenle led another top three sweep in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:32.72) with Kylie Webb (2:37.20) and Mundle (2:42.01) in second and third, respectively.
PLU controlled the top spots in the 500-yard freestyle with Muller winning by a comfortable four second margin (5:25.85) with Taylor Bingea (5:30.56) and Stenberg (5:34.11) taking the next two spots. Ackman took the top spot in the 100-yard butterfly (1:01.48) with Sarah Ameny (1:01.86) and Bishoff (1:02.45) close behind in the next two positions.
Nguyenle powered another 1-2-3 finish in the 200-yard individual medley, clocking a 2:17.35 followed by Ingrid Straume (2:18.18) in second and Webb in third (2:20.42).
Lauren Kearney (25.59) and Sydney Bishoff (25.71) went one-two in 50-yard freestyle while Luna Kim won a pair of individual events, taking top honors in both the 100-yard backstroke (1:01.52) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:17.2). Ameny took top billing in the 200-yard butterfly, besting the field in 2:21.94.
The Lutes opened the meet with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay with Kim, Danielle Booth, Ackman, and Kearney clocking a 1:52.04 while PLU capped off the meet with a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay with Danielle Booth, Darcie Booth, Muller, and Kearney clocking a 1:41.52 as PLU secured event wins in all 13 events contested.
Saturday's dual was the final home competition for the program's eight seniors who were honored prior to the start. The 2017 class which consists of Reese Ackman, Sarah Ameny, Darcie Booth, Morgan Commander, Arriya Hagen, Erica Muller, Carli Snyder, and Jessica Stenberg has been simply dominant in the water over the past four seasons, amassing a 26-1 dual meet record along with securing three Northwest Conference Championships.
"It's impossible to quantify what this class has meant to the program and to me as a coach. From the moment they came together, until now, they seemed to have a purpose and an incredible bond as a group, even with how different the group is. They always came together as teammates and made themselves and this team better."
"Their legacy will be an impressive one and one we won't soon forget. I know as a coach the impact they have made on me is indelible."
The Lutes are back in action on Feb. 10, trekking to Federal Way, Washington for day one of the NWC Championships.