Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Three individual titles and two school records highlighted day two of the 2017 Northwest Conference Championships for the Pacific Lutheran University men's and women's swimming teams on Saturday inside the King County Aquatic Center.
The Lute men surged up two spots to second in the team standings after the dust settled while the women remained in striking distance in second as they continue to gun for their fourth consecutive NWC crown. The PLU men have 349 points after two days, trailing Whitman College by 13 points and owning a 12-point edge on third place Whitworth University. For the women, PLU racked up 400 points over the opening two days, trailing Whitman by 32.5 points and holding a massive 87.5-point cushion on third place Linfield College.
"I'm really proud of the team today," said Head Coach Matt Sellman. "We had a rough first day and didn't do some of what we expected to. The team came into today with a great attitude and swam really well. We made great headway in the standings because everybody picked up their game and swam well."
On the women's side, Reese Ackman captured the NWC title in the 100-yard butterfly, breaking her own school record in the event after touching the wall in 57.24 seconds. PLU showed its depth in the 100-yard breaststroke, securing the top two spots and three of the top eight finishers in the event. Danielle Booth won the event in her NWC debut, blazing to an NCAA B Cut time of 1:04.77 in the preliminaries before solidifying the title with a 1:05.99 in the finals. Fellow first year Victoria Nguyenle collected the runner-up finish, clocking a 1:06.42 while Whitney Mundle was eighth (1:09.11).
For the men, Dennis Liu won the conference title in the 100-yard breaststroke and finished four-hundredths of a second shy of matching a school record, touching the wall in 57.20. Paul Jett bested his own school record in the 100-yard butterfly, clocking a 50.26 in the prelims before finishing third in the finals in 50.43 with Bryson Baligad placing eighth in the event (51.91). Baligad additionally placed third in the 100-yard backstroke (52.32) with teammates Cody Hartman placing fourth (52.61) and Jacob Goodman snagging sixth (53.85).
"I'm really excited about the school records and event wins for those student-athletes, it's so well earned."
Other notable performances from the PLU women include a 3-5-7 finish in the 400-yard individual medley with Erica Muller leading the way in third in 4:39.60. Kylie Webb was fifth in 4:43.32 with Taylor Bingea securing seventh in 4:50.05. Luna Kim was fifth in the 100-yard backstroke (59.97) while Darcie Booth was sixth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:57.24) and Ackman was sixth in the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.08).
In the relays, the Lute women finished third in the 200-yard medley relay (1:48.74) and fifth in the 800-yard freestyle relay (7:53.79).
For the men, Bradley Jerome (1:43.23) and Hartman (1:53.96) finished third and eighth, respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle while Matt Wehr clocked a 4:18.50 to finish seventh in the 400-yard IM.
The men's squad additionally finished third in the 200-yard medley relay (1:33.48) and fourth in the 800-yard free relay (7:04.52).
"I'm excited to get to tomorrow morning and finish this thing!"
The Lutes return to the pool tomorrow at 10 a.m. for prelims of the final day of the championships. Tomorrow's finals get underway at 5 p.m.