FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – The Whitworth University men extended their lead at the 2019 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships on Friday night while the Pirate women edged into first place as well at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
Owen Lempert broke his own NWC all-time record in the 50-yard freestyle to highlight the night for the Bucs. Lempert and Ryan Grady won twice, sharing spots on the 400-yard medley relay to help the Bucs open a 67-point lead.
Ryan Grady opened the night with a victory in the 500-yard freestyle for Whitworth. He outdueled Dylan Reimers of Puget Sound and Matt Lemire of Linfield to win in 4:36.06. Grady had posted an NCAA provision qualifying mark of 4:33.66 in the morning preliminaries. Finn McClone took fifth place (4:42.81) and Logan Todd was seventh (4:43.74) for the Pirates.
Jake Davies followed with a third place finish in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:55.18. Linfield's Noah Cutting won in 1:52.42.
Lempert followed with his blistering effort in the 50 free. He got off the block first and never trailed while breaking his previous record of 20.61. The 20.49 is also an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Eben Schumann posted a Whitworth career-best time of 20.90 to take third place.
The Pirate men closed the night with a wire-to-wire victory in the 400 medley relay. Byron Rossmiller, Grady, Schumann and Lempert posted a winning time of 3:21.24.
The men's team scores are: Whitworth 238.5, Linfield 171, Whitman 155, Puget Sound 148, Pacific Lutheran 118, Lewis & Clark 113, Willamette 103, George Fox 102.5, Pacific (Ore.) 60.
Whitworth's women got three swimmers into the championship final and three more into the consolation final of the 500 free to grab the lead. Cameron Lyon took second place with a time of 5:10.92. Marissa Gibson (5:19.26) and Jessica Defiesta (5:24.20) finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Linfield's Evette Dow defended her title in the race with a winning time of 5:01.00.
Eve Vetter finished fourth for the Pirates in the 200 I.M. with a season-best mark of 2:09.98. Puget Sound's Kelli Callahan won in 2:05.25.
Jamie Siegler was out-touched by George Fox's Aspen Monkhouse in the 50 free, 23.71 – 23.94. Monkhouse is the first NWC champion in GFU history. Hannah Galbraith won the consolation final for Whitworth in 24.80.
The Pirates closed the night with a runner-up finish in the 400 medley relay. Hannah Galbraith, Jamie Siegler, Cameron Lyon and Isabella Hackney timed 3:53.88, second only to Linfield's winning time of 3:51.71.
The women's team scores through Friday night are: Whitworth 199, Whitman 187, Linfield 186, Pacific Lutheran 149, Lewis & Clark 137, Puget Sound 130, Willamette 97, George Fox 88, Pacific (Ore.).
The meet continues on Saturday with individual events in the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard freestyle relay.