Northwest Conference Championships

PORTLAND, Oregon, February 27. THE Whitworth men and women’s swimming teams earned the 2011 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships on Sunday evening in Portland. The Pirate men finished with 923.5 points to collect their ninth conference championship, while the women scored 817 points en route to their second consecutive title.

Kalen Darling of Whitworth was named the 2011 Male Swimmer of the Meet, while his coach Steve Schadt was named NWC Male Coach of the Year. Whitman’s Katie Chapman was named the 2011 Female Swimmer of the Meet, while Whitman’s coach Jenn Bomme and Lewis & Clark head coach Chris Fantz were NWC Female Co-Coaches of the Year.

On the women’s side, the University of Puget Sound finished in second place (679), Lewis & Clark ended in third (449), Whitman was fourth (448) and Pacific finished fifth (242). The Pacific Lutheran Lutes took home sixth place with 236 points, while Linfield ( 174) and Willamette (128) rounded out the group.

The Whitworth women swept the 1650 freestyle, finishing first through fifth, led by Abby Pavelko who took home the gold medal with a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 17:36.08. Teammate Christine DeHaven finished in second place with a time of 17:44.89 and Makayla Palmer in third (17:54.30).

Whitman’s Kate Duvall took home the 200 backstroke championship with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:03.79. The freshman was followed by Mackenzie Kitson of Puget Sound who ended the event with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 2:06.12. Senior Cat Menkel-Lawrence of Lewis & Clark earned the bronze medal with a time of 2:09.10.

Lewis & Clark sophomore Rachael Cazden picked up an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 100 free with a time of 52.25, earning the gold medal. Jennifer Benson of Whitworth took home second place, followed by Pioneer freshman Kayla Ernewein.

The Loggers had a strong showing in the 200 breaststroke with Tracy Wormwood taking home first place and an NCAA provisional time (2:22.82), while teammate Jessica Jaynes finished in third place with a time of 2:26.86. Whitman’s Claire Collins finished the event with the silver medal (2:24.89).

With a time of 2:07.95, Chapman picked up the 200 butterfly championship for Whitman along with an NCAA provisional time. Puget Sound’s Kelsey Elizondo finished in second place with a time of 2:09.25, while Ashley Lecoq of Whitworth finished in third (2:10.37).

In an exciting end to the women’s races, Whitworth’s 400 freestyle relay team took home first place with a provisional time of 3:33.54. The Pioneers came from behind to inch out the Whitman Missionaries for second, finishing with a time of 3:35.63. The Missionaries posted a time of 3:36.80.

The Logger men finished in second place with 586.5 points, while Whitman took home third place (529.5), Pacific Lutheran fourth (314.5) and Pacific fifth (307). Lewis & Clark finished in sixth place (216), Linfield was seventh (201) and Willamette eighth (7).

Austin Vierra of Whitworth opened the men’s races with a provisional time in the 1650 with a time of 16:13.70. Pirate freshman Luke Welle came in in second place (16:32.15), while Kevin Dyer of Whitman finished in third (16:37.22).

In the 200 backstroke, Darling not only took home the NWC Championship, but also a NWC meet record and NCAA provisional time with his time of 1:51.06. Puget Sound’s Teale Kitson finished three seconds later to earn second place, while Dylan Cramer of Pacific finished third with a time of 1:55.21.

Whitworth’s Michael Woodward and Aaron Vaccaro finished back-to-back in the 100 free, with Woodward earning the championship with a time of 46.28. Vaccaro came in with a time of 46.66, while Whitman’s Jamie Nusse finished third with a time of 47.15.

Junior Rory Buck took home the gold medal along with a provisional time in the 200 breaststroke for the Pirates with a time of 2:03.64. Whitman’s Paul Chang finished second (2:08.76), while Michael Hargitt of Pacific was third with a time of 2:09.43.

Freshman Derek Franzel of Puget Sound swam the championships most exciting race in the 200 butterfly, setting a Northwest Conference all-time best with a time of 1:51.80. Franzel beat the previous time of 1:52.54, which was set by Ryan Freeman of Whitworth back in 2001. The freshman’s time was also the best time posted by any swimmer in at the NWC meet since 1999 when Brent Rice of Whitworth finished in 1:53.40. The time also earned Franzel a NCAA provisional time. Aleksand Jeremikj finished second for the Loggers, while Jake Deines of Pacific Lutheran was third.

The Pirates nearly set a new NWC meet record in the 400 freestyle relay, taking home the championship with a time of 3:07.17. Whitman finished the event in second with a time of 3:10.39, while the Loggers were third with a time of 3:11.19.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World Magazine. It has been posted in its entirety without editing. Swimming World offers all outlets the chance to reach our audience by contacting us at However, Swimming World reserves the right to choose what material is posted.

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