SANTOS, Brazil, December 19. MARION Gallagher was victorious in three events to lead Seattle to a sweep of Unimonte University in an exhibition swim meet on Thursday afternoon in Santos, Brazil.
The women were victorious 157-61, while the men swam to a 111-96 win. Meet results were not available at the time of release.
Gallagher (Jr., Everett, Wash./Cascade HS) swam to victories in the 100 and 200-meter freestyles and the 200-meter breaststroke. Kristie Rice (Fr., Des Moines, Wash./Mount Rainier HS) was also a double-event winner. She claimed victories in the 400-meter individual medley and the 200-meter butterfly.
The men were led by double event winner Dwight Thompson (Fr., Lake Forest Park, Wash./Shorecrest HS). He won both the 400 and 800-meter freestyle events. Zach Mueller (Sr., Laramie, Wyo./Laramie HS) took first in the 400-individual medley, and Matt Oram (So., Olympia, Wash./North Thurston HS) won the 200-breaststroke.
What was more important than the victory, was the experience for the swimmers. According to head coach Craig Mallery, this was a big event for the city of Santos and the university. Unimonte is one of only two schools in the city to offer swimming at the collegiate level for a sport that is growing rapidly in Brazil. When Seattle first arrived, as part of a week-long rigorous winter break training, they were welcomed by members of the press, city and school officials, and three Santos television stations were at today’s meet.
“This was a great opportunity for us to swim in a world class facility,” Mallery said. “Swimming is a rapidly emerging sport in Brazil, and this was a great opportunity for those involved with the Unimonte swim program to be ambassadors for their sport with an American team. Everybody was very excited to have us there.”
For one Seattle U. swimmer in particular, this was a return home. Rui Ewald (Sr., Santos, Brazil/Colegio Objectivo, Foothill College) had the opportunity to swim in front of his family and friends and against those he used to swim with on the same youth team. Ewald finished second in the 200-meter butterfly and helped lead the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay to victory.
“This was really exciting for me. I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Ewald said. “This was the first time all of my family has been together in over a year.”
Ewald was also quick to give praise to his fellow countrymen.
“I remember swimming with some of (the Unimonte swimmers) when I was a child. It is impressive how strong of swimmers they have become without the same support and opportunities that there are in the United States,” Ewald said. “I feel like it was important for them and the sport to have us here, and I was proud to be a part of that.”
Dual Meet Scores: held at Unimonte University
MEN: Seattle University 111, Unimonte University 96
WOMEN: Seattle University 157, Unimonte University 61