Linfield swimming wraps up at NWC Championships

Courtesy of Linfield sports information

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Saving her fastest swim for the final race of the season, sophomore Elizabeth Fry eclipsed the Linfield College record in the most grueling of all events – the 1,650-yard freestyle – to highlight the third and final day of action at the eight-team Northwest Conference Swimming Championships inside noisy King County Aquatic Center.

Fry recorded an 18:08.91 clocking to slip past teammate Nikki Overton, who set the standing record of 18:11.26 at last season's conference championship meet.

Fry placed fifth in Sunday's test of mental and physical endurance, scoring 14 team points for Linfield. Overton, who battled a respiratory infection throughout the meet, placed eighth in 18:26.72.

Maggie May, Tori Nickerson and Caitlin Duffner also accounted for team points for the Linfield women on Sunday.

May shaved nearly a full second off her top time in the women's 200 backstroke in 2:12.28 to earn 10th place. Nickerson claimed 12th place, improving two places over her seeded position in the women's 200 breaststroke in a career-best time of 2:31.99. Duffner scored four team points with a 13th place showing in the 200 butterfly. Her preliminary time of 2:19.67 was a personal best by nearly 10 full seconds.

Linfield's men cheered point-scoring races by Lee Rivers, Ian White and Christopher Hu.

Rivers raced to a 1:58.76 result in the men's 200 backstroke, capping a successful meet for the Linfield senior. Earning 12th place in the 100 freestyle was White, who clocked 48.63. Hu, a freshman, swam to a season-best time while placing 15th in the men's 200 butterfly. Clocking 2:08.50 in the finals, Hu enjoyed almost a four-second improvement over his entry time.

In the team standings, Linfield's women maintained their position of seventh. The Wildcat men were eighth.

Whitworth captured its 12th consecutive NWC men's team title. Pacific Lutheran rose from fourth place last year to dethrone defending women's champion Whitworth.

In Saturday’s races, White stole the show for the Linfield Wildcats Saturday at the Northwest Conference Swimming Championships here at spacious King County Aquatic Center.

White nailed down fourth place in the men's 100-yard butterfly, recording best times in both his preliminary (52.57) and final heats (51.79). He competed morning and evening in the 100 backstroke, securing 10th place in a season-best time of 54.41. If that weren't enough, he also swam the butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay and pushed himself 200 more yards on the 800 freestyle relay, the day's final event.

“Ian had a really full day and swam very, very well,” said Wildcats coach Gary Gutierrez. “The last 25 yards of his 100 butterfly prelim was a little off. We talked about how he should correct that. He needed to go out a slower and come back a little stronger. He came back and swam a smart race in the finals.”

Realizing two lifetime bests, Rivers raced to a sixth-place showing in the men's 200 freestyle. He clocked 1:44.72 in the morning session before coming back to place in the championship finals in 1:45.11, the two fastest times of his career.

Overton earned sixth place in the women's 200 freestyle, swimming to a 1:56.95 clocking. Overton also contributed to Linfield's seventh-place outcome in the 800 freestyle relay.

May notched eighth place in the women's 100 backstroke. May's preliminary time of 1:00.05 was a substantial drop from her season-best time of 1:03.73.

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