PORTLAND, Ore. – The 2012 swimming season got off to a solid start for Whitworth as the Pirates claimed first place in the combined scoring at the NWC Relay Invitational on Sunday afternoon following a first place finish by the women and runner-up finish by the men the night before at the NWC Sprint Pentathlon.
Whitworth won nine of the 15 relays on Sunday afternoon at Lewis & Clark College. The Pirates opened with a win in the mixed 200 medley relay with a time of 1:44.83 with Jason Lemley (backstroke), Melissa Barringer, (breaststroke), Aaron Vaccaro (butterfly), and Alisa Stang (freestyle) coming from behind to overtake Whitman over the last 100 yards.
The Pirate men claimed four relay wins. Wes Tatum, Callum MacKintosh and Vaccaro won the 300 butterfly relay (2:38.69), while Lucas Lin, Trevor Case and Kyle Wicks (all freshmen) won the 300 breaststroke relay (3:06.97).
Oliver Durand, Nathan Ranno and Mitchell Beck won the 600 freestyle relay (5:25.40), then Durand came back to lead off the winning 900 freestyle relay (8:32.74), followed by Luke Welle and Mitchell Beck.
The Whitworth women also won four relays. Barringer, followed by Hannah Norris and Samantha Smith won the 300 breaststroke relay in 3:28.86. The Pirates also won the 300 medley relay in 3:11.75, behind Bridget Louis, Norris and Smith.
The Whitworth women dominated the Sprint Pentathlon on Saturday evening at Pacific University. The format counts a cumulative time for each swimmer in five sprint events: the 50-yard distance of each stroke and a 100-yard individual medley.
The final team scores at the relay meet were: Whitworth 89, Whitman 70, Pacific Lutheran 53, Puget Sound 49, Pacific (Ore.) 30, Lewis & Clark 21, Linfield 13, Willamette 5.
Led by Smith, the Pirates had four of the top five cumulative spots in the women's meet. Smith's cumulative time was 2:58.33, followed by Lecoq (3:01.56) in second place and Stang (3:01.81) in third. Norris (3:03.08) was fifth.
Smith won the 100 I.M. in 1:02.46, just ahead of Lecoq (1:03.06). Stang won the 50 backstroke (29.12) and the 50 freestyle (24.83).
The final women's team scores were: Whitworth 271, PLU 192.5, Pacific (Ore.) 127.5, Whitman 121.5, Linfield 55.5, Willamette 7.
The Pirate men were defeated by Whitman in the pentathlon scoring: Whitman 268.66, Whitworth 249.83, Pacific Lutheran 112, Pacific (Ore.) 87, Linfield 37, Willamette 20.5.
Vaccaro had the best cumulative time in the men's meet, finishing second in 2:39.77 behind Whitman's Karl Mering (2:38.49). MacKintosh (2:41.13) was sixth and Wicks (2:41.41) was seventh.
Vaccaro won the 50 butterfly (23.30) and was second in both the 50 backstroke and 50 freestyle.
Whitworth will host Willamette next Friday (Nov. 2nd) and Linfield next Saturday (Nov. 3rd) in a pair of home dual meets.