FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Whitworth's men's and women's swimming teams stretched their leads to sizable margins on Saturday night at the 2013 Northwest Conference Championships as the Pirates aim to sweep a pair of conference titles.
The Whitworth women have opened a 117-point lead over second-place Whitman while the men have an 86-point advantage over the Missionaries. The meet concludes on Sunday.
Whitworth won five of the seven women's events on Saturday night, including both relay races. Kate Duvall, Melissa Barringer, Alisa Stang and Marit Borth opened the night by winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:48.62, edging second-place Puget Sound by three-tenths of a second. Then Nicole Lecoq, Kori Carpenter, Duvall and Stang closed the night with a win in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:44.51, well ahead of the field.
Bridget Louis won the women's 400-yard individual medley with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 4:33.69. Abby Pavelko, who had won that event each of the last three seasons, finished fifth in 4:40.74.
Carpenter raced to a time of 1:54.53 to win the 200-yard freestyle, while Anna Case won the consolation final (9th place) with a time of 1:58.11.
Duvall claimed victory in the 100-yard backstroke for the second straight season, winning in 58.43. Lecoq finished fourth (59.13).
Pacific's Katie Porter won the 100-yard butterfly in an NCAA provisional time of 57.11. Stang (59.67) finished sixth for the Bucs.
Tracy Wormwood won the 100-yard breaststroke with an NCAA provisional time of 1:04.43, just off of her Northwest Conference record (1:04.35). Hannah Norris (1:06.32) was fifth, but broke the Pirate record of 1:06.52 set last season by Barringer.
The women's team scores through two of three days of competition: Whitworth 431, Whitman 314, Pacific Lutheran 303.5, Puget Sound 303, Pacific 267.5, Lewis & Clark 223, Linfield 210, Willamette 121.
The Whitworth men, aiming for an unprecedented 11th straight NWC title in men's swimming, won their first event of the meet but continue to separate themselves with superior depth.
Karl Mering gave the Missionaries two straight wins with his record-setting performance in the 100 butterfly. His time of 48.59 broke the all-time NWC record and automatically qualified for the NCAA championships. Tatum finished second with an NCAA provisional mark of 49.94, one-tenth of a second off of the school record. Vaccaro was third in 50.67 and Callum MacKintosh was seventh (51.92).
Whitworth went 4-5-6 in the 100 breaststroke behind Whitman's Paul Chang, who won in an NCAA provisional time of 57.53. Trevor Case (58.90) was fourth, Kyle Wicks (1:00.05) was fifth and Lucas Lin (1:00.08) was sixth.
Pacific Lutheran's Elliott Corban won the 100 backstroke in 52.15. Vaccaro was third in 52.47, giving him two top-three finishes on the night. Jordan Fish (53.58) took eighth.
Whitman won the 800 free relay in a meet-record time of 6:50.15 to close the night. Whitworth took third place (7:01.07) with Ranno, Welle, Sumnicht and Beck.
The Pirates are trying to defeat Whitman for the first time this season after losing a dual meet last month and a couple of invitational meets last fall. The men's team scores through two days is: Whitworth 500.5, Whitman 414.5, PLU 344, Puget Sound 274, Pacific 183, Linfield 158, Lewis & Clark 129, Willamette 123.