Lee, Hawkins Power Swimmers Past Pacific

News Release Date:
Saturday, November 13

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Keller Hawkins and Mitchell Lee paced the Whitman College swim teams to a pair of Northwest Conference dual meet victories over Pacific University Saturday afternoon in Forest Grove, Ore.

Whitman 108,
Pacific 97 

Whitman 128,
Pacific 77
Complete Results

Lee finished first in two individual events and contributed to a winning relay squad as Whitman notched a decisive 128-77 triumph in the men's dual meet.

Mitchell Lee

Hawkins, a first-year swimmer, also was a three-time winner as Whitman escaped with a 108-97 win on the women's side.

"Pacific's teams were very strong today," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said. "Pacific posted some really fast times (Friday night vs. Whitworth), and knowing that allowed us to really focus ourselves.

"Our teams realized that they were going to have to work for every race, and they did exactly that."

With the Missionary women nursing a 95-93 lead headed to the final event, Hawkins teamed with Helen Jenne, Ellen Banks and Katie Chapman to win the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:47.66.

Pacific's top relay team finished more than two seconds back in second place. A second Whitman team comprised of Libby Arnosti, Cari Cortez, Natalie Reilly and Sylvie Luiten took third to tack on a few more team points.

Keller Hawkins

By placing first and third, Whitman outscored Pacific 13-4 in the final relay to account for the final victory margin in the team scoring.

"There is really nothing better than a close meet, full of tight races, that comes down to the final relay," Blomme said. "We're really proud of how our (women's) A and B relay teams performed in those final moments of the meet. It was a total team effort with alll of our swimmers were on the side of the pool cheering like crazy."

Hawkins also swam a leg on Whitman's victorious 400-yard medley relay team -- teaming with Chapman, Charlotte Graham and Claire Collins -- and won her only individual event.

Hawkins beat her nearest competitor in the 200-yard backstroke by nearly four seconds. Her winning time (2:18.80) moves her into sixth place on Whitman's career list of best times for that event.

Collins, another of Whitman's first-year swimmers, also posted a strong time in placing second in the 200-yard breaststroke. Her time (2:32.57) vaults her into fourth place on the all-time Missionary list for that event.

Chris Bendix

In the men's meet, Lee edged first-year teammate Shunei Asao to win the 50-yard freestyle and slipped past senior Jamie Nusse to take the 100-yard freestyle.

Lee also anchored Whitman's winning foursome in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Matt Rowett, Paul Chang and Elliott Crane were the other Missionary contributors to the relay win.

Nusse added a Whitman victory in the 200-yard freestyle, nipping Pacific's Dylan Cramer by two one-hundredths of a second. He also teamed with Asao, Chang and Matt Liedtke to win the 400-yard medley relay.

Chris Bendix and Kevin Dyer finished one-two for Whitman in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Bendix won in 10:26.68, squeaking past Dyer by less than three-tenths of a second.

Dyer bounced back to win the 500-yard freestyle with Crane taking second.

"Our men were aggressive, and competed for every point, even when we started to get more comfortable with the points coming our way," Blomme said.

Helen Jenne

Graham and Jenne also posted individual race victories for Whitman in the women's dual.

Graham won the 200-yard freestyle and added a second-place showing in the 500-yard freestyle.

Jenne collected her victory in the 50-yard freestyle and came up just short in the 100-yard freestyle, taking second.

"Our women came back from (Friday night's) disappointing outcome at Lewis & Clark as rejuvenated team," Blomme said. "They really put their hearts into what they were doing today."

Both Whitman teams head to Tacoma next Saturday and Sunday for the Northwest Invitational.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden,
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
holden@whitman.edu; (509) 527-5902