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February 3, 2011

Swimmers Host Puget Sound in Final Dual Meet

THIS FRIDAY: Pacific Lutheran hosts Puget Sound, Friday, 6 p.m.

LISTEN LIVE: Fans of Pacific Lutheran swimming can list to audio webcasts of the home meets with former head coach Jim Johnson calling the action. To access the webcast, click here.

FINAL DUAL MEET: It will be Senior Day at the PLU Pool on Friday night when Pacific Lutheran hosts the University of Puget Sound in the Lutes' final dual meet of the 2010-11 season. The PLU men, 6-2 in duals this season, enter the meet 4-2 and in fourth place in the Northwest Conference, compared to Puget Sound at 5-1 in both categories. The Loggers are currently tied with Whitman for second place in the NWC. On the women's side, the Lutes are 5-3 overall, and 3-3 and in fifth place in the NWC. The Puget Sound women are 5-1 in both, and they are second in the NWC standings. A total of nine Pacific Lutheran seniors will be competing in the PLU Pool for the final time on Friday. That group includes five women (Casey Jackson, Rachel Chong, Gina Wittman, Kasey Dorcas and Jessie Klauder) and four men (Alex Limoges, Trevor Olson, Kyle Maxwell and Matthew Kim).

SERIES HISTORY: Puget Sound has had the better of the Lutes in this series, including sweeping last year's event that served as the season-opening dual for both teams. Over the past 32 meets, the UPS women have won 30 times and lost just twice to the Lutes, while the men's numbers are slightly better for the Lutes as UPS holds a 29-3 advantage. It is interesting to note, however, that PLU and Puget Sound men have split the last four meets. The Lutes won back-to-back years, winning the decisive 400 freestyle relay to take a 103-102 decision during the 2006-07 season, followed by a 109-96 victory a year later.

LAST YEAR: The Lutes men won the first four events but couldn't hold off the Loggers, dropping a 120-84 decision. The women's portion of the meet went to UPS by a 142-62 score.

KLAUDER, TROUTT RETURN TO PLU FOLD: Two of PLU's top female will be back in action for the remainder of the season following study abroad classes during January Term. Senior Jessie Klauder, who has competed in five conference championship meet individual races, is joined by sophomore Rachel Troutt, a consolation finalist in the 200 breaststroke as last year's conference meet.

PLU'S IMPROVEMENT NOTED NATIONALLY: As the Pacific Lutheran University swim season heads into the home stretch, the men's and women's teams are earning national recognition for their significant improvements in the pool this year.  The women first in the nation and men are eighth in improvement over last year's performances based on individual times. The Avida Power Rankings released on the CollegeSwimming.com site recognizes the monumental strides that first-year coach Matt Sellman has made with the program. The Avida rankings measure each team's performance in two categories: against past performances, and against those of other programs.

WHAT'S AHEAD: Following Friday's dual against Puget Sound, the Lutes will turn their attention to the Northwest Conference Championships scheduled for Feb. 25-27 at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore.

WHITWORTH ADDS TO WIN STREAKS: Whitworth added to its increasing number of consecutive Northwest Conference men's and women's dual meet swimming victories on Jan. 22 with wins over Pacific Lutheran at the PLU Pool. Whitworth's men made it 77 straight NWC dual meet victories by defeating the host Lutes, 148-55, while the Pirates women won for the 34th straight time against conference foes with a 155-49 triumph over PLU. In the men's competition, Pacific Lutheran picked up event victories from Alex Limoges in the 100 butterfly (54.24) and from Kevin Jones in the 500 freestyle (5:05.82), but other than that it was all Whitworth. In addition to winning the butterfly, Limoges placed second in the 100 backstroke (56.09). Whitworth's men finished 1-2-3 in the 1000 freestyle and took the top two spots in five other events. Whitworth won all 11 women's events, including taking the top three spots in the 1000 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, and finishing first and second in three over events. Casey Jackson paced PLU's effort with second-place finishes in the 100 butterfly (1:02.36) and the 100 backstroke 1:03.47). Kasey Dorcas placed second in the 400 individual medley (5:03.52) for the Lutes.

WHITMAN TAKES TWO: Whitman got off to a strong start and kept it up throughout the remainder of the meet in sweeping host PLU on Jan. 21. The Whitman women won nine out of the 10 contested events in rolling to a 126-60 victory over the Lutes. The visiting Missionaries men took eight wins in 10 events on the way to a 127-57 triumph. Casey Jackson broke Whitman's stranglehold by winning the 200 backstroke (2:15.60), followed by teammate Darla Avis in second (2:18.48). The PLU men picked up their two event victories in the middle part of the meet, Jacob Deines touching first in the 200 butterfly (2:05.50), and Alex Limoges winning the 200 backstroke (2:06.16).

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