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November 18, 2011

Northwest Invitational Next for PLU Swimmers

THIS WEEKEND: Pacific Lutheran turns its attention away from dual meets and toward invitational competition for the remainder of the fall season. The first of two invitationals ahead for the Lutes is the Northwest Invitational scheduled for tonight and Saturday at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. The event starts at 6 p.m. Friday, and wraps up on Saturday with sessions at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

RECENT NWI HISTORY: Pacific Lutheran's last victory at the Northwest Invitational came during the 2007-08 season. Swimming at Linfield College - the site of this year's meet - the PLU men scored 610 ponts to finish 31 points ahead of Whitman. Jay Jones won three individual events and Andy Stetzler took a pair to pace the Lutes. Prior to 2007, Pacific Lutheran had last won the NWI in back-to-back years, 2001 and 2002. In 2010, Puget Sound swept the Northwest Invitational titles. In the six-team men's competition, the Loggers held off Whitman 472-463, followed by PLU in third with 365. In the six-team women's event, Puget Sound scored 528 points, followed by Whitman with 405 and PLU with 403. PLU got individual event wins from Casey Jackson in the 200 backstroke and Kina Ackerman in the 1650 freestyle, in addition to a victory in the women's 800 freestyle relay.

LUTES WOMEN DUNK LINFIELD AND WILLAMETTE: Kina Ackerman won three events on Friday night as Pacific Lutheran defeated visiting Linfield, 134-71. Ackerman won the 1000 freestyle in 11:30.33, the 200 individual medley in 2:20.72, and the 500 freestyle in 5:35.70. Toni Castillo had a pair of event victories, taking the 50 freestyle in 25.60 and the 100 freestyle in 55.04. "We had a solid meet with some great early season swims, including a lot of PRs,  especially from the freshmen," head coach Matt Sellman said. "(The swimmers) are seeing the results of tremendously improved training and confidence." PLU had no trouble with visiting Willamette on Saturday afternoon, swimming away to a 150-46 victory over the Bearcats. The Lutes had six individual event wins and swept the two relays. They opened with a 1:56.93 in the 200 medley relay and closed the meet with a 1:44.87 in the 200 freesytyle relay. In between, Rachel Nelson won the 200 freestyle in 2:06.20, followed by Kristin Nueneker's 26.31 in the 50 freestyle. Ackerman took the 400 individual medley in a time of 4:55.63. Castillo followed with a 1:00.39 in the 100 butterfly. The other event winners were Elizabeth Althauser in the 100 freestyle with a 57.33, and Darla Avis in the 100 back with a 1:03.17.

PLU MEN SWEEP LINFIELD AND WILLAMETTE: The PLU men improved their overall dual meet record to 3-0 with a pair of Northwest Conference home victories last weekend. On Friday night, Patrick Opie picked up victories in the distance freestyle events to lead Pacific Lutheran past Linfield, 130-75. It was a clear cut victory  for the Lutes on Saturday as they easily defeated the Willamette Bearcats, 156-37. Against Linfield, the Lutes won the opening 400 medley relay before Opie hit the water to win the 1000 freestyle in a time of 10:30.47. Later in the meet, he added a victory in the 500 freestyle by clocking 5:03.70. Other individual event winners for the Lutes were Phil Rempe with a 22.29 in the 50 freestyle, and Chase Mesford with a 49.20 in the 100 freestyle. PLU concluded with a win in the 400 freestyle relay. PLU ended up with six event wins compared to five for the Wildcats, but used its depth to pull away from the visitors. "We had a solid meet with some great early season swims, including a lot of PRs,  especially from the freshmen," head coach Matt Sellman said. "(The swimmers) are seeing the results of tremendously improved training and confidence." Against Willamette, the Lutes took top honors in 10 of the meet's 11 events, including eight individual event wins by eight different swimmers. Those swimmers were: Ramy Carter, 1000 freestyle, 10:52.43; Daniel Miller, 200 freestyle, 1:52.34; Chase Mesford, 50 freestyle, 22.43; Andre Tacuyan, 400 individual medley, 4:34.62; Phil Rempe, 100 butterfly, 55.23; Patrick Opie, 100 freestyle, 50.97; Corban Elliott, 500 freestyle, 5:04.44; and Rayan Carter, 100 breaststroke, 1:04.85.

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