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January 13, 2012

PLU Swimmers Sweep Wins From Lewis & Clark

PORTLAND, Ore. - Returning to Northwest Conference dual meet action for the first time since the second weekend in November, Pacific Lutheran swept the host Lewis & Clark College Pioneers on Friday night.

The men's dual wasn't in doubt from the outset as the Lutes took first and second in the opening 200 medley relay on the way to a convincing 147-56 victory. The women's competition was much closer, however, as the Lutes built a big lead early and then held off a late charge by the Pios, 112-93.

"These were big wins for  both teams," PLU head coach Matt Sellman said. "We swam incredibly well for a January meet with the type of intense training we have been doing." Sellman was particularly pleased to sweep the duals from Lewis & Clark, which is where the one-time PLU All-America swimmer held his first collegiate head coaching post from 2001-07.

The PLU men had a good start when the team of Chase Mesford, Rayan Carter, Jacob Deines and Patrick Opie won the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:43.44, slightly less than two seconds ahead of PLU's No. 2 squad of Joseph Parker, Corban Elliott, Basil Whaley and Phil Rempe.

After Trevor Schapiro won the 1000 freestyle and Noah Callaghan the 200 freestyle for the hosts, the Lutes started socking away the remaining seven event victories. In order, Mesford won the 50 free (22.48), Andre Tacuyan the 400 individual medley (4:27.22), Rempe the 100 butterfly (53.73), Mesford the 100 free (48.79), Parker the 100 backstroke (54.29), Elliott the 500 free (4:59.63), and Daniel Pedack the 100 breaststroke (1:04.93).

The Lutes then closed out the team win with a triumph in the 200 freestyle relay, the team of Carter, Pedack, Parker and Rempe clocking 1:31.70.

Pacific Lutheran's women had the same start as their male counterparts, opening the meet with a 1-2 finish in the 200 medley relay. Darla Avis, Rachel Althauser, Toni Castillo and Elizabeth Althauser combined to clock 1:56.47, besting the No. 2 PLU team of Haley Cooper, Jacqueline Gutierrez, Emily Gonseth and Taylor Gonzales by slightly more than four seconds.

The wins kept coming for the Lutes: Kina Ackerman in the 1000 freestyle (11:10.34); Elizabeth Althauser in the 200 free (2:03.25); Castillo in the 50 free (25.67); Ackerman again in the 400 individual medley (4:52.22); and Castillo again in the 100 butterfly (59.99).

After a Lewis & Clark win from Kayla Ernewein in the 100 freestyle, the Lutes got back on the top step of the podium when Darla Avis took the 100 breaststroke (1:02.69).

The Pioneers closed out the meet with wins from Monica Castro in the 500 free, Ali Brauer in the 100 breaststroke, and also in the closing 200 free relay. Castro led a 1-2 finish in the 500 free and Brauer paced a top three sweep by the hosts in the breaststroke.

Those event wins were too little and too late for the Pioneers.

With the dual victories, both teams improve to 4-0 overall and to 3-0 in the conference. Tonight's meet was the first of five conference road duals to close out the regular season for Pacific Lutheran, which is back in action again at 11 a.m. Saturday against the Pacific University Boxers.

- PLU -