Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The Pacific Lutheran University women's swimming team captured two more event titles on Sunday but was unable to secure its fourth consecutive league title, placing second at the 2017 Northwest Conference Championships at the King County Aquatic Center.
The Lutes finished the three-day championships with four individual titles and 576 points to collect the runner-up finish as Whitman College wrestled the team title away from the Lutes after scoring 622.5 points. The University of Puget Sound was 118 points behind PLU in third with 458 points.
"The women were great individually we just didn't have the relays to compete for the top spot," said Head Coach Matt Sellman. "Whitman was just as well prepared a team as I've seen at a championship meet. They swam incredibly well and Jenn Blomme proved herself, once again, as one of the great coaches in college swimming."
Erica Muller kicked off the evening session with a victory in the 1,650-yard freestyle, owning an eight-second gap on the rest of the field and finishing in 17 minutes, 27.11 seconds to win the title for the second consecutive season. Teammate Jessica Stenberg placed seventh, finishing in 18:22.99.
Victoria Nguyenle claimed the Lutes' second title of the night, securing the win in the 200-yard breaststroke in a school record time of 2:23.15 with Ingrid Straume finishing seventh (2:30.58) and Whitney Mundle placing eighth (2:30.70). Sarah Ameny finished sixth in the 200-yard butterfly (2:14.33), while Morgan Commander finished seventh in the 200-yard backstroke (2:09.85). PLU closed the meet by placing fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay, logging a time of 3:35.50.
"However disapointed we are in not coming out on top, we are really proud of how we swam and put up some incredible performances in high pressure moments. I told the team before we even started training this year 'champions aren't determined by point totals. We have to act and prepare to be champions every day and when you do that, the score at the end of the meet is irrelevant.'"
On Saturday, Reese Ackman won the 100-yard butterfly in a school record time while Danielle Booth and Victoria Nguyenle finished 1-2 in the 100-yard breaststroke with Booth securing an NCAA B Cut time. Other notable performances from the opening two days was Muller finishing second in the 500-yard freestyle and third in the 400-yard individual medley, Danielle Booth finishing fourth in the 50-yard freestyle, Ackman placing fifth (200-yard individual medley) and sixth (100-yard backstroke) along with efforts from both Luna Kim (5th- 100-yard backstroke) and Darcie Booth (6th- 200-yard Freestyle).
The Lutes also had a pair of seventh place finishes from Taylor Bingea (400-yard IM and 500 free), a seventh place finish from Nguyenle in the 200 IM and Whitney Mundle placing eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke.