Pios open dual season with setback at Puget Sound

Pios open dual season with setback at Puget Sound

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers began their first Northwest Conference dual of the season with two sweeps in the 400 Medley Relays against the Puget Sound Loggers at Wallace Pool on Friday night. The Pios went on to lose both team match-ups, 126-78 for the men and 117.5-87.5 for the women. 

The grouping of Samantha Duran, Katie Kulp, Eleanor Gerrior and Kassie Kometani took the women to the medley win before Zac Oser, William Witmer, Kevin Fox and August Bergh did the same for the men.

In her first dual, international transfer Natsuha Kajii won two events, the 200 and 500 Freestyle. In addition to his leg of the men's relay, Fox also placed in the top two in two individual races, winning the 200 Individual Medley and finishing runner-up in the 200 Butterfly.

"Taking both wins in the medley relays right out of the gate is a perfect start," said head coach Chris Fantz. "We had a bunch of race wins and both veterans and first-year Pioneers coming in first or second. It is super promising to see freshmen, transfers and returners all stepping up as we kick off conference competition."

"Today the performances across the board were great," said the freshman Witmer. "A lot of people have been doing well. Getting the first dual meet out of the way is good.

"The [relay] team's performance was spectacular. Everyone went incredibly fast for a dual meet at the beginning of the season. All together we did really well."

Lewis & Clark also swept the men's 200 Breaststroke with Witmer winning in 2:17.77 followed by Miles French and Matt Jackson.

"The men's breaststroke sweep to close out the last individual race was huge," said Fantz. "With our biggest roster in decades, you can see the confidence our team takes on the road and into their races."

Individually, Duran, also a freshman, won the 200 Backstroke and finished second in the 200 IM, while Kulp won the 200 Breaststroke and was runner-up in the 200 Butterfly.

"They're doing great," said Kulp, a sophomore transfer, about the freshman class. "I'm a transfer so I've done the college thing before. Everyone has been super nice."

A pair of All-NWC selections from last season, Bergh went on to finish second in the 200 and 500 Freestyle and Kometani was second in the 50 and 100 Freestyle. Oser was the second-fastest in the same races on the men's side.

Freshman Emily Skaggs debuted with a second-place finish in the 1,000 Freestyle and was third in the 500.

The Pioneers face Pacific Lutheran on Saturday at 11 a.m.