On Senior Night, Pioneers sweep Willamette

On Senior Night, Pioneers sweep Willamette

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers sent their seven seniors off with a sweep of the Willamette Bearcats. In their first competition since Dec. 3, the Pios' 142-63 victory on the women's side featured their largest margin in a win in any dual over the last two years. Meanwhile, the men won their first match-up of the season, 115-90. Lewis & Clark was celebrating Senior Night on Friday at the Zehntbauer Swimming Pavilion.

The Pioneers won both women's relays and the men's 200 Freestyle relay. Sabrina Murray, Kyle Monteleone, Sam Duran, Andrew Butcher, August Bergh and Kassie Kometani were all multi-event winners.

Lewis & Clark seniors Alex Raphael, Lucia Brammer, Anna James, Miles French, Jack Bergamini, Jonathan Torres and Kevin Fox competed in their final home meet after being recognized by head coach Chris Fantz prior to the dual's start.

"Very emotional. Overwhelming feelings of support and love, and I'm so glad that we won," said French, who won the 100 Breaststroke and finished third in the 400 Individual Medley. "So much energy from my teammates. Overall, we are very close."

"I could go on for hours," said Raphael about her senior teammates. "Anna has been one of my closest friends and she's done a great job. She really cares about this sport. Lucia pulls it through for the 400 IM. She doesn't like it, no one really does, but she's able to get it together and swim an awesome race."

Brammer finished third in the 400 Individual Medley as the Pioneers swept the top-four spots in the race. Erin Khong won in 5:00.47 to place ahead of teammate Claire Greene's 5:05.85. Kasia Preski followed Brammer for fourth place.

Murray won the 1,000 Freestyle in 11:15.25, two spots ahead of James at 11:55.88 and Emily Skaggs, who finished fourth in 12:00.71. Murray followed it up with a win in the 500 Freestyle. The freshman finished in 5:28.89, nearly twenty seconds ahead of Willamette's Kate Harvey, who was second. Skaggs and James finished third and fourth, respectively.

Duran continued the dominance that she had at the end of the season's first half. The sophomore won the 200 Freestyle by over six seconds with a mark of 2:00.33 and the 100 Backstroke by just under two seconds after clocking in at 1:01.97. Margot Chirayath placed third in the 200 Freestyle (2:07.00), her fastest time of the season, while Julia Brandt was fourth in the 100 Backstroke (1:05.95).

The Pioneers won the first event of the night, the 200 Medley relay, by six-hundredths of a second. Khong was .14 seconds better than Willamette's Rachel Harvill during the anchor leg.

"Erin really brought it home, which was super exciting," said Raphael, who swam the second leg between Duran and Chirayath. "We got first and high places in quite a few events. It was very exciting to see everyone come back from winter training and pull out great times."

Kometani won the 50 Freestyle in 25.01 and the 100 Freestyle in 54.84, winning the latter by nearly five seconds. Returning for her first races this season after studying overseas, Eleanor Gerrior led off the winning 200 Freestyle relay team and was followed by Greene, Murray and Kometani for a time of 1:43.99.

Monteleone and Butcher continued their outstanding freshman campaigns. Monteleone won the 1,000 Freestyle in 10:31.02, over a second faster than Willamette's Ben Fritz. Matthew Bress finished fourth and Torres was fifth. In the 100 Backstroke, Monteleone touched in 56.52 to beat the field by almost three seconds. Ian Shepel, who was celebrating his birthday, was third (59.76). Butcher won the 50 Freestyle in 21.85, his fastest-ever mark, topping Fox's 23.39 and Sam Raphael's 23.47 as the Pios took the top-three spots. With a mark of 48.64, Butcher was the winner by just under a second in the 100 Freestyle.

"We slayed tonight. We did an excellent job," said French of the men's performance. "Everyone had to step up and everyone delivered. It was exciting to have it come down to the last few races and we brought it home."

Bergh won the 200 and 500 Freestyle races. In the shorter race, Bergh touched in 1:47.84 before outpacing the field by nearly six seconds in the longer race with a time of 5:03.49. William Witmer finished in fourth in the 200 Freestyle (1:53.98), while Torres was fourth in the 500 Freestyle. In the night's final event, Butcher, Bergh, Witmer and Monteleone combined for a nearly three-second victory in the 200 Freestyle.

Lewis & Clark travels to Linfield on Saturday before wrapping up the dual season at Pacific on Jan. 27.