MCMINNVILLE, Ore. -- After arriving back in Portland on Wednesday from a week-long training trip in California, the Lewis & Clark Pioneers hit the road again to take on the Lindfield Wildcats in McMinnville. The women's team put up a solid fight against the Wildcats, losing by a tight margin of 111-94. The men's team faced some tougher competition and despite strong individual and team performances, lost to the Wildcats 124-76.
The women's team started the duel with an underclassman relay team consisting of KK Fiddler, Margot Chirayath, Ciara Orness, and Claire Greene placing third in the Women's 200 Medley Relay. This was followed by the 1650 Freestyle in which Sabrina Murray took second by only a minute. Kassie Kometani got the first win for the women's team in the 50 Freestyle and went on to win the 100 Freestyle as well. Erin Khong dominated the 400 IM, while Eleanor Gerrior cleaned up in the 100 Freestyle.
The men's team started the meet with a win in the 200 Medley Relay on a disqualification and ended it with a win in the men's 200 Freestyle Relay, thanks to a team of Andrew Butcher, August Bergh, Kyle Monteleone, and JP Greener. The men faced some tough competition from the Wildcats, and consistently placed second and third throughout the meet. Freshman Alex Spiecker had a strong performance in the 1650 Freestyle, while William Witmer took second in the 100 Breaststroke.
Head Coach Chris Fantz said of the race, "I'm super pleased with our racing tonight. We are in the middle of our heaviest training block of the year and working hard. The times were solid and the race execution and intensity are the best they've been all season. A lot of people put up fantastic swims against close competition. This is a great sign with three more dual meets and the run up to the championship."
Freshman Alex Spiecker took third in the men's 1650 Freestyle, while Ian Shepel was the Pioneers' lone racer in the 400 IM, and event he doesn't usually race. The relay team of Shepel, Whitmer, Sam Raphael, and Matt Jackson secured a win in the 200 Medley Relay after the Linfield "A" team was disqualified for a false start. The Pios finished 12 seconds ahead of Linfield's "B" team. The 200 Freestyle Relay was another Lewis & Clark victory with Andrew Butcher, August Bergh, Kyle Monteleone, and JP Greener finishing four seconds ahead of second place.
Erin Khong had a stellar race in the 400 IM, surging through her competition in what her teammates described as an "epic" performance. The women's 200 Freestyle was also a nail biter with the Wildcats finishing in first in 1:43.00 and the relay team of Eleanor Gerrior, Alys Chang, Kassie Kometani, and Caroline Karson finishing right on their heels in 1:43.33.
- The Pioneers had finishers in the top three for every event of the meet
- Izzy Couch finished third in the 1650 Freestyle and fourth in her other two races
- Andrew Butcher finished in second place in both the 50 and 100 Freestyle, and is ranked fourth in the conference for the 50 Free
- Eleanor Gerrior finished third in the 50 Freestyle in which there was only a four second difference between the winning time and the last place time
- Kyle Monteleone took second in the 100 Backstroke
- Kassie Kometani is currently ranked fourth in the conference in the 50 freestyle
- Matthew Bress was only nine seconds off his best time for the 1650 Freestyle
- Margot Chirayath was the top L&C finisher in the 200 Freestyle in third place
The Pioneers host the Willamette Bearcats on Sat., Jan. 12 at 1:00pm.