Despite loss to Pirates for both teams, the Pioneers head into last duel race of the season with high hopes

Despite loss to Pirates for both teams, the Pioneers head into last duel race of the season with high hopes

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers saw losses for both teams Friday night to the Whitworth Pirates at home. The women's team saw some key race wins, which closed the point gap to a 110-95 loss. The men's tem was unable to win any races, but fought hard for a lot of second and third place finishes, ultimately losing 149-52.

The Pioneers had a tough start in the 400 Medley Relay races with third and fourth place finishes for the women and a disqualification for the men. Alys Chang was the first Pioneer to win an event in the women's 1000 Freestyle, finishing four seconds ahead of second place. Izzy Couch also competed in the 1000 Freestyle, coming in fourth but swimming one second faster than her time in the same event against Willamette last week. August Bergh and Alex Speicker raced the 1000 Freestyle on the men's side, taking third and fourth respectively but finishing within .19 seconds of each other.

Close race finishes were a common theme of the meet. Sabrina Murray took another win for the Pioneers in the 200 Freestyle by just .15 seconds while JP Greener came in second in the men's 200 Free by only one second. Kassie Kometani and Eleanor Gerrior took the top two spots in the 50 Freestyle, finishing within .13 seconds of each other. Only two seconds separated the first through fifth place finishers in that event. Andrew Butcher had strong performances throughout the night, finishing just behind Whitworth's Owen Lempert in both the 50 and 100 Freestyle, with a difference of only .11 between the top two spots . Erin Khong swam the 200 IM again for the Pios, coming in third place by less than a second and also beating her time from last week against Willamette.

Head Coach Chris Fantz said, "This was a solid night of racing on the heels of a few tough weeks of winter training. We knew we were fit and a little worn out heading into our final dual meets and we were impressed with both the times and the way our team approached their races. It was great to get so many race wins on the women's side and to see them lead part of the meet and draw close at the end. Our guys were outmatched, but racked up several second place swims and raced tough all the way through to an impressive freestyle relay at the end. Senior Day tomorrow will be a great end to our dual meet season!"

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Key Moments

Overall, the women notched five wins and 10 top three finishes over the course of the meet. Kassie Kometani continued her individual win streak, with first place finishes in the 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, and 400 Freestyle Relay. Right behind her was Eleanor Gerrior, taking second in the 50 Free, and as the lead off for the winning 400 Freestyle relay team.

The men, while unable to take any wins, saw six second place finishes and eight top three finishes over the course of the meet. The most exciting event of the evening was the 400 Freestyle Relay, where the team of August Bergh, Andrew Butcher, Kyle Monteleone, and JP Greener came in behind Whitworth by 1.44 seconds. Both Butcher and Greener swam faster times than their Whitworth counterparts, making the race an exciting end to the meet.

Deeper Look

  • The women's team won five of their 11 events
  • Matthew Bress took third in the 200 Butterfly, beating his time last week by three seconds
  • Caroline Karson came in second place in the 200 Butterfly only a second behind her time last week
  • Kassie Kometani won all the events she competed in for the third meet in a row
  • Ciara Orness and Claire Greene competed in the 200 IM, finishing .44 seconds apart
  • William Witmer took second in the men's 200 Breaststroke and was the Pios only competitor in that event

Looking Ahead

The Pioneers look forward to their last duel race of the season as they face off against the Whitman Blues at home on Sat., Jan. 19 at 1:00pm. The Pioneers will also be celebrating senior day.