PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers hosted the Puget Sound Loggers Friday at the Zehntbauer Swim Pavilion for their opening meet of the season. The men lost 126-77 while the women lost 136-68 as the Pios went up against a deep Loggers squad.
The Pioneers are coming off one of their most successful seasons in recent history, with several returning members putting down strong performances heading into 2019-20. Junior Erin Khong and sophomore JP Greener both took home first-place finishes in the Women's 200 Breaststroke and Men's 50 Free, while freshman-newcomer Eric Norman placed first in the 200 IM by four seconds.
"We are all pleased to have competition season officially underway," said Head Coach Chris Fantz, "We have a lot to look forward to based on the beginning we had tonight. We saw some hitches and a few adjustments we will want to make, but we also have a lot that is working so far. I am looking forward to seeing the times we can put up in a few other races in tomorrow's format with PLU."
Erin Khong's first-place finish in the 200 Breaststroke was the top individual performance of the night for the women. Finishing in a time of 2:34.93, Khong was only two seconds off her career-best 2:32.11 that she swam at the Northwest Conference Championships in the 2018-19 season. She also competed in the 200 IM and 400 Medley Relay.
Sabrina Murray and Alys Chang also had strong performances for the women. Murray logged two second-place finishes, the first in the 1000 Freestyle with a time of 11:28.30 and the second in the 500 Freestyle with a time of 5:32.73. She was also the lead-off swimmer on the women's 400 Freestyle Relay team that beat the field by eight seconds. Chang finished second in the 200 Freestyle with a time of 2:06.77, just one second off her career-best swim at the NWC Championships last year. She placed third behind Murray in the 500 Freestyle.
On the men's side, JP Greener and Eric Norman took home top finishes in the 50 Freestyle and the 200 IM, respectively. Greener beat the field by one second and was followed closely by Ian Shepel in second place. Greener also logged a second-place finish in the 100 Freestyle less than a second behind the Loggers' Brett Kolb.
Norman's first win of his career as a Pioneer was a fast one, topping the second-place finisher by five seconds. He raced in a time of 2:03.37, just two seconds off Matt Jackson's record from the NWC Championships in 2018-19. Keagan Gale and Alex Speicker took home second and third-place finishes in the 1000 and 500 Freestyle, contributing to the men's top three placements across 10 events.
The men's 400 Freestyle Relay team of Shepel, Kyle Monteleone, Gale, and Camden Searcy had the strongest performance of the team events, coming in just one second behind the Loggers with a time of 3:22.90.
- With three dual win's each in the 2018-19 season, the Pios are hoping to keep building off their most successful season in recent history
- Three dual wins is the most for the men's team since the 2009-10 season
- The women matched their win total from 2017-18, their most since 2010-11
The Pioneers host the Pacific Lutheran Lutes Saturday in another dual meet at 1 p.m.