Puget Sound put its superior depth to good use in wrapping up its 11th consecutive women’s title as the 2007 NWC Swimming Championships came to a close Sunday night in the new Paul and Louise Harvey Pool at Whitman College.
Meanwhile, Whitworth rallied on the final day of the three-day meet to claim its fifth straight men’s title.
With junior Amy Polansky winning her second individual event of the meet on Sunday, Puget Sound amassed 703 points to finish first in the women’s team scoring. The Whitworth women were second with 654 points while host Whitman took third with 407 points, edging both Lewis & Clark College (400) and Linfield College (393). Pacific Lutheran was next with 239 points, followed by Willamette University with 201 and Pacific University with 130.
With junior David Dolphay winning his third event Sunday and junior Bryan Clarke notching a victory of his own, the Whitworth men overcame a 17-point deficit at the start of the day to finish first with 627 points. Linfield, in front after each of the first two days, slipped to second with 609 points. Puget Sound was third with 546 points and Whitman fourth with 377. Rounding out the men’s field were Pacific Lutheran 361, Willamette 263, Lewis & Clark 237, and Pacific 41.
Dolphay, who won the 1,650-yard freestyle on Sunday for a second consecutive year, shared the Men’s Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet award with two Linfield athletes, junior Kevin Caple and freshman Dom Rieniets. Caple won Sunday’s 200-yard backstroke while Rienets was placing first in the 100-yard freestyle. All three swimmers notched victories in three events during the course of the meet.
Natalie Turner, a first-year swimmer at Whitworth, also won her third individual event, the 1,650-yard freestyle, on Sunday and was named the Women’s Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet.
Two other Whitworth women won their second events of the meet Sunday. Sophomore Brittany Gresset won the 100-yard freestyle, and junior Samantha Kephart captured the 200-yard butterfly for a third consecutive year. Kephart is the reigning NCAA Div. III champion in both butterfly events, and she holds the national record at the 200-yard distance.
Whitman junior Nancy Alexander gave the home crowd a thrilling moment to remember in winning the 200-yard backstroke title for a second consecutive year. Linfield freshman Yusuke Kobayashi also picked up an individual event title on Sunday, winning the men's 200-yard butterfly.
In Sunday’s concluding 400-yard freestyle relays, Linfield was a winner on the men’s side with Puget Sound placing second and Whitworth finishing third. Caple, Rienets and Kobayashi teamed with sophomore Josh Parfitt to win that race. The Whitworth women won the women’s relay with Kephart, Gresset, Erickson and Turner doing the honors.
In a vote of NWC coaches, Whitworth’s Steve Schadt (women’s) and Linfield’s Gary Gutierrez (men’s) were given Coach of the Year honors.