By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Cole Lindberg (Jr., Moses Lake, WA/Moses Lake Christian Academy) from the Willamette University men's swimming team set a school record in the championship final of the 200-yard individual medley in 1:54.89, as he took fourth place on Friday, Feb. 9 at the 2024 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships. The previous Willamette record in the 200 I.M. was 1:55.78 by Ben Hedman at the NWC Championships in 2018. Action at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center will continue on Saturday and Sunday.
Lindberg's time of 1:57.35 earlier in the day during the prelims is 10th on the Bearcats' all-time list. Lindberg lowered his preliminary time by 2.46 seconds in the finals to set the school record.
In the finals of the 200 I.M., Austin Elwyn of Whitworth University took first place in 1:52.76. Andrew Hanson from Whitman College was second at 1:53.56 and Will Cabana from the University of Puget Sound placed third in 1:54.71. Lindberg's school record time of 1:54.89 for fourth place was just 0.18 behind Cabana. Mason Groth of Whitworth was fifth at 1:55.97.
Also competing in championship finals for the Willamette men's team on Friday were Julius Wilhelmi (Sr., Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) in the 50-yard freestyle and Nicholas Moore (Fy., Moses Lake, WA/Moses Lake HS) in the 500-yard freestyle.
Wilhelmi finished fourth in the 50 freestyle in 21.10 seconds. His time also is fourth on Willamette's all-time list, and his time in the prelims of 21.11 seconds is fifth all time for the Bearcats. The 50 freestyle was won by Zachary Washburn of Whitworth with an NCAA "B" qualifying time of 20.14 seconds.
Moore placed eighth in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:52.94 for Willamette. Kai Hayashida from Whitworth grabbed first place in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:38.30.
Competing in the consolation finals for Willamette was Kevin Olmedo (So., La Canada, CA/St. Francis HS) in the 50-yard freestyle. He was fifth in the consolation final and 13th overall with a time of 21.85 seconds. He reduced his preliminary time of 22.23 seconds by 0.38 in the final.
In the 400-yard medley relay, the Bearcats took seventh with a time of 3:34.76. Willamette was 2.47 seconds out of sixth place and 4.87 out of fifth. Swimming on the 400 medley relay for Willamette were William LaDuca (So., Salem, OR/South Salem HS), Logan Copeland (Sr., Sparks, NV/Spanish Springs HS), Lindberg, and Wilhelmi.
The men's team competition at the end of the finals session on Friday was led by Whitworth with 293 points. Puget Sound was second at 176, with Whitman in third at 173.5. Linfield was fourth with 141.5 points and Willamette was fifth at 119. Pacific Lutheran University held sixth place at 95, Lewis & Clark College was seventh at 89, George Fox University was eighth at 86, and Pacific University was ninth with 54 points.
Saturday's schedule of individual events features the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, and 100-yard backstroke, with prelims at 9:30 a.m. PST and finals set for 5 p.m. The 200-yard freestyle relay will begin the evening session. On Sunday, individual events include the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, and 200-yard butterfly, with prelims at 9:30 a.m. and finals starting at 4 p.m. The 1,650-yard freestyle events will be held between Sunday's main sessions. The 400-yard freestyle relay will be the final event on Sunday evening.