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 took fourth place in the 100-yard butterfly and placed fifth in the 100-yard backstroke at the 2024 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center on Friday, Feb. 10.
Lindberg's time in the championship final of the 100-yard butterfly was 50.13 seconds, placing him fourth in the event and fourth on Willamette's all-time list. Lindberg was .08 away from Austin Elwyn of Whitworth University, who placed third in the race 50.05 seconds. Edan Donaldson from Linfield University won the 100 butterfly in 49.36 seconds, while Henry Brewster of Whitworth took second in 49.77 seconds.
In the prelims of the 100 butterfly, Lindberg had the second-fastest qualifying time at 49.96 seconds. Lindberg's time from the prelims is second all-time for the Bearcats, trailing only his own school record of 49.91 seconds, set at the 2023 NWC Swimming Championships.
Lindberg swam the championship final of the 100-yard backstroke in 52.63 seconds for fifth place. He was 0.35 out of fourth place. The 100 backstroke was won by Will Cabana from the University of Puget Sound.
Julius Wilhelmi (Sr., Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) of Willamette qualified for the championship final in the 200-yard freestyle. In the final, Wilhelmi registered a time of 1:43.48 to earn sixth place. His time also moved him into fourth on Willamette's all-time list. Wilhelmi's time in the prelims of 1:43.36 is fourth on the all-time list. The championship final of the 200 freestyle was won by Zachary Washburn from Whitworth in a "B" national qualifying time of 1:38.95.
Several Bearcats competed in Saturday's consolation finals for the Willamette men's team. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Logan Copeland (Sr., Sparks, NV/Spanish Springs HS) won the consolation final and placed ninth overall with a time of 1:00.01. Also in the 100 breaststroke, Ka'olapa Masuko (Fy., Volcano, HI/Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii) was third in the consolation final in 1:00.70 to finish 11th overall.
William LaDuca (So., Salem, OR/South Salem HS) placed fourth in the consolation final of the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.22 seconds and took 12th overall. In the 400-yard individual medley, Ethan Davies (So., Hong Kong/Discovery College) of Willamette was eighth in the consolation final in 4:29.19. Davies placed 15th overall.
Two Willamette swimmers barely missed the consolation finals on Saturday. Kevin Olmedo (So., La Canada, CA/St. Francis HS) was 17th in the prelims of the 200-yard freestyle in 1:48.66 and Ash Keil was 17th in the prelims of the 100-yard backstroke in 1:01.08.
Willamette placed fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:26.72, as the Bearcats finished just 0.17 out of fourth place. Competing for Willamette in the 200 freestyle relay were Wilhelmi, Lindberg, Olmedo, and Copeland.
Leading the men's team standings at the end of Saturday's competition was Whitworth at 542 points. The Pirates held a 204-point lead over Puget Sound in second place at 338. Whitman College was third at 323.5, Linfield was fourth at 258, Willamette held fifth place at 211, and Lewis & Clark College followed in sixth place at 176. George Fox University was seventh at 171.5, with Pacific Lutheran University in eighth at 141, and Pacific University in ninth at 76 points.
The final day of competition at the NWC Championships is set for Sunday, Feb. 11. The first event of the prelims will get underway at 9:30 a.m. PST. Finals will start at 4 p.m. On Sunday, individual events include the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, and 200-yard butterfly. 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.