By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Willamette University women's swimmer Anna Hornbeck (Jr., Bend, OR/Bend HS) earned third place in the 200-yard breaststroke during the final day of competition at the 2024 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships, held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center on Sunday, Feb. 11. In the championship final on Sunday evening, Hornbeck completed the race in 2:24.77, as she reduced just over two seconds from her time in the prelims earlier in the day.
Josephine Piel of Whitman College won the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:22.08. Erin McKinney, also from Whitman, was second in 2:23.21.
Hornbeck's time in the championship race was the seventh-fastest time ever recorded by a Willamette women's swimmer in the 200 breaststroke. Hornbeck set the school record of 2:20.08 while winning the NWC Championship in 2023. She holds five of the top 10 times on the Bearcats' all-time list.
She has placed in the top three of an individual event at the NWC Championships five times in her career. The top three finishers in each event receive First Team All-NWC honors. Swimmers placing third through eighth are recognized as Second Team All-NWC.
In addition to winning the NWC Championship in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2023 and placing third this year, Hornbeck won the NWC Championship in the 100-yard breaststroke in 2022. She placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2022 and was second in the 100-yard breaststroke in 2023.
This year, Hornbeck was joined in the championship final of the 200 breaststroke by teammate Sarah Jenner (Jr., Normandy Park, WA/Stanford Online HS). Jenner took eighth place with a time of 2:28.52.
Four other swimmers on the Willamette women's team also competed in championship finals on Sunday evening. They were Tessa Ciatti (Fy., Bellingham, WA/Squalicum HS), Alayna Kisiday (Jr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS), Tatum Good (Jr., Scottsdale, AZ/Scottsdale Prep Academy), and Emma Schauble (Fy., Portland, OR/Prospect Ridge Academy HS).
Ciatto placed fourth in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:13.10. The first-year Bearcat barely missed Willamette's top 10 list by just 0.03. Jen Hodges holds 10th place at 2:13.07 in 1996.
Kisiday swam in the 100-yard freestyle final and finished the race in 54.01 to grab sixth place. Good registered sixth place in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:11.06 in the championship race. Also in the 200 backstroke, Schauble placed eighth in 2:16.11.
In the 1,650-yard freestyle, Jenner represented Willamette with a time of 18:48.31 as she took ninth place. She touched out 1.34 seconds in front of 10th place finisher Kaylee Elsom from Linfield University, who was timed at 18:49.65. Ana Kaldy (Fy., South Beach, OR/Newport HS) also swam for the Bearcats in the 1,650. She placed 14th in 19:54.52. The 1,650-yard featured several heats, with the overall standings based on each swimmer's time in their heat.
Competing in the consolation finals for the Bearcats on Sunday were Emma Noffsinger (So., Arvada, CO/Northglenn HS), Jacqueline Hall (Jr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS), and Lydia Schmitt (Fy., Olympia, WA/North Thurston HS).
Noffsinger and Hall swam in the 200-yard backstroke consolation race. Noffsinger placed fourth in the race and 12th overall with a time of 2:19.47. Hall was sixth in the race and 14th overall in 2:19.83. Schmitt was eighth in the 100-yard freestyle consolation final in 56.36 seconds, as she placed 16th overall.
Willamette placed sixth in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:41.60. Swimming for the Bearcats on the relay team were Leah Howell (Fy., Bremerton, WA/Central Kitsap HS), Hall, Schmitt, and Kisiday.
Whitman claimed the NWC Championship in women's swimming with a score of 620.5 points. Linfield was second with 460 points. Whitworth University held third place at 419, just 10 points in front of Pacific Lutheran University, which finished fourth at 409. The University of Puget Sound was fifth at 401, Willamette was sixth at 334, George Fox placed seventh at 302, Lewis & Clark College followed in eighth place at 193, and Pacific University was ninth with 128.5 points.
Kirsti Keppo of Linfield and Shaye Agnew from Whitman were chosen NWC Women's Co-Swimmers of the Year. Makhaela Parrish of Whitworth was named NWC Women's Rookie of the Year. Pacific Lutheran Head Coach Andrew Lum, who competed for Willamette as a collegiate swimmer, was voted NWC Women's Swimming Coach of the Year.