Swimming Beats Whitworth since 1990’s, Falls to Whitman

Sara Levering, Sports Co-Editor

The Linfield Swim Team traveled to the Whits this weekend. The Whitworth Pirates have always been strong swimmers, but Linfield managed to sweep them for the first time since the mid-1990’s, which is no doubt an accomplishment for third year coach Kyle Kimball who came three seasons ago.

Linfield won a total of 14 out of 22 events, including all the relays to come out with the win. The men won by a one point close count 103-102. The women’s was not nearly as impressive but edged the Pirates 108-97.

Evette Dow, ‘19, won three individual events, these included 500 Freestyle, 1,650 Freestyle, and 100 Freestyle.

Kaedi Fry, ‘19, won the 200 individual medley in 2:16:18. Newcomer Grace Lawson, ‘20, won the 50 freestyle with an astounding time 25:15. And Alexis Murphy, ‘20, won the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:15:66.

On the men’s side, newcomer Noah Cutting, ‘20, set a school record in the 100 backstroke on the leadoff leg of the medley relay. His time was 51:49, which surpassed the previous record time 51.72 set by last season. Cutting had a field day, in which he won the 200 Freestyle and 200 Backstroke.

Additionally, Victor Brasil, ‘18, grabbed first in the 200 breaststroke. Juan Vidal, ‘17, scored and grabbed the victory for the mens. He placed second in the 200 butterfly.

On Whitworth, “We came into the meet knowing we had to gamble a few events to give ourselves the chance to win. We had immediate momentum from the first win in the 400 medley relay that fed into the next few events and we knew this wasn’t just talk anymore,” Vidal said.

“Touching the wall ahead of them and watching the pool erupt was one of the most amazing experiences in my swimming career. Being able to topple them sends a strong message to the conference of the direction this team is going and I know the team is motivated moving forward next weekend against UPS and PLU,” Vidal continued.

“The team was extremely excited after the win. We hadn’t beat Whitworth in close to 20 years so it was a big win,” David Brody, ‘17, said.

“There were some really fast swims tonight. For the guys, Noah Cutting won all his events, Josh Luffred and David Flores swam the hardest schedule possible, Juan Vidal clinched the Whitworth meet for us and that was just a few big races we had,” Brody said.

The next day, the Linfield Wildcats faced Whitman and this would be a test. Linfield found itself on the other side on Saturday’s matchup against the Missionaries. The Linfield men fell 115.5-89.5 and the women lost 120-85.

Dow again won a pair of races seizing the 200 Freestyle and 1,650 Freestyle and took second in the 100 Freestyle.

Cutting again had an impressive outcome, winning the 200 Freestyle and 500 Freestyle. Fry won the 400 individual medley and Molli Hartzell, ‘20, grabbed the 100 Backstroke in 1:00:79.

For the men, Brasil clocked 59.04 seconds to capture the 100 Breastroke for the Wildcats. David Flores, ‘19, and Josh Luffred, ‘18, swam the toughest trifecta, the 500 and 1,650 Freestyle which was between the 400 Individual Medley.

On the major highlights, “As a team, we were all impressed at some high quality seasons early in the season. Noah Cutting broke a school record that was set last year at conference. We also were able to put some fast relays together despite some of the guys on the team being a little broken down. This shows how much our guys are invested into the team and how they will step up big when it counts,” Vidal said.

“My first year swimming for Linfield was also the first year Kyle Kimball was hired as head coach. In just a few short years, it’s been amazing to see how far we’ve come as a team and we plan on continuing to make the Wildcats a strong presence in the swimming community,” Vidal said.

On improvement, “I think one of the biggest obstacles our team still have to overcome is finding a way to perform back to back against tough schools. Our team was definitely tired on Saturday after some exciting, but exhausting wins against Whitworth. As we continue to build training, I have no doubt this will simply be a temporary set-back,” Vidal concluded.

Linfield is back at home next weekend to face the University of Puget Sound on Friday night and Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday afternoon at the Linfield Aquatics Center.