Commitment, effort brings success to swimming

Sara Levering, Staff writer

The Wildcats have found nothing but success in swimming, defeating Pacific University, Lewis and Clark College and Willamette University in January. Both the men and women won by sizable margins. The men are now second in the conference behind Whitworth and the women are third behind Pacific Lutheran and Whitman. The men’s and women’s 200-yard freestyle both have found success in all three meets grabbing first place.

Noah Cutting, ‘20, has become a huge contributor to the men’s team with his 400 individual medley, specifically against Willamette with a time of 4:12.15 as well as the 200 individual medley against Pacific with a time of 2:01.08. On the meets, Cutting was extremely happy with the results. “We have shown our strength of the depth of our team and to be able to push through January and with all three meets coming in wins really only motivates us in our conference meet.”

On the entire season, “the highlight of the season has to be the Whitworth dual meet. I greatly respect their team and consider them our rival, and when a win requires the participation and focus of the whole team all the way down to the last race, it can only make our teams stronger,” Cutting said.

As a first year on the team, “it’s an exhilarating and humbling feeling to know that I can make an impact at the meets that matter. However, this feeling is one that only comes with the support I get from my Wildcat family, and that drives me to go out and race my hardest,” Cutting said.

Molli Hartzell, ‘20, has found great success for the women’s squad on freestyle. In the 50 freestyle, she claimed first with a time of 25.91 against Pacific. Tahni Kakazu, ‘19, claimed first in 25.43 and Rita Cohen, ‘17, notched second in 25.83 against Willamette.

Evette Dow, ‘19, has been nothing but consistent on the distance races for Linfield. Dow notched first in the 1000 freestyle in 11:42.93 against Lewis and Clark and again against Pacific in 11:04.74 as well as in the 1650 freestyle against Willamette, winning the race in 18:15.30.

David Flores, ‘19, a distance swimmer for the men’s squad, notched first in the 1000 against Pacific in 10:23.76. Flores was “very happy with the results this month. Most importantly, everybody is starting to swim faster and starting to get excited for conference.”

One of the changes that has made a significant impact on the season is attendance. “We can’t get better unless we actually put in the time and effort at each practice. Throughout the season I think we have done a great job at showing up for practices because we all have the same goal in mind: to win conference,” Flores said.

Like Cutting, Flores echoed that beating the Whitworth team was one of the most memorable moments of the season. Flores ended by saying “everyone on the team is very excited for the conference meet in February. Go ‘Cats!”

The swim teams will be heading up to Federal Way, Washington to compete at the Northwest Conference Championships Feb. 10-12 at the King County Aquatic Center.