Victory at last! Pacific men win first dual meet

SWIMMING: Boxers notch the program's first ever dual meet victory at home against Willamette

A pair of first-place finishes by freshmen Scott Kimura and Brandan Mantei helped Pacific win their first ever men's dual meet Saturday as the Boxers took out Willamette in Northwest Conference swimming action at the Forest Grove Aquatic Center.

The Boxer men scored an 82-74 victory over the Bearcats - the first victory for the men's program since the team was resurrected in 2004. In addition, the win was the first in a NWC dual for either the men's or women's teams since swimming returned to Pacific in 2003.

Kimura provided a pair of strong performances in one-on-one events to help secure an early lead. Kimura out-dueled Willamette's Matt Tanigawa in the 50-yard freestyle, winning in 23.75 seconds. Three events later, Kimura was an easy winner in the 20-yard butterfly over Kevin Tangeman. Kimura's time of 2:23.87 gave the Boxers a 51-33 lead midway through the meet.

Mantei ran away with his first event, winning the 200 individual medley in a time of 2:05.20. In the meet's penultimate event, with the Boxers clinging to a 66-59 lead, Mantei put together another dominant performance.

Mantei won the 200 breaststroke by 16 seconds, clocking 2:22.07 to secure the dual meet win for the Boxers.

Pacific also received an individual victory from sophomore Sam Watanuki, who won the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:09.74. The Boxers also won the opening event of the afternoon, the 200 medley relay, with a time of 1:48.60.

The Willamette men received two victories from Greg Henselman, who swam unopposed in the 100 freestyle (12:21.85) and the 500 freestyle (5:45.72). John Schmidtbauer won the 100 free (51.23), while the Bearcats also took the 200 free relay (1:36.06).

Pacific's women dropped their meet to the Bearcats by a final of 116-60.

Junior Alex Prigge led the Boxers with a pair of individual victories, capturing top honors in the 200 freestyle (2:10.13) and the 500 freestyle (5:45.16).

Freshman Julie Garner was the Boxers' only other individual place-winner, capturing the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:46.89.

The Bearcat women won six individual events and both relays. Brittany Thiemens won two events to lead Willamette, claiming the 50 freestyle (23.61) and the 100 freestyle (58.56).Gwen Schulze set a new Forest Grove Aquatic Center record in the 200-yard backstroke with her time of 2:21.57.

Saturday's meet was the final home event of the season for Pacific. The Boxers will wrap up their dual meet schedule on Jan. 26 when they travel to Linfield. That meet will be followed by the Northwest Conference Championships, which will be held Feb. 8-10 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.