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More strokes of success for Turner

Former STHS swimmer sets Whitworth pool mark

Staff report

Whitworth University swimmer Natalie Turner has picked up where she left off last spring.

The former South Tahoe High athlete has already posted a provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Division III Championships and set a Whitworth Aquatic Center record.

The sophomore obliterated a 21-year-old record in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Her time of 17 minutes, 37.24 seconds came during a 160-39 Northwest Conference romp over Linfield College in November.

The old Whitworth Aquatic Center mark of 17:49.13 was recorded by Simon Fraser’s Barbara Graham at the 1986 NAIA Championships.

Turner and her Pirate teammates stepped into competition recently by participating in the Husky Invitational in Seattle.

Turner’s 12th-place finish in the 1,650 freestyle was the best result of the meet for the Whitworth women. Her time of 17:24.91 was well ahead of her WAC record and just off her school-record time of 17:21.07 set at last season’s NCAA Division III championships.

Turner also placed 28th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.02, the second-fastest time in school history behind the 52.58 by Samantha Kephart in 2005.

In addition, Turner was 18th in the 200-yard freestyle with a conference-best time of 1:52.41 and 15th in the 500 freestyle (5:00.2). However, her morning preliminary time of 4:59.86 in the 500 was only two-tenths of a second slower than her school record 4:59.66 performed at last year’s NCAA Division III championships.

Turner’s older sister, Marjorie, placed 23rd in the 200-yard backstroke with a clocking of 2:12.07, narrowly missing her lifetime best result of 2:11.37. It is the fastest time posted in the NWC this season.

Whitworth finished ninth out of 12 teams, tying Boise State and beating Seattle and University of Puget Sound.


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