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Manta Ray Aquatic swimmers shine in conference championships

Herald Sports Staff | February 25, 2023 1:00 PM

MOSES LAKE – Three Manta Ray Aquatics swimmers recently competed in college conference championship events, with Laurel Knox, Cole Lindberg and Zachary Washburn all competing for their respective schools.

Knox, a freshman at the University of Jamestown, swam in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Swim and Dive Championships. Along with swimming in the 500-yard freestyle, 400-yard medley relay, 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard individual freestyle, 800-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard freestyle relay, Knox earned her way to the NAIA Swimming and Diving Championships in Columbus, Georgia for her sixth-place finish in the 1650-yard individual freestyle.

Lindberg, a sophomore at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and Washburn, a sophomore at Whitworth in Spokane, saw their teams compete against each other at the Northwest Conference Championships hosted at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Lindberg set two Willamette records at the meet, breaking the previous bests in the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly events. His time of 49.91 in the 100-yard butterfly saw him finish fourth in the championship finals, and he later set the record in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:53.4 to finish third in the championship finals.

After setting the conference record in the 50-yard freestyle as a freshman, Washburn broke his previous record in the event with a swim of 20.05 seconds at the NWC Championships. In the 50-yard freestyle finals, Washburn again broke his record to set it at 20 seconds flat. Washburn was named the co-Swimmer of the Year after sweeping all three of his individual events (50-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard freestyle). The sophomore will head to the NCAA championships next month in Greensboro, North Carolina.