Cougar Swimming Gets Invitation of Olympic Proportions

Dec. 21, 2000

PULLMAN, Wash. -- This season, the Cougars will be ringing in the New Year like Olympians.

The Washington State University women's swim team heads to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for a two-week stay beginning December 30.

For the second year in a row, the United States Olympic Committee has invited the Cougars to train at the facility.

'The trip will give us an opportunity to train at high altitudes, as well as eat, swim, and live like Olympians,' WSU head coach Rocco Aceto said.

The center features such advanced equipment as an overhead catwalk and underwater cameras to allow for filming athletes both above and below water for testing purposes. The cameras and other tools allow coaches to check the finer points of a swimmer's stroke and see where she is getting too much drag or resistance.

The facility also features a swimming flume used for advanced training and testing. The flume is like a swimming treadmill, which has a current that can be adjusted from zero to three meters per second. This allows the current to be set at a swimmer's top speed, and allows them to push the limits at a school or NCAA record pace. It is also contained in a hyperbaric chamber, which can adjust the altitude conditions from sea level to 8,000 feet above sea level.

'This will help our training base, as well as serve as a good kickoff to our January season,' Aceto said.

The trip is especially meaningful for one Cougar freshman, Taryn Ternent from Edenvale, South Africa. Ternent's native country was banned from Olympic competition for nearly 30 years because of its Apartheid policy. She says the Olympic spirit has grown greatly recently, since South Africa has competed in the last three Olympic games.

'I'm looking forward to this trip,' Ternent said. 'The technology available at the center is very exciting and can help play a big part in how we perform at Pac-10's and NCAA's.'

The Cougars will also participate in one meet during their Colorado stay, when the University of Denver hosts WSU and Texas Christian for a double-dual meet January 6. Denver is 6-4 this season, while TCU holds a record of 6-2.

'Jim Bain has been building a new program at Denver has some strong athletes to watch out for,' Aceto said. 'Richard Sybesma has been a mainstay for nearly three decades at TCU producing All-Americans and Olympians. TCU has a strong team and we will need to compete with our depth in order to beat the Frogs.'

The Cougars will conclude their Colorado stay January 12, when they head to Los Angeles for a meet against UCLA and UCSD at 11 a.m. January 13.

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