Two Cougars Qualify for NCAA Swimming Championships

March 7, 2002

PULLMAN-- Sophomores Rachel Dong and Andree-Anne LeRoy will represent the Washington State University Women's Swim Team at the 2002 NCAA Championships, March 21-23 at Austin, Texas.

Dong will swim the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke at the competition. She placed fifth in the 100 butterfly and 16th in the 100 breaststroke at the 2002 Pacific-10 Conference Championships last week. The native of Paramount, Calif., currently holds the WSU record in the 100 butterfly at 54.75 seconds and second for the 100 breaststroke at 1:03.54. Dong also hold positions on the school's all-time top-10 lists for in the 50 freestyle (2nd), 200 breaststroke (2nd), 200 individual medley (2nd) and 100 freestyle (5th).

'Qualifying for the NCAA's has been one of the goals I have had ever since coming here,' Dong said. 'I knew I could do it, but actually seeing it materialize is a great feeling.'

LeRoy will compete in the 200 backstroke and the 200 and 400 individual medley events at the championships, all events in which she holds WSU records. She looks to improve on those school-record times of 1:59.64 in the 200 back, 2:02.75 (200 IM) and 4:21.67 (400 IM). The Nanaimo, British Columbia native also holds the school record in the 100 backstroke (56.34), third place in WSU history for the 100 freestyle and fifth for the 200 freestyle. LeRoy placed 23rd in the 200 individual medley at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships.

'The NCAA's was my goal coming into the season,' LeRoy said. 'I'm excited because I'll have three opportunities to represent Washington State at the NCAA Championships.'

The talent present at the NCAA Championships make it one of the fastest meets in the world. LeRoy is currently ranked 34th in the world for the 200 individual medley and 28th in the NCAA. Dong ranks 53th in the world for the 100 butterfly and 31st in the NCAA.

'We are coming off our best season ever by having so many swimmers world-ranked for short course meters, ranked in NCAA competition, as well as another strong dual meet performance,' WSU Head Coach Rocco Aceto said. 'Expectations are high and we want to represent Cougar swimming at the NCAA's on a high level.'

This marks the fifth consecutive year Washington State has sent athletes to the NCAA Women's Swimming Championships. From 1998-2000, Cougar standout Erin Eldridge went to the NCAA championships in the breaststroke, three times garnering All-America honors. Last year, Melissa Hubley represented Washington State in both the 100 and 200 butterfly.

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