Swimming Defeats Pittsburgh In Season Opener

Oct. 19, 2002

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SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Washington swimming team (1-0) made its season debut this afternoon with a victory over Pittsburgh (0-1). The women powered their way to a 162-95 win, while the men earned their victory by the score of 150-114.

Freshman Sharon Olson (Weaverville, Calif.) was the big winner on the women's side, placing first in all three of her individual events. She won the 100- (51.64), 500- (4:56.64) and 1,000 free (10:14.88) and swam fast enough to enter the Husky top 10 charts in each event. Senior Kim Harada (San Lorenzo, Calif.) also paced the Huskies, winning both the 50- (23.75) and 200 free (1:51.87) events. The victory was a complete team effort, with six other Huskies winning individual events, including Desiree Johnson (Post Falls, Idaho) in the 100 back (57.21), Melody Staubitz (Mesa, Ariz.) in the 100 breast (1:05.45), Anissa Hilyard (Whittier, Calif.) in the 200 fly (2:04.45), Annette Vayo (Placentia, Calif.) in the 200 back (2:03.11), Liya Liu (Vancouver, Wash.) in the 100 fly and Brittany Reichardt (Gardnerville, Nev.) in the 200 breast (2:24.09).

The Husky women also won the 200 medley relay (1:45.92) behind the efforts of Johnson, Staubitz, Liu and Harada.

On the men's side, junior All-American Luke Ekhoff (Portland, Ore.) led the Husky charge with three victories in the 100 breast (56.67), 200 breast (2:02.57) and 200 IM (1:5296). Three other Washington swimmers placed first in individual events, including Jim Wolfe (Hillsboro, Ore.) in the 200 free (1:40.73), Diogo Bezerra (Recife, Brazil) in the 100 back (51.98) and Justin Adrian (Bremerton, Wash.) in the 100 fly (49.90).

The Husky men also won the 200 medley and 200 free relays. The 200 MR team included Kurt Hardesty (Cincinnati, Ohio), Philip Davis (Columbus, Ohio), Adrian and Derek Rose (Forest Grove, Ore.), while the 200 FR was won by Zachary Heaton (Bellevue, Wash.), Adrian, Piotr Daranowski (Lodz, Poland) and Ekhoff.

Head coach Mickey Wender was very pleased with his team's performance in their home opener. 'This definitely set the tone for the rest of our season,' said Wender. 'Pittsburgh has a top 15 men's team and top 25 women's team. They sent nine athletes to NCAA's last season and we gave then all they could handle today.'

An underlying victory for the Huskies was that they won the meet by more than 32 points. Since Washington does not field a diving program, any meet on the road automatically gives the Huskies a 32-point deficit at the start of the meet.

'Beating a top 15 team and covering the spread was one of our big goals,' said Wender. 'I couldn't be more proud of our senior leadership and our young swimmers for stepping up and defeating a talented Pittsburgh team.'

Washington is back in the pool Nov. 1-2 when it competes in the Big West Shoot Our in Irvine, Calif.


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