Cougars Face Top Competition At Minnesota Invitational

Nov. 16, 2005

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This Week: The Cougars travel to Minneapolis, Minn., to take part in the Minnesota Invitational hosted by the Golden Gophers...three-day event begins Friday, Nov. 18 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 20.

Head Coach Erica Quam Says: 'Our goals for the meet are to continue to improve as a team and have people achieve their season best times while also competing for their lifetime best performances. If we can achieve this, with a little bit of rest, then I believe we will really build our confidence for the upcoming championship season this spring. We also hope to better all of our relay performances from Pac-10s last spring and set ourselves up with faster entry times for the meet this February.'

Last Week: Washington State headed to Seattle where they faced the No. 20 Huskies in a dual meet Nov. 11...Washington earned the victory, posting a 149-111 win over the Cougars...three Cougars swam to individual wins with Afton Pickett (200 backstroke, 2:04.15), Erin McCleave (100 backstroke, 57.00) and Bryn Mooney (100 butterfly, 57.66) earning the top spots in their respective events... Jane Copland topped Cougar scorers earning second in the 200 breaststroke (2:18.08) and third place finishes in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.90) and 400 individual medley (4:31.93) and contributing 10 points overall.

The Minnesota Invitational: The meet takes place over three days (Nov. 18-20) with two sessions each day...event preliminaries in the first session followed by finals in the features both men's and women's swimming and diving events...women's competitors include Top-25 teams No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 24 Kansas as well as well as squads from Minnesota, Iowa State, St. Olaf, North Dakota, Iowa, Carleton, Gustavus Adolphus, Nebraska, St. Cloud State, South Dakota State and Notre Dame.

Quam Says: 'This meet will provide a great level of competition for our team. There are plenty of fast swimmers in the field who will challenge the top swimmers on our team to swim fast enough in the morning session to qualify for a second swim during finals each night. This is great experience for our group to get in preparation for the prelim sessions of the Pac-10 Championships. Our only disadvantage in the team scoring for this competition is the fact that we do not have a diving team. We won't be able to contribute any points in any of the three diving events. This will hurt us in the overall points but we should be very competitive just comparing the swimming events.'

Cougars in the Top-25: Washington State currently ranks in the Top-25 in five events...McCleave is ranked eighth in the 1650 freestyle (16:42.06)...Copland is 19th in the 200 breaststroke (2:28.08) with Povilonyte 20th (2:18.27) in the same event...Cougar relay teams own the seventh spot in the 400 medley relay (3:53.43) and rank 25th in the 200 medley relay (1:46.00).

Marvelous McCleave: The Rutherglen, Australia native continues to rewrite the Cougar record books...set WSU record in the 1650 freestyle (16:42.06) at the Pacific Invitational Oct. 28...time bested previous record held by Becca Cohen (16:55.99, 2002) by 13 seconds...McCleave swam to a Gibb Pool and Washington State record in the 1000 freestyle against Idaho Oct. 14...McCleave's time of 10:06.15 shaved six seconds off the previous WSU record of 10:12.96 set in 2001 by Jill Olson...McCleave also owns the school record in the 200 freestyle (1:49.41).

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