Cougar Swimming Kicks Off Season at Idaho

Sept. 26, 2006

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This Week: WSU opens its 2006-07 season traveling to border rival Idaho and the University of Idaho Swim Center...Cougars and Vandals face off Friday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.

Head Coach Erica Quam Says: 'Idaho and WSU both started with an intersquad meet last year so I think we're going to get a better quality swimming against another team rather than ourselves. Idaho is a young team because they have only been back as a program for a couple years. Tom [Jager, Idaho Head Coach] has done a tremendous job. Last year they finished off with some really fast relays at their conference meets so I think that really built their confidence. They have 11 incoming freshmen with various abilities, so that, combined with their core returners, should add a lot of new people to the different events.'

Last Season: Washington State finished the 2005-06 season with a 4-2 dual meet record...second consecutive winning season under fifth year head coach Erica Quam...Erin McCleave named Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month and National Collegiate Swimmer of the Week...first time any WSU swimmer had earned either award...McCleave also became third Cougar All-American in WSU swimming history... 800 freestyle relay team broke school record at Pac-10 Championships...other highlights include the team's first win over Oregon State since 2002...16 swimmers earned Pac-10 Conference All-Academic honors.

Scouting the Vandals: Idaho Vandals coached by Tom Jager...Friday's meet will be season opener for Idaho as well...Vandals finished the 2005-06 season with a fifth-place finish in the WAC Championships...Vandals are led by returners Paige Lee, JoJo Miller, and Adriana Quirke...Miller finished second in the 200 breaststroke at the 2006 WAC Championship meet while Lee took seventh in the 1650 freestyle.

2006-07 Outlook: Head Coach Erica Quam enters her fifth season at Washington State...2006-07 team anchored by All-American Erin McCleave and NCAA Consideration qualifiers Kayli Changstrom, Monika Povilonyte and Afton Pickett...sophomore Elyse Peterson is also one of the Cougar swimmers to watch this year...19 returnees and four newcomers highlight the Cougar roster... team looks to live up to the Cougar tradition of strong academics as well as swimming fast at the end of the season at the Pacific-10 Conference, NCAA, and U. S. National level.

Head Coach Erica Quam Says: 'This team is ready for a break-out year. I feel like all the pieces are in place for this to happen. We have a great group of leaders in the senior class, returnees who just want to get in there and race, and freshmen who have brought new energy and enthusiasm. Our team learned a great deal last season. They have returned to Pullman with fervor and great attitudes this fall. Their fitness level is excellent, they are mentally much tougher, and the camaraderie amongst the group is better than I've experienced since I've been here at Washington State. This is clearly a special group.'

Next Up for the Cougars: Washington State takes a month off before hosting their first pair of dual meets...San Jose State Spartans come to Gibb Pool Friday, Oct. 20 for a 5 p.m. meet...Northridge comes to the Palouse Saturday, Oct. time TBA.

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