Cougars Wrap up Big Al Open in Third Place

Dec. 2, 2007


PRINCETON, N.J. - WSU had two teams score in the 400 free relay to secure a third place finish at the Big Al Open Sunday. The Cougars scored 495 points behind the winning No. 11 Penn State with 990 points and No. 25 Princeton with 569.

'We had a great meet,' said WSU Head Coach Erica Quam. 'Everybody stepped up after two long days of racing to finish this meet strongly.'

The WSU `A' 400 free relay squad of freshmen Rugile Mileisyte, Talor Whitaker and Sierra Burton and sophomore Michaela Ahlin placed second in 3:26.78 and the WSU `B' squad of sophomore Shawna Keller, freshman Jennifer Dean and juniors Jamie MacLeod and Elyse Peterson finished sixth in 3:30.01.

Ahlin wrapped up an outstanding three-day meet with a fourth-place showing in the 200 butterfly `A' final in a career-best time of 2:00.32. The time moved Ahlin into first place in Cougar history for the event as well as making the cut for the NCAA `B' standard qualifying time. Freshman Erika Roach finished ninth in the same event (2:05.99).

Peterson placed sixth in the 200 breaststroke (2:18.54), and Keller placed 10th (2:18.92).

Junior Afton Pickett picked up a fifth place finish in the 200 backstroke (2:01.46), and senior Lina Daugvilaite placed sixth in the 1650 freestyle with an NCAA `B' consideration time of 16:52.26.

Cougars' volunteer assistant coach Erin McCleave also competed in preparation for the upcoming Australian Olympic Trials. McCleave swam unattached and placed second in the 1650 freestyle (16:32.09) and seventh in the 100 freestyle (51.43).

'We were a much stronger team with more depth than when we came to this meet four years ago,' said Quam. 'I think this will help set us up for a championship season ahead.'

The Cougars will next be in competition Jan. 5 at the UC Irvine Invite after a week of winter training in Sand Diego, Calif.

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