Ahlin Leads Crimson to Victory

Sept. 27, 2008

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PULLMAN, Wash. - A first place finish in the 100 butterfly and three first place-relay finishes. Not a bad day for Washington State junior Michaela Ahlin whose 18 points led the Crimson team to a 103-98 victory decided by the final event Saturday at Gibb Pool.

Going into the 250 freestyle crescendo relay, the Crimson and Gray teams were tied at 92 points apiece, but the relay performances of freshman Jessie Craig, senior Afton Pickett, sophomore Sierra Burton and Ahlin edged out the Gray squad by 2.48 seconds to take the meet.

Ahlin also had second place finishes in both the 200 IM and 50 backstroke as well as a fifth place finish in the 100 backstroke.

Talor Whitaker was the high scorer of the meet contributing 22 points to the Gray team's total. Whitaker and Ahlin battled back and forth throughout the day as Whitaker posted first place finishes in the 200 IM and 50 backstroke, a second place finish in the 100 fly as well as second place finishes in all three relays.

'First of all, I was excited that it came down to the last relay to decide the winner between the Crimson and Gray teams,' Cougar Head Coach Erica Quam said. 'They were able to get up and have some close competition, paying attention to the points and racing for their individual teams today. It was great to see some of these freshmen get off the blocks and see what we can work on from here on out.'

Some former Cougars also competed in Saturday's match-ups including assistant coach and 2003 All-American Lindsay Henahan as well at two-time All-American (2006, 2007) Erin McCleave.

'The atmosphere that the returning alumnae provided was a lot of fun,' Quam said. 'It was great to see the alumnae show how fun swimming can be and that they want to come back and be a part of that. I think they are all proud of the improvements that we've made here since they've been swimming, seeing the new scoreboard up and the things we have changed in the locker room, providing us with feedback in the changes and progress that the team has made.'

The Cougars will open the regular season Oct. 17 at the TYR Pacific Invite in Stockton, Calif.

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