Washington State Swimming Opens Season at Pacific Invitational

Oct. 14, 2008

This Week: The Washington State women's swim team travels to Stockton, Calif., this weekend for the two-day TYR Pacific Invitational...events begin Friday, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. at Chris Kjeldsen Pool at the University of the Pacific...finals will be held Saturday beginning at 12:30 p.m....competitors will include the host Tigers, UC Davis and Nevada as well as Pacific-10 opponent Oregon State...this will be Washington State's first appearance at the event since 2004 when the Cougars took second place.

Head Coach Erica Quam on the Pacific Invitational: 'We're really excited to travel and race in our first competition. I think the team has put in some great work this fall and they are ready to get off the blocks and see some people besides their alums and themselves to race against. I have had goal meetings with the team over the last two weeks and it's exciting to see what this team wants to accomplish for this season, during practice and in their races and I think that they are ready to put that into play in a real competition. I think the overall atmosphere of the event will be good. With all the teams there and Pacific hosting it will be a great level of competition for our team to face at this point.'

2007 Pacific Invitational: California won the 2007 Pacific Invitational with a score of 808.50...Oregon State claimed second with a score of 626.50...Pacific took third while Nevada was fourth and UC Davis finished fifth.

Last Season: Washington State finished the 2007-08 season with a 5-2 dual meet record, its fourth-consecutive winning season under seventh-year head coach Erica Quam...18 swimmers posted 87 lifetime bests in the seven dual meets and four invitational meets the Cougars competed in...16 swims made the evening final sessions at the 2008 Pacific-10 Conference Championships...five records were broken throughout the season all during the Pac-10 Championships...the 800 freestyle relay team of Michaela Ahlin (Tyreso, Sweden; junior), Rugile Mileisyte (Alytus, Lithuania; sophomore), Talor Whitaker (Chesterton, Ind.; sophomore), and Sierra Burton (Carmel, Calif.; sophomore) set the school record with a tie of 7:23.26...this year's team holds 38 spots on the Cougars' all-time top 10 list in 14 individual events.

2008-09 Outlook: This year's squad returns 10 swimmers including individual school record holders Rugile Mileisyte (100 back), Elyse Peterson (100 breast) and Michaela Ahlin (200 butterfly)...800 freestyle and 400 medley relay record holders consisting of Mileisyte, Peterson, Ahlin and sophomore Sierra Burton are also returning...11 new swimmers join the Cougar line-up this season.

Coaching Staff: Erica Quam enters her seventh year as WSU head swim coach...under Quam the Cougars have set 12 school records and earned 76 spots on the Cougar individual top 10 lists, three placements at the NCAA Championships and 24 first team All-Academic honors...Quam has also guided two All-Americans and one Olympian...she is joined by assistant coach Lindsay Henahan and student assistant coach Lina Daugvilaite...Henahan is in her first year as an assistant...she joins WSU women's swimming after serving four years as the assistant coach at the Rochester Institute of Technology...Daugvilaite, a 2008 WSU graduate and four-season athlete for the Cougars is in her first year as a student assistant coach.

Next up for the Cougars: The Cougars will host Notre Dame, Ohio, Fresno State and Idaho at the Debbie Pipher Memorial Invite Oct. 24 and 25...events will begin at 5 p.m. Friday at Gibb Pool.

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