Cougar Swimming Defeats Northern Arizona

Nov. 15, 2008

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PULLMAN, Wash. - The WSU 200 freestyle relay team consisting of sophomores Talor Whitaker, Rugile Mileisyte, Sierra Burton and freshman Emma Neely set a Gibb Pool record Saturday finishing in a time of 1:35.24. The win in the 200 free relay was just one of 11 first-place finishes for the Cougars as they performed a clean sweep over NAU in every event of the day to win the meet 146-59.

'Overall we just showed some consistency. Based on our times so far this season we had an elevated week of training for sure and these guys didn't let that affect their mind set,' Quam said. 'They continued to get up and race well today and I'm very proud of that.'

The record marks the fourth Gibb Pool record broken this season, all set by the Cougars. Oregon State swimmers Kristin Huston, Birte Steven, Ausra Pacebutaite and Brie Marhenke set the previous record in 2004 with a time of 1:37.01.

'The pool record in the 200 freestyle relay was really good to take down,' Cougar Head Coach Erica Quam said. 'I think that we are trying to measure ourselves against ourselves in some ways and we feel like we're a better team than we've ever been before, so anytime we can get a record that we see when we're training every day, I think that's a real motivating factor for our team. I think it really says a little bit about what we can expect when we do drop down and rest before some of our upcoming competitions like Texas and Pac-10 meets.'

Junior Michaela Ahlin led the Cougars with 18 individual points coming from her wins in the 500 freestyle (5:10.11) and the 100 butterfly (56.97).

'Michaela did an outstanding job swimming the 100 butterfly and doubling into the 500 freestyle,' Quam said 'That was a tough double for her to do and she handled that really well.'

Senior Elyse Peterson and junior Shawna Keller rounded out the top three scorers of the meet. Peterson finished with 13 points and Keller tallied 11. Rachael Krager scored 10 points while Talor Whitaker, Afton Pickett, Rugile Mileisyte Melissa Bogert and Emma Neely all inked nine points with first-place finishes in their individual events of the day.

'I think Talor Whitaker did an outstanding job in the 200 freestyle (1:53.10). That was a good in-season time for her,' Quam said. 'Rachael Krager (10:31.16) and Michelle McDonald (10:41.45) both had great races in the 1000 free. They were neck and neck with their competitors and both were able to pull out those races themselves.'

The Cougars will remain in Pullman next week as the team prepares for a dual meet against Seattle University Saturday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m.
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