Cougar Swimming Begins New Year in Golden State

Jan. 1, 2009

This Week: After a four-week break from competition, the Washington State swimming team will compete in the 30th Annual UCI/Ayres Hotel Invitationals hosted by UC Irvine, Saturday, Jan. 3...individual events invitational begins at 9 a.m. and includes a 50, 100 and 200 in each of the four strokes (free, back, breast, fly) and a 200 IM...a distance invitational follows 30 minutes after the conclusion of the individual events meet and consists of a 500, 1000 and 1650 free as well as a 400 IM...Washington State and UC Irvine are among the 13 schools competing on the women's side, including Division I members Cal State Northridge, No. 16 UCLA (College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll), Nebraska, Pepperdine, San Diego and Wyoming.

2008 UCI Recap: Washington State captured the individual events meet and was second in the distance invitational at the 2008 UCI/Ayres Hotel Invitationals...Rugile Mileisyte (59.14) in the 100 back, Elyse Peterson (1:05.19) in the 100 breast and Shawna Keller (31.07) in the 50 breast all posted victories in the individual events meet...Michaela Ahlin (4.29.60) captured the 400 IM in the distance meet.

Cougars vs. Bruins: Three events at this week's meet will feature a swimmers from both UCLA and Washington State who currently hold top 40 times this the 200 fly, UCLA's Yasi Jahanshahi is 19th (1:58.04) and Cougar junior Michaela Ahlin is 36th (1:59.91)...Bruin Lauren Hall is 30th (2:16.15) in the 200 breast followed closely by WSU senior Elyse Peterson in 33rd (2:16.35) the 50 free, Anna Poteet (22.76) is 27th and Cougar sophomore Rugile Mileisyte (22.86) is 34th...Peterson also resides 19th (1:01.81) in the 100 breast.

Head Coach Erica Quam on the UCI/Ayers Hotel Invitationals: 'This meet will be a great opportunity - in the middle of our training camp - to get back off the blocks and compete. Each swimmer will be racing in as many as six events in the sprint meet and at least one event in the distance meet. I look at it as a quality set - as this is an elevated number of races from a typical format. We will not be as focused on times as we are the effort and attention to details that we want to continue improving as a group. We're looking for great racing, charging our turns, and people to fight for every finish. If we see these things then we can consider this racing opportunity to have been a success.'

Coaching Staff: Erica Quam is in her seventh year as WSU head swimming 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: Washington State will participate in the Southern California Grand Prix of Swimming, hosted by USA Swimming, in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, Jan. 16 through Monday, Jan. 19.

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