Cougar Swimmers Prepare for Southern California Grand Prix

Jan. 14, 2009

This Week: Washington State University will send 12 swimmers to Long Beach, Calif., this week for the Southern California Grand Prix, part of the six-meet USA Swimming Grand Prix takes place Jan. 16-19 at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool beginning with the 1000 freestyle at 5 p.m. Friday...prelims will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday through Monday with finals at 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday...Monday's finals will begin at 4 p.m...Cougar swimmers will have the opportunity to compete against top-notch competitors at the event, including Olympians Chloe Sutton and Lacey Nymeyer as well as U.S. National Team members Mary DeScenza and Caitlin Leverenz...WSU has 17 swims seeded in the top 10 of the meet's 14 individual events...Cougars are also seeded first and fifth in the 400 medley relay and second and third in the 400 free relay...more information, live webcasts and results can be found at

2008 LBGP Recap: Cougars on this season's roster that made final events at the 2008 Long Beach Grand Prix include senior Elyse Peterson, juniors Michaela Ahlin and Shawna Keller and sophomores Talor Whitaker, Sierra Burton and Rugile Mileisyte...Cougars also posted second-place finishes in the 800 freestyle relay (7:32.70) and 400 medley relay (3:47.09) and a third-place finish in the 400 free relay (3:29.15).

Head Coach Erica Quam on the Long Beach Grand Prix: 'We are excited about the opportunity to compete in this event again this year. Coming off of our training camp, it will be good for us to get up and race in this type of environment and see how many people we can qualify for finals swims since this is a prelim/final format competition. This is a pool that we know well, as the Pacific-10 Conference Championships have been there the last three years. For our freshmen, it will be great for them to race here and gain experience for Pac-10s down in Long Beach next year. We will have a roster of 12 swimmers racing and we feel this can set them up well for the rest of our championship season.'

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, looking to improve its dual meet record to 5-0, will make the eight-mile trip across the Washington-Idaho border to take on the Idaho Vandals Friday, Jan. 25.
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