WSU Sweeps Relay Events at Southern California Grand Prix

Jan. 19, 2009


LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Washington State University women's swim team swept all three relay events at the USA Swimming Southern California Grand Prix this weekend with a win in the 400 medley relay Monday. The win also marked the third meet record for WSU with a 400 medley finish time of 3:45.73 and helped the WSU win the four-day meet on the women's side.

'Our relay went in seated first and really went after the relay record and a sweep of all three relays,' WSU Head Coach Erica Quam said.

The Cougars showed improvement in the finals session again on Monday with junior Michaela Ahlin, sophomore Talor Whitaker, sophomore Rugile Mileisyte and senior Afton Pickett improving from their morning swims to swim their fastest unshaved times in their respective events.

Ahlin finished third in the A consolation of the 100 fly with a time of 54.76 while Whitaker (56.17) took first-place in the B consolation. Whitaker also had a first-place finish in the 200 IM A consolation improving on her prelim time to finish with a time of 2:04.15.

Mileisyte took second-place in the A consolation of the 100 back (56.31) and Pickett finished second in the B consolation (57.01)

Freshman Jessie Craig and senior Elyse Peterson demonstrated WSU's strength in the breaststroke with Peterson finishing sixth with a time of 1:02.88 followed by seventh-place Craig (1:04.61). Junior Shawna Keller also qualified for the finals and finished third in the A consolation with a time of 1:04.71.

'Our breaststrokers showed their strength and depth today with two people qualifying in the top eight,' Quam said. 'Jessie moved to eighth on the top ten times list this morning in her prelim swim and improved her time tonight. Elyse had a great night swim and looked much sharper tonight than in her prelim swim. Shawna Keller stepped up to go just off her lifetime best time and improved on her seed tonight.'

Keller also has a first-place finish in the 200 IM B consolation with a time of 2:06.84.

'Shawna had a tough double from the 100 breast into the 200 IM and handled it like a champ improving on her morning swim by almost three seconds,' Quam said. 'Talor had a great race in the next heat improving her time by over three seconds as well.'

Freshman Rachael Krager also had a good day finishing 17th overall in the 1650 free with a time of 17:17.52.

Quam expressed her satisfaction with her team's performance throughout the weekend.

'All year long we have had great competitiveness from within our team and that is one of the keys to our success, having people constantly improving and going after spots on our relays.'

Mary DeScenza and Olympian Matt Grevers won the women's and men's high-point award with their overall performances during the four-day meet. The Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics took home the meet's overall team title.

The Cougars compete again Friday, Jan. 23 at the University of Idaho.
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