Cougar Swimmers Open NCAA Championships

March 19, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Washington State University sophomore Rugile Mileisyte and junior Michaela Ahlin each competed in the preliminaries during day one of the 2009 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, Thursday.

Mileisyte finished 28th in the 50 freestyle in a time of 22.49. She missed the cut for the B Final by 24 one-hundredths of a second and was just shy of her lifetime best 22.45 set Feb. 26 at the Pacific-10 Conference Championships. The event was won by Pac-10 Champion Lara Jackson from Arizona in 21.75. The cut for the A Final was 22.11.

Earlier in the day, Ahlin was 53rd in the 500 free with a time of 4:49.40. Allison Schmitt of Georgia was first with a time of 4:35.43. The cut for the A Final was 4:38.91 and the B Final cut was 4:41.06.

'I was proud of both swimmers for two great races,' Cougar Head Coach Erica Quam said. 'Michaela was a half second faster than her prelim time at Pac-10s. For her to make that improvement is significant. She has continued to get better since the Pac-10 meet and I think she will be more comfortable in her butterfly events over the next two days.'

Quam added, 'Rugile had her fastest morning swim. To move up from her seed time of 33rd is a good improvement and a great experience for her career.'

Both Ahlin and Mileisyte will be in action, Friday. Ahlin will swim the 100 fly and Mileisyte will compete in the 100 back. Senior Elyse Peterson will make her debut at the meet in the 100 breast.

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