WSU Swimming at a Glance: 2008-09 Season Review

April 14, 2009

NCAA Nods: For the first time in school history Washington State sent three swimmers to the NCAA Championships held in College Station, Texas this year. Sophomore Rugile Mileisyte, junior Michaela Ahlin and senior Elyse Peterson all made their first career performances at the championships March 19-21.

Ahlin became the fourth Cougar in history to qualify in three different events as she earned B Consideration times in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 500 free. She placed the highest of the three swimmers at the NCAAs after a 21st-place finish in the 200 fly with a school-record time of 1:56.46.

Peterson competed in the 100 and 200 breaststroke finishing 31st in the 100 breast (1:01.31) and 43rd in the 200 breast (2:13.81).

Mileisyte swam in the 50 free finishing 28th overall with a time of 22.49. She also competed in the 100 back placing 55th overall with a time of 54.93.

The 2008-09 Season: The Cougars finished the season with a 6-2 dual meet record after opening the season with a 6-0 start, Quam's career best and one win away from tying the program best start of 7-0 (1978, Pipher). Quam also became the first WSU head coach to have three 4-0 starts in her career.

WSU kicked off the season with a double dual meet against Nevada and UC Davis defeating both teams 136-126 and 184-78 respectively. The Cougars then went on to defeat Northern Arizona (146-59), Seattle (153-50), Idaho (149-55) and Boise State (138-63). WSU dropped its final two meets of the year to Pac-10 rivals Oregon State (130.5-131.5) and Washington (162.5-96.5).

In addition to the dual meet schedule, the Cougars also competed in several invites winning the TYR Pacific Invitational and their very own second annual Debbie Pipher Memorial Invite. WSU placed seventh overall at the Texas Invitational and won the USA Swimming Southern California Grand Prix on the women's side.

The Pacific-10 Conference: Going into the Pacific-10 Conference Championships, six of the nine teams were ranked in the College Swimming Top 25 including No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 Arizona, No. 8 California, No. 11 USC, No. 20 UCLA and No. 25 Washington.

WSU scored 341 points during the four-day event and placed ninth overall. The Cougars had 18 individual swims advance to the finals to score. Peterson and Ahlin placed the highest with sixth-place overall finishes. Peterson finished sixth with her record-breaking performance in the 100 breast with a time of 1:00.92. Ahlin placed sixth in the final day of the event in the 200 fly breaking the record in the preliminary round and then breaking it again during the finals with a time of 1:56.66. WSU also broke school records in four out of the five relays placing eighth in the 200 free relay (1:31.96), fifth in the 200 medley relay (1:40.22), seventh in the 400 medley relay (3:38.08) and eighth in the 400 free relay (3:21.29).

After the initial meet, Ahlin and Mileisyte were both selected to compete in the Pacific-10 Conference Invitational on March 1. Ahlin competed in the 100 butterfly while Mileisyte swam time trials for the 50 free.

The Record Books: Overall this season, the Cougars had 26 school record-setting performances in 14 different events with 20 of those performances coming at the Pacific-10 Conference Championships. The team also had six Gibb Pool record performances. There were 16 B Consideration times swam by four individuals and three relays. Current student-athletes now hold 10 individual records, all five relay records and 47 spots on the Cougar all-time top 10 lists.

Mileisyte broke the school record in the 50 free five different times this season beginning with her time of 23.15 at the Debbie Pipher Memorial Invite earning her a Gibb Pool record as well. She broke it again at the Texas Invitational (22.86), the USA Swimming Southern California Grand Prix (22.78) and then broke it twice at the Pacific-10 Championships (22.45). She also broke the record in the 100 free at Pac-10s with a time of 49.81. At the Debbie Pipher Memorial Invite Mileistye set a Gibb Pool record in the 100 back with a time of 56.86, since broken.

The 100 backstroke was broken three times in one day at the Pac-10s after senior Afton Pickett broke it early in the day with a time of 54.91. Mileisyte then broke the record during finals with a time of 54.88 before Pickett broke it again with her lead off in the 400 medley relay (54.77). Pickett also broke the record in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:57.12.

Peterson broke 100 breaststroke record twice this season, first at the Texas Invitational (1:01.81) and again at the Pac-10s with a time of 1:00.92. She also broke the record in the 200 breast with a time of 2:13.36.

Ahlin broke the WSU 100 fly record at the Pacific-10 Invitational with a time of 53.72. She then broke it again at the NCAA Championships with a time of 53.40. She broke the 200 fly record three times, twice at the Pac-10 Championships and again at the NCAAs (1:56.46). She also holds the school record in the 400 IM with a time of 4:17.23. During a dual meet against Boise State, Ahlin also set a Gibb Pool record in the 400 IM with a time of 4:25.20.

Sophomore Talor Whitaker broke the 200 IM record at the Pac-10s with a time of 2:01.44.

Academics: Eight WSU swimmers received Pacific-10 All-Academic honors this season. Senior Jamie MacLeod earned first team accolades while sophomore Jennifer Dean, senior Kristin Marceau and Whitaker were named to the second team. Ahlin, sophomore Sierra Burton, Peterson and Picket received honorable mention. WSU's eight student-athletes brought coach Quam's All-Academic honorees to a total of 75 over her seven-season tenure with 25 total first team selections.
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