Cougars Host Third Annual Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational

Oct. 21, 2009

This Week: The Washington State women's swim team will take on cross-border rival Idaho as it hosts the third annual Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational...the two-day event will begin Friday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. at Gibb Pool, with competition resuming Saturday at honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, free t-shirts will be given to fans in attendance to help 'Pink Out Gibb Pool'...the event is named after Debbie Pipher, who was the head swim coach for Washington State from 1977-97, led the Cougars to a 85-62-1 record during her tenure and lost her battle with breast cancer in January 2007.

WSU This Season: After opening the season with its annual Intrasquad/Alumnae meet, the WSU team traveled to Boise, Idaho to take on Boise State in its first dual match of the season...the Cougars had five different competitors win events but it was not enough to win their season opener...the Cougars lost by a score of 178-116, with 32 of BSU's points coming from diving events, in which no WSU athletes competed.

Scouting the Vandals: The meet will be the first of the Vandals' record holder in the 100-yard freestyle, Alyson O'Brien is returning for her junior season.

2009-10 Outlook: This year's squad returns 13 letterwinners including school record holders Michaela Ahlin (100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 400 IM), Rugile Mileisyte (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and Talor Whitaker (200 IM)...the team has also welcomed seven new freshmen.

Coaching Staff: Head coach Erica Quam is in her eighth season at WSU...under Quam the Cougars have set 19 school records and earned 82 different spots on the school's all-time top 10 lists...she is joined by assistant coach Lindsay Henahan and volunteer assistant coach Jesse Grow...Henahan is in her second season while Grow is new this year.

Head Coach Erica Quam on the Debbie Pipher Memorial: 'Debbie Pipher was a part of the WSU program for so long and paved the foundation for what we are today. She built many WSU traditions that have been passed along, so honoring breast cancer survivors and educating people about the disease is a goal this weekend.'
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