Veteran Cougar Swimmers Lead Team in Minnesota

Nov. 14, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - Rugile Mileisyte had the highest Cougar finish Saturday Nov. 14, at the second day of the 2009 Minnesota Grand Prix held at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The Alytus, Lithuania native finished runner-up in the 50 freestyle (23.30), 12 tenths of a second behind Chantal Vanlandeghem.

The 50 free was a busy event for the Cougars, with seven people making it to the finals session. Freshman Evilina Bieleckaite completed the event in seventh place, while junior Talor Whitaker added seven more points to her meet total with a tenth-place finish. WSU was represented in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 22nd positions of the event by Jennifer Dean, Emma Neely, Jenna Bekker and Melissa Bogert, respectively. Dean also competed in the 500 freestyle where she finished 21st in a time of 5:03.57.

Michaela Ahlin took third place in the 400 individual medley, finishing with a finals time of 4:19.35. The time was good enough to meet the NCAA Consideration time standard. WSU newcomer Shelbi Luchini also qualified for the championship final of the 400 IM. The freshman finished with a seventh-place time of 4:28.22.

Luchini joined Mileisyte in the 100 backstroke final Saturday night as well. Mileisyte finished fourth (56.11), while Luchini finished 13th (58.44).

Jessie Craig and Shawna Keller represented WSU during the finals of the 200 breaststroke. Craig finished in eighth place while Keller took ninth.

The Washington State 400 medley relay teams finished second and fourth in the finals heat, Saturday, just as the 800 freestyle relay teams did the night before. The 'A' team consisting of Mileisyte, Keller, Ahlin and Whitaker finished with a time of 3:44.39. Luchini, Craig, Bogert and Neely made up the 'B' team which finished in 3:48.78.

The meet will resume Sunday with the third and final day of competition beginning at 7 a.m. PT, and finals events starting at 3 p.m. Live results will be posted at
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