Cougars Impress in Season-Opening Win at Idaho
MOSCOW, Idaho (Nov. 20, 2020) – Washington State Women's Swimming opened the 2020-21 season with a 121-85 victory against the University of Idaho at the Idaho Swim Center Friday.
The Cougars recorded seven wins in the 13 events lead by senior Taylor McCoy's victories in the 200 IM and 400 IM.
In the morning session, the Cougars claimed three of the four events as freshman Josie Liebzeit won her first career race in the 500 free, McCoy followed with a win in the 200 IM and senior Chloe Larson capped the morning with an impressive win in the 50 free. Larson closed in on the school record but came up four-tenths of a second behind with a 22.86, good for the fifth-fastest time in WSU history and an impressive feat in the season's opening meet.
"Today marked the beginning of our journey. It had been too long since we last raced but the Cougs did a great job racing, did a great job cheering, created our own atmosphere and understood this is the start of our process," head coach Matt Leach said. "We had some outstanding swims this morning by Josie winning the 500 nearly with a lifetime best time while another freshman Makayla (Poloni) finished second. Taylor (McCoy) had a solid start to the season with a win in the 200 IM that saw the Cougs go 1-2-3-4-5, Chloe (Larson) was two-tenths off her life time best winning the 50 and Hailey Grotte finished third with a lifetime best."
In the afternoon session, a pair of freshman Alexandra Vartiainen and Emily Ward finished one-two in the 50 breast before McCoy added her second win of the day, this time in the 400 IM. WSU closed the meet with wins by sophomore Michee Van Rooyen in the 200 free and freshman Hailey Grotte in the 100 breast while McCoy ended the night finishing second in the 100 backstroke with a career-best 55.45, good for 10th-best in WSU history.
"For the second session this afternoon we saw some great swims out of everyone. Our energy continued to improve and we took steps forward to continue developing our culture," Leach added. "Our breaststroke group stepped up and had solid swims. Taylor (McCoy) led our IMers going 1 through 4 in the 400 IM and Michee (Van Rooyen) swam out to an early lead in the 200 free for a solid win. We are looking forward to competing again tomorrow! GO COUGS!"
The Cougars will again face Idaho in Moscow, Saturday morning.