WSU Adds Top-10 Times On Day Three at Pac-12 Championships
HOUSTON (Feb. 26, 2021) – Washington State Swimming produced more impressive performances on day three of the Pac-12 Conference Championships in Houston Friday.
The Cougars recorded five Top-10 times and an additional nine personal-bests. In the morning preliminaries, three Cougars recorded Top-10 marks beginning with senior Taylor McCoy posting an NCAA "B" time in the 400 individual medley with a 4:15.07, good for the second-fastest time in program history. A pair of freshmen also posted Top-10 times in the 100 breast as Alex Vartiainen posted the eighth-fastest time in program history with a 1:02.26 and Hailey Grotte recorded a 1:02.99 which would be the tenth-fastest in WSU history.
"Today was a big day for us when it comes earning opportunities to come back and swim in the evening sessions. We had 12 swims tonight which is one of most WSU has had in final races and I thought our young group did a great job of bringing the energy and competing," third-year head coach Matt Leach said. "Our 400 IMers did a great job with all posting a personal-best time either in prelims or finals. Taylor (McCoy) was our top finisher of the night, finishing just off the school record and in eighth in the 400 IM while Michee (Van Rooyen) had a great swim to win her 200 free "C" race.
In the even session, McCoy finished eighth in the 400 IM final and sophomore Michee Van Rooyen improved her own Top-10 time while winning the 200 free "C" race with a 1:49.04, good for ninth-fastest in WSU history.
In the 200 breast, Vartiainen bested her morning time with a 1:01.85, fifth-fastest in WSU history while freshman Kaya Takashige posted the tenth-fastest time with a 1:02.80 in the same event.
"Our breaststroke group really stepped up with Alexandra (Vartiainen), Hailey (Grotte), Kaya (Takashige) and Mackenzie (Duarte). In those breaststroke events, that group produced four Top-10 times with one knocked just outside the Top-10 by a teammate," Leach added. "Paige (Gardner), Makayla (Poloni) and Kiana (Swain) finished out the night with solid swims in the 100 Backstroke. Tonight was our strongest night as a group and we will head into tomorrow's final day already close to last year's total so we hope to keep the momentum going."
The Cougars enter Saturday's final day of the championships in seventh place with 355 points.