Cougars Compete at Chick-Fil-A Invitational
FRESNO, Calif. (October 9, 2021) – Washington State saw a pair of relay teams post Top-10 finishes in the opening day of the Chick-Fil-A Invitational hosted by Fresno State University Friday.
California, who finished fourth in the country last season, won the meet while NCAA-participant San Diego State was second, NCAA-participant UCLA finished third, Fresno State was fourth, WSU fifth and San Jose State sixth. The meet featured teams collecting points in diving (WSU does not have diving).
"Today we saw some strong swims, better energy from start to finish and I think we have some good momentum heading into next weekend against Arizona and Arizona State," head coach Matt Leach said. "Our relays were strong at the beginning and again at the end of the session with some really high-performing swimmers in between in our individual events. Taylor's (McCoy) 200 back was a very strong race and the 100 freestyle did a solid job in the morning with Angela Di Palo getting faster leading off the relay. The breaststrokers are always solid with Lauren (Burckel) and Mackenzie (Duarte) swimming well and our 200 flys improved from last weekend to this weekend which is great news. Ilaria (Moro) did a solid 200 fly and on the relay we got up and we improved from our individual event! All in all we are moving in the right direction and I'm excited to see what we do next weekend. Go Cougs!"
The Cougars saw their 400 free relay team lead the way on the second and final day of the Invitational as the team of Angela Di Palo, Chloe Larson, Hailey Grotte and Paige Gardner placed seventh. A number individual performances also stood out as freshman Angela Di Palo (8th) and senior Chloe Larson (11th) each produced solid times in the 100 free. Senior Mackenzie Duarte earned nine points after finishing ninth in the 200 breast, sophomore Josie Liebzeit was tenth in the 1650 free, senior Taylor McCoy was tenth in 200 back and freshman Ilaria Moro was tenth in 200 fly.
Washington State opens Pac-12 Conference play next weekend hosting Arizona Friday at 9:30 a.m. and Arizona State Saturday at 10:30 a.m.