Oct. 22, 2010
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University Crimson team is in first place with 119 points after the first session of the Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational, Friday. Crimson is followed by the Idaho Black team with 89 points, WSU Gray with 89 and Idaho Gold with 57.
It did not take long for records to fall at Gibb Pool. In the first race of the night, the 400 medley relay, the team of Rugile Mileisyte, Jessie Craig, Talor Whitaker and Evelina Bieleckaite set both a Debbie Pipher meet record as well as a pool record with its time of (3:47.93).
Mileisyte led all competitors with 16 points, going on to win the 50 freestyle in 23.57 seconds, edging out Melissa Bogert by half a second. The Alytus, Lithuania native also notched a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke behind Idaho Black's Shana Lim, who broke the meet record by over a second (55.36).
Mileisyte was not the only Cougar to win an event, Friday, as five WSU swimmers posted a first place finish in individual events. Shelbi Luchini (400 individual medley), Whitaker (100 buttefly) and Jessie Craig (100 breaststroke) won events for the Crimson squad while Emma Neely (200 freestyle) captured the only event victory for the Gray squad.
"Any way that we can have depth spread out and not count on one or two people, is really exciting," said head coach Erica Quam. "It was tough selecting the team, especially based off the results at the University of the Pacific last week. Some people on Gray are stepping up and doing some swims that show they should have been thought of to put on Crimson."
The individual points represent the Cougars' depth as well. Neely finished the night with 15 individual points behind Mileisyte and is followed closely by Bogert (Gray), Luchini (Crimson) and newcomer Taylor Indahl (Gray), each with 13 points.
Quam said she like what she saw from many of her swimmers during the opening session, but would like to see more aggressiveness early.
"I think we are making improvements in some areas of our races. I still think that they are showing that they are in good shape. I think we need to be more aggressive on the front half of our races."
The second session of the Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational will consist of nine events, and is slated to begin, Saturday at noon.