Dec. 4, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa - In its final competition of the calendar year, the Washington State swim team finished fourth at the Hawkeye Invitational, Sunday.
Through the three days of competition four Cougars set personal best times: junior Evelina Bieleckaite clocked a 23.37 in the 50 free; sophomore Emma Johansson completed the 100 fly in 54.75; in the 200 IM junior Shelbi Luchini touched the wall in 2:03.31; and senior Danielle Palumbo finished the 200 back in 2:00.98.
In the third, and final, day of competition, the team from Washington State acquired 79.5 points, bringing its three day total to 337.5. Michigan led the eight-school field through all three days and won the tournament with a total of 980 points. Denver placed second with a score of 632.5 followed by host Iowa in third with a team score of 629.
Sunday, after the preliminary rounds 12 Cougars advanced to the final rounds: freshman Haley Anderson (1650 free), Bieleckaite (100 free), Craig (200 breast), senior Sarah Hicks (200 back), Johansson (100 free), Luchini (200 fly), Mand (100 free), sophomore Heather Morlan (1650 free), senior Emma Neely (100 free), Palumbo (200 back), freshman Nicole Proulx (100 free) and sophomore Kelly Tannhauser (200 back).
In the finals, the highest Washington State finish of the day was in the 100 free when Neely touched the wall in 51.31 to secure sixth place. Other Cougar top 10 performances came in the 200 back where Palumbo claimed seventh place with a time of 2:00.98 and Tannhauser placed ninth clocking a 1:59.85. With that time Tannhauser won the "B" final, posting a time faster than all but three swimmers overall.
The Cougar relay team of Proulx, Johansson, Neely and Tannhauser placed fifth in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:25.60.
"This was a great meet in a great venue," Jager stated. "We came here to care of business and our swimmers did just that. We wanted to improve our finishes and this weekend we were on the winning end of our close races."
Jager continued, "This was a good way to close out the year. Our athletes can feel good about their performances and what they accomplished here. We are excited to get to February where they can really let out all of this year's hard work. We're getting there, but we have a lot of great swimming ahead of us."
The Washington State swim team will return to the pool Jan. 6, 2012, when it travels to San Diego to take on San Diego State, UC San Diego, Rice and TCU.