Oct. 19, 2001
SAN JOSE, Calif.-- The Washington State University women's swim team opened its competitive season by claiming victory against San Jose State Friday, 119-96. The Cougars jumped out to a 75-18 lead after the first five events before cruising to victory, marking the second consecutive year they have defeated the Spartans.
"The women swam well considering the strength work they are doing in the weight room and the consistently tough training we have thrown at them the last couple of weeks," WSU Head Coach Rocco Aceto said. "We paced our races well and tried to race in a technically sound manner. The team worked on their underwaters, breakouts and turns on their way to well swum races."
WSU started quickly with a 1-2 finish in the 400 medley relay, led by the team of Andree-Anne LeRoy, Rachel Dong, Lindsay Henahan and Rebecca Cohen. The quartet recorded a time of 3 minutes, 54.68 seconds, followed by the WSU "B" team in 3:57.45. This helped set the pace for the Cougars to cruise to victory, despite the fact San Jose State scored 32 uncontested points in diving events because WSU has no diving program.
Cohen, a junior from Portland, Ore., swam well, claiming victory in two individual events in addition to the one relay. She won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:54.68, as well as the 100 freestyle in 53.84.
"The first meet of the season is always exciting," Cohen said. "This time, it was fun to swim outside in the California sun. I had a strong first day with two wins and solid times to go with them. I'm looking forward to racing Cal tomorrow and I can't wait to see what the team does. We look sharp this year and are swimming as a strong group. I think we are going to have a wonderful season."
Junior co-captain Melissa Hubley also looked impressive, grabbing a win in the 200 butterfly with a top-10 NCAA time of 2:03.22. The native of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada also placed second in the 400 individual medley.
"I feel very good about how our team performed at the meet," Hubley said. "The times we swam were right around the times most of us went at the end of last year, which shows how far ahead we are in our training. This gives us a lot of confidence going into our meet against Cal tomorrow, and we are all looking forward to some fast swims. I'm happy with my performance as well. The 200 fly time was where I wanted to be, but I still feel that I can swim faster tomorrow. The meet went very well, especially for being the first time we have swam since at least August or earlier."
Rachel Dong out of Paramount, Calif. also won two individual events and one relay. The sophomore co-captain claimed victory in both the 400 individual medley and 200 breaststroke with times of 4:38.01 and 2:24.57, respectively.
"Going into this meet our team was really looking forward to racing," Dong said. "For most of us, it has been over two months since we've competed. We started the day off well with a 1-2 win in the relay, and that really set the momentum for the rest of the meet. I think we are all looking to swim even faster tomorrow against Cal. I was pretty excited about the 400 IM, which was an eight second drop for me. The 200 breaststroke wasn't exactly where I wanted to be right now, but I'm confident that I can improve in that event immensely. The important thing was it was a win for the team and that is what I wanted."
Tomorrow Washington State faces the California Golden Bears at noon in Berkeley, Calif. With several Olympians, World and NCAA title holders, and American and NCAA record holders on its team, Cal will provide a serious challenge for the Cougars.
Washington State at San Jose State
San Jose, California
(all distances in yards)
TEAM SCORING: Washington State (WSU) 119, San Jose State (SJSU) 96
RESULTS: (top three and all WSU finishers)
400 Medley Relay:
1. WSU (A)-(LeRoy, Dong, Henahan, Cohen) 3:54.68
2. WSU (B)-(Ternent, Swanson, Hubley, Louw) 3:57.45
3. SJSU (A) 3:58.95
400 Freestyle Relay:
**1. WSU (A)-(Zavareh, Dunn, Byrnes, Schmied) 3:40.73
2. SJSU (A) 3:45.94
**not scored, swam as exhibition