Dec. 6, 2001
PULLMAN, Wash.-- Lesley Ouellette (pronounced wuh-let) signed a national letter of intent to swim at Washington State University beginning fall 2002, Cougar Head Coach Rocco Aceto announced, Thursday.
In her first three years of high school, Ouellette has competed in the California North Coast Section (NCS) Championships (the highest meet held in California) each year, as well as earned Western Zone Champion honors as a member of her club team.
As a freshman at Ukiah High School in Ukiah, Calif., Ouellette placed first in the 100 backstroke and second in the 50 freestyle at the North Bay League Championships, then went on to finish 11th in the 50 free at the NCS Championships. During her sophomore year, she repeated as champion in the 100 back at the NBL Championships, and helped set a league record in the 400 medley relay. At the NCS Championships Ouellette placed 10 in the 50 freestyle, helping her earn All-Empire first team honors. Last season as a junior, Ouellette won both the 50 and 100 freestyle at the NBL Championships, before going on to place third and fourth, respectively, in the events at the NCS Championships. She again earned All-Empire first team, as well as team MVP honors.
Ouellette also competes for the Ukiah Dolphin Swim Club with coach Lee Panttaja. With the club, Ouellette won the Western Zone championship for the 50 freestyle in 1999. The next season, she went on to win Western Zone championships and set zone records in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and the 100 breaststroke. That performance earned her the honor of Most Outstanding Swimmer for the Western Zone. Currently, Ouellette's best times in the 50 freestyle (24.19) and 100 freestyle (52.57) would both rank in WSU's all-time top-10.
"Lesley is a talented athlete," Aceto said. "Her background consists of basketball and seasonal training. Her coach Lee Panttaja convinced her to train this summer and she reaped the benefits. Lesley will add depth to our sprint program."
In addition to her performance in the pool, Ouellette has also been successful in the classroom. She currently serves as vice president of her senior class and carries a 4.28 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. Ouellette, who serves as an editor of her high school paper, looks to pursue a major in journalism at WSU.