Feb. 23, 2001
FEDERAL WAY, Wash.-- The Washington State University women's swim team held onto seventh place Friday, after the second day and 14 total events of the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Swimming Championships. Defending-champion Arizona moved into first place with 795 points, followed by Southern California 771.5, UCLA 766, Stanford 702.5, California 642.5, Arizona State 483.5, WSU 289, Washington 266, and Oregon State 231.
If the Cougars can hold onto or improve their seventh place standing, they will record their highest ever Pac-10 finish, their previous best being eighth place.
Washington State freshman Andree-Anne LeRoy (Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada) broke her second school record in as many days by swimming a time of 4 minutes, 24.26 seconds in the 400 individual medley. That time gave LeRoy 11th place in the finals.
Rachel Dong, a freshman from Paramount, Calif., shattered another school record with her performance in the 100 buterfly. There, Dong clocked a time of 55.68, while swimming in the same heat with fellow Cougar Melissa Hubley (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada) who also swam faster than the old record with her time of 55.75. The pair went on to finish 14th and 15th respectively in the final of that event. Dong also put herself into second place on WSU's all-time list in the 100 breaststroke with her time of 1:05.02, en route to grabbing 18th place in the finals.
"I had mixed feelings this morning," Dong said. "I felt pretty good about the fly. I would have liked to go faster because my goal is 54 seconds. But then I didn't swim as well in finals. I wasn't very happy with my breaststroke this morning, but tonight I was little happier. I tried to race against the swimmer next to me, and that helped me out. After tonight, I think the whole team is really pumped up."
Another school record fell at the hands of the Cougar 200 medley relay team, comprised of Nicole Chinn (Seattle, Wash.), Christina Swanson (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), Lindsay Henahan (Rochester, N.Y.), and Dong. The quartet clocked a time of 1:43.59, claiming seventh place overall.
Also swimming well for WSU, freshman Taryn Ternent (Edenvale, South Africa) grabbed a hold of second place on the school's all-time list for the 100 backstroke with her time of 57.11, good enough for 15th place in the finals. Also, Chinn placed herself into fourth on WSU's all-time list in the same event with her time of 57.57, and later finished 21st in the finals.
"This morning I was very disappointed with my swim, a lot of things went wrong," Ternent said. "So tonight I focused on doing the little things better, such as my turns. And it worked out well because I swam better. Our team is doing very well. We're breaking records left and right. We're taking little steps toward better things, and thinking positive. We've set out our goals, and so far we're on track. This morning we were a bit down, but we picked it up tonight."
Other finals qualifiers for WSU included: Chinn- 400 IM (24th), Henahan-100 butterfly (19th), Becca Cohen-200 freestyle (23rd), and Katie Byrnes-100 backstroke (22nd).
"We're getting better internally, and have broken five or six school records," WSU coach Rocco Aceto said. "We're starting to get better externally and getting a lot more competitive. Currently we're sitting in seventh, a position we've never been in before. Tonight was important. I think we kind of struggled a bit last night, but tonight we did better. However, tomorrow will be our biggest day."
The Pac-10 Championships will conclude Saturday with the final seven events, preliminaries beginning at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.