April 21, 2004
PULLMAN, Wash. - Freshman Erin McCleave received the most outstanding award at the Washington State swimming banquet, Saturday, April 17 at the Hilltop restaurant. The award highlighted the annual postseason event.
McCleave set a WSU record in the 200 freestyle during the lead leg of the 800 freestyle relay at the Pac-10 Championships. The Cougars placed sixth in the event, their highest finish of the meet. The Rutherglen, Australia native holds places on the Cougars all-time top 10 list in the 50, 100, 200, and 500 freestyles.
Senior Sasha Taylor was given the Cougar Award for exemplifying what it means to be a Cougar and serving as an inspiration for her teammates. Taylor, a Smith Falls, Ontario native, is one of three seniors to remain on the team all four years from a freshman class of 10.
Lisa Irwin was awarded the strength and conditioning award in her third year at WSU. The award was chosen by Jackson Coots, WSU strength and conditioning coach. He selected Irwin for her efforts in the weight room and her mental toughness in overcoming significant adversity. Irwin was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last spring, and underwent surgery last February. She spent the spring and summer recovering and working back into shape, joining the team in the fall. The Vacaville, Calif., native returned and improved upon her times by the end of the season.
The team voted freshman Beth Newhouse most improved for her constant development over the course of the season in her races and workouts. The Pendleton, Ore., native significantly bettered her times throughout the season, becoming a key contributor to the 'B' relay teams at the Pac-10 Championships.
MOST OUTSTANDING AWARD: Erin McCleave MOST IMPROVED: Elizabeth Newhouse STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING AWARD: Lisa Irwin ACADEMIC AWARD: Lindsay Backhouse and Katie Van Horne COUGAR AWARD: Sasha Taylor