April 23, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash.-- Junior Jill Olson took home top honors in the 2001-2002 Washington State University Swimming Awards, garnering the team's honor for most outstanding.
"Each year when we sit down to decide who will be the recipients of these awards, we struggle to choose one athlete who stands out from a team of outstanding members," WSU interim head coach Suzanne Yee said. "The team's accomplishments this year were a result of the contributions by each student-athlete on our squad. Every athlete is deserving of recognition, but these award winners each had a special characteristic that pushed them to the top of the list."
Olson, a native of Seattle, broke records in school records in the 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle this season, with times of 10:12.96 and 16:56.31, respectively. She also posted a personal best of 5:01.09 in the 500 freestyle, placing her sixth in WSU history for the event. Olson garnered First Team Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic honors for the second consecutive year, and has a 3.74 grade-point average while majoring in accounting.
Another WSU distance swimmer, Rebecca Cohen, grabbed the honors of most improved after a strong performance at the Pac-10 Championships. Cohen, a junior from Portland, Ore., shattered the oldest mark in the WSU record book by over four seconds at the Pac-10's, clocking a 4:53.53 in the 500 freestyle en route to placing 16th. She then went on to brake Olson's school record in the 1,650 freestyle with a time of 16:55.99, placing her 13th at the championships.
Sophomore Rachel Dong earned the team's Strength and Conditioning Award. Dong's work in the weight room helped her become WSU's highest finisher at both the Pac-10 Championships and NCAA Championships season. The native of Paramount, Calif., placed fifth in the 100 butterfly, an event in which she holds the school record, at the Pac-10's and 34th at the NCAA's.
Theresa Dunn added to her scholastic accolades by receiving the team's Outstanding Academic award. The sophomore from Morgan Hill, Calif., had already been named to the 2002 Pac-10 All-Academic first team with her 3.94 GPA in pre-law.
The Cougar Award, which recognizes an athlete that embodies Cougar pride and spirit, went to freshman Lisa Irwin. A native of Vacaville, Calif., Irwin established personal bests in the 200 butterfly and 1,650 freestyle in her first year with the team.