Feb. 28, 2002
LONG BEACH, Calif.-- The Washington State University Women's Swim Team jumped into eighth place, just 3.5 points behind intrastate rival Washington, after day one of the Pac-10 Championships, Thursday at Belmont Plaza.
No. 1 Stanford holds the early lead with 442 points, followed by No. 4 California (366), No. 9 USC (365.5), No. 7 Arizona (297), No. 11 UCLA (259), No. 10 Arizona State (228), Washington (132.5), WSU (129), and Oregon State (97).
WSU's Rebecca Cohen shattered the oldest mark in the school record book, the 500 freestyle, by over four seconds. The junior from Portland, Ore., clocked a time of 4:53.53 in the morning preliminary race to break the record of Beth Platte, which had stood since 1986. Cohen went on to place 16th in the 500 freestyle final.
"I have been wanting to break the 500 free record since my freshmen year and am very happy to finally do it," Cohen said. "It is so exciting to be part of the fastest conference in the world and to be able to score points in that conference is a great feeling. I am looking forward to my 200 free tomorrow and I think that the entire team is going to have a super day."
Three Cougars qualified for the finals of the 50 freestyle. Junior Lindsay Henahan placed 15th with a time of 23.78, and sophomore Rachel Dong placed 16th in 23.83. Junior Sara Schmied recorded a personal-best time of 24.02 in the morning prelims to move into a tie for sixth on WSU's all-time list for the event. Schmied finished 22nd place in the finals.
"I went behind the blocks before my race, focused on swimming fast, and didn't worry about all the pressure of performing well," Schmied said. "If I could do that, I knew that the things would fall in place. They did, and I qualified for the finals for the first time at a Pac-10 championship meet." Andree-Anne LeRoy claimed another spot in the finals for WSU with her morning prelim time of 2:04.64 in the 200 individual medley. The sophomore from Nanaimo, British Columbia, placed 23rd overall in the final.
Washington State placed seventh and eighth in the first two relays held today. The 400 medley relay team of Dong, LeRoy, Katie Byrnes and Melissa Hubley grabbed eighth place in 3:47.33. In the 200 freestyle relay, Henahan, Dong, and LeRoy gave the Cougars a strong start, while Schmied anchored the team to a dramatic seventh-place finish with a time of 1:33.11.
"When I began my leg, we were in contention with USC and Washington," Schmied said. "As I was swimming, I couldn't tell how close we were with Washington, but I could see USC and wanted to catch up with their swimmer. I didn't, but I touched out the UW girl, which got me excited for the 50 freestyle."
The Pac-10 competition will continue tomorrow at Belmont Plaza with the 200 medley relay, 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 800 freestyle relay. Preliminary heats for individual events will be held at 11 a.m., with finals for all events beginning at 6 p.m.