Nov. 1, 2008
RENO, Nev. - The Washington State University women's swimming team posted a one-two finish in the 400 freestyle relay to come from behind and defeat Nevada 136-126, Saturday. The victory coupled with a 184-78 win over UC Davis gave the Cougars a sweep of the double-dual meet. The win over Nevada was the first for WSU in nine tries on the road against the Wolf Pack.
The Cougars' "A" relay of Rugile Mileisyte, Talor Whitaker, Sierra Burton and Jessie Craig won the 400 free relay in 3:30.83 and the "B" combination of Michaela Ahlin, Jennifer Dean, Elyse Peterson and Emma Neely was second in 3:32.48.
The performance capped a bookend day for the WSU relay teams as the Cougars' "A" team won the 400 medley and the "B" team was third in the day's opening event. The victorious team consisting of Mileisyte, Peterson, Whitaker and Burton finished in 3:51.49. Afton Pickett, Craig, Ahlin and Neely were third in 3:55.02.
"Our relay teams set the tone in the 400 medley and capped the win with a great performance in the 400 free," Cougar Head Coach Erica Quam said. "Our "B" teams stepped up and beat some "A" teams. Nevada was a tremendous team today and it was really tough at home. Anytime we can get in a meet where it comes down to last relay is a great experience for us. I am really proud of our performance today."
Following the opening relay, Rachel Krager gave the Cougars a second place finish in the 1000 freestyle in a time of 10:46.12. Burton (1:53.01) and Mileisyte (57.58) followed with wins in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, respectively.
WSU racked up points with second place finishes in each of the next three events. Peterson swam a 1:04.86 in the 100 breaststroke, Ahlin recorded a 2:05.63 in the 200 fly and Whitaker clocked a 24.51 in the 50 free. In the eighth event of the day, Whitaker (52.32) and Burton (52.73) teamed for a one-two finish in the 100 free to give the Cougars their fourth event win of the meet.
"The 100 free was a big event for us," Quam said. "Nevada had a momentum with three-straight event wins and coming out of the 15-minute break, Talor and Sierra's performance was huge."
Pickett (2:06.63) second in the 200 backstroke, Craig (2:25.87) third in the 200 breaststroke, Michelle McDonald (5:14.61) third in the 500 free, and Ahlin (56.88) second in the 100 fly were WSU's top performers in the next four events. That was followed by Shawna Keller (2:09.24), Pickett (2:10.38) and Kristin Marceau (2:16.96) turning in solid efforts in the 200 individual medley setting the stage for the final relay.
"Michelle stepped up to earn a third in the 500 free and Afton, Shawna and Kristin did a great job of not giving up in the 200 IM at a time in the meet when every point mattered," Quam said.
Of note in the meet, because of the altitude in Reno, times in the 100 free (-.10 seconds), 200 free (-1.2 seconds) and 1000 free (-11.2 seconds) can be adjusted for consideration among the season's best. The Cougars will take next week off before hosting Northern Arizona, Saturday, Nov. 15 at 10 a.m.