Jan. 25, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - Junior Michaela Ahlin broke a Gibb Pool record Sunday with her first-place finish in the 400 yard individual medley with a time of 4:25.20. The previous record (4:26.67) was held by Ja-Neil Bragg of Pacific University set Nov. 2, 2007. Ahlin and the Cougars rolled past Boise State 138-63, advancing to 6-0 on the season.
Ahlin also tied with teammate sophomore Talor Whitaker for leading the meet, both swimmers chipping in 18 points apiece. Ahlin also had a first-place finish in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:02.54.
"Michaela has been incredibly consistent all season long," WSU Head Coach Erica Quam said. "She's really tired in training right now and wasn't feeling the best this weekend, but it really shows what a seasoned athlete she is to be able to be able to still get up and have great races with good speed and consistency even when she's not feeling that great. It was good to see her get that pool record today in the 400 IM. She was in a bit of a different place than in October and it just shows the steps she's taken since then to be able to get that."
Co-leading scorer Whitaker recorded her 18 points on the day with first-place finishes in the 200 free with a time of 1:53.09 and the 100 free with a time of 51.96.
"Talor has just shown great speed on her takeouts," Quam said. "I think she's consistently gaining confidence every time she steps up and is really not holding back in her races. I think she'll continue to be better and better with the level of teams that we go up against here with the last two dual meets and then the Pac-10 Championships."
Sophomore Rugile Mileisyte added nine points to the Cougars' total with a first-place finish in the 50 free. Her finish time of 23.68 was just five-tenths of a second off from her Gibb Pool record time of 23.15 set earlier this fall.
"Rugile is getting up and being consistent in her racing," Quam said. "She was a key in being able to pull off a win in the 200 freestyle relay against Idaho the other night and has just shown consistency in her turns, her breakouts and working on the little things. I think we're starting to see her do things better and once she gets a little bit of rest, I think she's really going to come around."
The Cougars will be finishing up their season with conference dual meets against Oregon State in Corvallis Saturday, Jan. 31, and then home again against arch-rival Washington Saturday, Feb. 7 before heading into the Pac-10 Championships Feb. 25-28.
"It's really good for us to have the level of those two teams going into Pac-10s," Quam said. "It's really going to set us up well. We're excited to race both of them and it's always really good competition against Oregon State and I think that we're taking steps to be more competitive with UW. We're really looking forward to those two meets to really set us up for the championship season."