Oct. 24, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. - Sophomore Rugile Mileisyte set a Washington State, Gibb Pool and meet record for the 50 freestyle Friday at the Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitaional with a time of 23.15, defeating second-place Amywren Miller of Notre Dame by a hundredth of a second (23.16). The previous WSU record was held by Taryn Ternent (23.26) set in 2001. The previous Gibb Pool record was held by Jin Sun of Nevada (23.23) set in 2000. Mileisyte previously held the second best time in the event going into today's meet. Mileisyte's 100 back leadoff in the 400 medley relay also set a Gibb Pool record with a time of 56.86, previously held by Ausra Pacebutaite of Oregon State (56.94) set in 2004.
Mileisyte's efforts helped the Cougars end the first day with a team score of 205 points, 51 points ahead of second-place Ohio (154). The Notre Dame blue team is a close third with 153 points.
"Rugile's just doing a phenomenal job," Cougar Head Coach Erica Quam said. "I think she has just gotten so much confidence and has stepped up to become a leader of the team. She has high goals and she knows she has to be fast in season to be able to reach those goals and she's shown that she's right on track."
Mileisyte's record-breaking leadoff led the 400 medley relay squad, also consisting of senior Elyse Peterson, junior Michaela Ahlin and sophomore Sierra Burton, to a final time of 3:48.48 breaking the Gibb Pool record held by arch-rival Washington (3:48.66) set in 2004.
Sophomore Talor Whitaker broke a Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational meet record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.45. The time is also a personal best for Whitaker moving her into sixth-place on the Cougar all-time list.
"We had some things we wanted Talor to change from the relay to the individual event," Quam said. "She's got a lot of speed out front so we wanted to get her to control that speed a little bit. She was able to get a little bit more air that first 50 and did a great job off her last wall so I'm really proud of her."
Four Cougars, including Mileisyte and Whitaker, notched victories Friday contributing 16 points apiece toward the Cougars' team score. Ahlin took first-place in the 400 IM (4:28.66) and Burton captured a 200 free victory with a time of 1:52.95.
"I'm proud of the way these swimmers have stepped up today," Quam said. "We talked about having the opportunity to swim some of the best swimmers in the country and everyone is training hard right now so racing them now is just going to give our swimmers confidence for later in the season. They did a great job getting behind one another and took the right amount of emotion into the meet. It was good to see them doing some things better than they did last weekend, getting in, loosening up, recovering and being prepared for the next event because almost everyone was swimming three events and back-to-back it was really important to get that recovery in. Tomorrow the goal will be to come back and bring that same amount of emotion and intensity, to keep getting up and trying to get a hand on the wall."