Jan. 18, 2009
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Sophomore Rugile Mileisyte set the WSU record in the 50 free Sunday with her second-place finish. Mileisyte finished with a NCAA B cut time of 22.78 and placed between Mary DeScenza (22.66), who set the American record in the 200 fly Saturday, and Olympian Lacey Nymeyer (22.81). Mileisyte also swam a lifetime best with her 200 freestyle lead off for the 800 free relay B team with a time of 1:51.85.
Junior Michaela Ahlin also set a WSU record in the 400 individual medley fishing with a time of 4:20.67, improving almost nine seconds from her preliminary time of 4:29.25 earlier in the day. Ahlin's performance gave her a first-place finish in the A consolation.
The Cougars also set another meet record with a 7:25.63 finish in the 800 free relay giving WSU another relay win for the four-day Southern California Grand Prix. Washington State won the 400 free relay with a meet-record time in Saturday's session.
"We swam tired this morning and focused way too much on being tired," WSU Head Coach Erica Quam said. "We have to be able to swim fast no matter what and if we are going all out at the Pacific Ten Conference Championship, then we are going to get tired there too. That's what we train for though."
The Cougars stepped up for the finals session beginning with a first and second-place finish in the 200 free B consolation by sophomore Talor Whitaker and freshman Emma Neely. Whitaker finished with a time of 1:49.86 moving her into second-place on the Cougar All-time Top 10 list. Neely's 1:50.04 finish gave her the fourth-best time on the All-time Top 10 list.
"This team turned it around tonight and swam really, really well," Quam said. "Talor and Emma started it off by going one and two in their heat in the 200 freestyle. That was so exciting!"
Freshman Jessie Craig also moved into the Cougar All-time Top 10 list with her seventh-place finish in the 200 breast A consolation. Craig takes the eighth-place on the list with a time of 2:20.21.
"I believe that the team is finally gaining confidence and realizing that they are capable of so much more, individually and as a team, once they get rested at Pac-10s," Quam said. "I'm really proud of the way they are racing, especially coming off of training camp and a tough week in the weight room. This is huge for our program."
Highlights from the Grand Prix include Mary DeScenza's American record in the 200 fly (1:51.28) and meet record in the 200 free (1:43.93). Ryan Lochte set a meet record in the 200 back and Matt Grevers set a meet record in the 50 free.
A recap and results for the meet can be found at www.usaswimming.org. Swimming resumes Monday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 4 p.m.