Feb. 27, 2009
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Seven Washington State University records were broken Friday in the third day of the 2009 Pacific-10 Conference Championships bringing the count to 12 broken records over the past three days.
It was déjà vu in the 100 backstroke as senior Afton Pickett and sophomore Rugile Mileisyte mirrored their record-breaking performances from the 2008 Pac-10 Championships. Last year, Pickett broke the school record during the preliminaries while Mileisyte broke the record again the same night during the finals. The two swimmers repeated those results as Pickett broke the 100 back record this morning with a time of 54.91, an NCAA `B' consideration time. Mileisyte then broke the record in tonight's final with a time of 54.88, also an NCAA `B' consideration time and earning her a second-place finish in the `C' final. Pickett then broke the record again with her leadoff time of 54.77 in the 400 medley relay.
Senior Elyse Peterson led the team with 24 points coming from her sixth-place finish in the 100 breast with a WSU record-breaking performance time of 1:00.92. Peterson also broke the record earlier in the day during the prelims with a time of 1:01.21 breaking the record she set Dec. 5. Both swims earned the senior an NCAA `B' consideration time. Peterson is now ranked in the 25 in the country in the 100 breast and has an excellent chance at being able to make a trip to the NCAA Championships in March.
Junior Michaela Ahlin broke her own school record in the 400 IM with a time of 4:17.23 during prelims. The finish gave her a `B' final birth. Ahlin went on finish seventh in the `B' final chipping in 12 points toward the Cougars' total 231 points. Senior Kristin Marceau also swam in the event and had a lifetime best performance moving her up to sixth-place on the Cougar all-time top 10 list (4:28.27).
Another WSU relay record fell today as Pickett, Peterson, Ahlin and Mileisyte shattered the 400 medley relay record with a time of 3:38.08, an NCAA `B' consideration time. The finish earned the team a seventh-place finish in the event and added 46 points to the team total. Pickett, Peterson and Ahlin had set the record previously at the 2008 Pac-10 Championship with the help of Sierra Burton with a time of 3:43.19.
Several other WSU swimmers swam lifetime bests during today's competition, earning themselves spots on the all-time top 10 lists. Freshman Jessie Craig took the third spot in the 100 breast with her fourth-place finish in the `C' final (1:03.42) followed by teammate junior Shawna Keller who claimed the fourth spot on the list with her fifth-place `C' final finish (1:03.44). Freshman Emma Neely moved into second-place with her fifth-place finish in the `C' final of the 200 free (1:48.36). Sophomore Jennifer Dean took the third spot in the 200 free with her prelim time of 1:50.37. Sophomore Talor Whitaker moved up to fourth in the 100 fly (55.19) while freshman Melissa Bogert moved into sixth (56.32).
"I'm very proud with the way this team is continuing to swim tough and fast," WSU Head Coach Erica Quam said. "We are having one of the best Pac-10 performances we have ever had and we hope to finish with an outstanding last day."
The Cougars are currently sitting in ninth-place with 231 points. No. 8 California has taken the lead at the end of day three with 990.5 total points. No. 4 Arizona follows with 937.5 points while No. 2 Stanford rounds out the top three with 873 points.
The fourth and final day of swimming at the Pac-10 Championships begins Saturday with the prelims for the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 1650 free beginning at 11 a.m. Finals will follow at 6 p.m.