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Cougars Conclude First Day of Short Course Nationals
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 12/03/2009
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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The Washington State University swimming relay teams found success at the first day of the AT&T Short Course National Championships Thursday, Dec. 3.

The 200 freestyle "A" relay team of Shawna Keller, Rugile Mileisyte, Evelina Bieleckaite and Jennifer Dean finished 8th during the finals session, touching the wall in 1:34.32. The group qualified with 1:34.01, the best mark for WSU this season. The Cougars' "B" squad of Melissa Bogert, Jenna Bekker, Talor Whitaker and Emma Neely entered the event as the 19th seed, but finished 16th during the preliminary session, earning a chance to compete Thursday night. The team finished 13th in the finals with a time of 1:35.39.

The 400 medley relay team finished just outside the top ten, taking 11th in 3:44.60. The team consisted of Mileisyte, Jessie Craig, Michaela Ahlin and Whitaker. Mileisyte earned an NCAA consideration time in the 100 backstroke during the lead-off leg. The junior from Alytus, Lithuania finished in 55.53 seconds, 13 hundredths of a second below the qualifying mark.

Mileisyte also took part in the 50 freestyle, finishing 27th with a time of 23.51. The finish was the best of any Cougar athlete who participated in an individual event during the first day.

Ahlin was the lone WSU representative in the 500 freestyle where the Tyreso, Sweden native finished in 37th place at 4:54.70.

"We had some bright spots, but so far, we are not using the momentum we gained as a team at Minnesota as a stepping stone for the rest of our season like I was hoping," said head coach Erica Quam. "I am still trying to determine who I can count on to step up and swim fast when it counts, no matter how they feel. We have quite a few swims in the morning session tomorrow, so there are many opportunities for some great racing ahead."

The second day of competition will begin tomorrow at 9 a.m., with finals to follow at 5 p.m. Complete results can be found at
Washington State Cougars Women's Swimming