Oct. 17, 2009
BOISE, Idaho - The Washington State swim team had five different competitors win events, Saturday, but it was not enough to top Boise State in its season opener. The Cougars lost by a score of 178-116, with 32 of BSU's points coming from diving events, in which no WSU athletes competed.
"Boise State was the better team today. They have showed growth as a program and they backed it up with solid racing today," said WSU Head Coach Erica Quam.
Michaela Ahlin was the Cougars' leading point-getter (18), winning both the 100 and 200 butterfly, with times of 57.04 and 2:04.59, respectively. The senior was also a member of two second-place relay teams. Junior Talor Whitaker added 17 points to the team's total by winning the 200 Individual Medley (2:07.30), and taking second in the 200 free and 100 fly.
Juniors Rugile Mileisyte (100 back) and Jennifer Dean (500 free) each grabbed an individual victory. Emma Neely took first place in the 200 free by out-touching her teammate (Whitaker), and winning by less than two-tenths of a second.
Newcomer Shelbi Luchini finished with seven individual points, leading all WSU freshmen. She earned third-place finishes in the 100 back (59.23) and the 200 back (2:07.45).
Quam hopes her athletes will use the opening meet as a tool to help them in the future.
"It is a learning experience. We have people on the team with tremendous potential, but potential doesn't mean much. We did have people that got better as the meet went on, so getting back into racing will help us each weekend. What will be telling is how we respond, in workouts and the next time we race. We have to put the lessons we learned into our training and our racing from this point forward."
The WSU team will return to Pullman next weekend to host the third annual Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational Oct. 23-24. Events will begin at 5 p.m. Friday at Gibb Pool.