Nov. 20, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Washington State wrapped up competition at the Minnesota Invitational Sunday with victories in four of six event finals held in the closing session of the meet. Erin McCleave, Afton Pickett and Jane Copland each earn individual wins.
McCleave posted a time of 16:17.06 in the 1650 freestyle setting a WSU record and earning a NCAA automatic qualifying standard. McCleave shaved 25 seconds off her the previous mark of 16:42.06 which she set earlier this season at the Pacific Invitational in her first attempt at the distance event.
McCleave also earned a NCAA "B" consideration standard in the 100 freestyle besting the field with a lifetime best time of 50.69. The event marked McCleave's fourth win of the meet with the Rutherglen, Australia native also earning wins and WSU records in the 200 freestyle (1:48.48) and 500 freestyle (4:45.82).
Pickett finished first in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:01.17 earning a NCAA "B" consideration standard and the second fastest time on the Cougars' all-time Top-10 list. Pickett added the win to her second place finish in the 100 backstroke (56.67) in the second day of competition.
Copland earned the top spot in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:14.92. The swim marked Copland's lifetime best time and earned her a NCAA "B" consideration standard.
Other Cougars making appearances in the finals included Monika Povilonyte and Elyse Peterson who finished fifth (2:18.24) and eighth (2:24.60) respectively in the 200 breaststroke. Kayli Changstrom earned fifth place in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:07.04 rounding out the top Cougar individual performances.
Cougar relay teams turned in another strong performance earning second in the 400 freestyle relay. Jamie MacLeod, Katie Van Horne, McCleave and Changstrom combined for a season-best time of 3:25.79 in the event.
"Overall, it was good team effort over six sessions," said WSU Head Swimming Coach Erica Quam. "There were key areas we wanted to improve on and we did. It was a strong performance that built a lot of confidence as we head into the U.S. Open and laid a solid foundation as we continue to prepare for Pac-10s."
Washington State finished the meet fifth (561.5) overall posting 16 top-five finishes and recording 68 lifetime best performances. Notre Dame (722) won the team competition followed by Minnesota (707), No. 24 Kansas (670.5) and No.11 Wisconsin (664).
The Cougars have a swimmer qualified in each race at the U.S. Open and have a week off before traveling to Auburn, Ala., to compete in the meet held Dec. 1-3.