Dec. 4, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas - Sophomore Rugile Mileisyte set a Washington State University record Thursday with her preliminary finish in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.10. Mileisyte then broke the record again in the final that night touching the wall in just 22.86 seconds. Mileistye set the previous record of 23.15 earlier this season at Gibb Pool during the second-annual Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational. Mileisyte's finish in the 50 free Thursday earned her a fourth-place finish in the `B' final and five individual points.
Mileisyte also had the fastest split in school history (22.43) as she anchored the record-setting 200 free relay team. The team also consisting of sophomore Sierra Burton, freshman Emma Neely and senior Jamie MacLeod set the school record with a time of 1:32.51 earning them a seventh-place finish overall. The previous record was held by Taryn Ternent, Rachel Dong, Andree Anne LeRoy and current assistant coach Lindsay Henahan.
Several WSU swimmers advanced to the finals for the first day of the Texas Invite including sophomores Talor Whitaker, Sierra Burton and junior Michaela Ahlin all of whom qualified in all three of their individual events for the day. Whitaker finished 22nd in the 100 butterfly prelim setting a lifetime best with a time of 55.23 and 26th in the 200 individual medley prelim (2:03.86). Whitaker placed sixth in the 100 fly `C' final with a time of 55.33.
Ahlin also qualified for the 100 fly final with her prelim time of 55.46. Ahlin kept pace with Whitaker during the `C' final touching the wall just seven hundredths of a second behind her teammate to earn a seventh-place finish with a time of 55.40. Ahlin set a lifetime best with her second-place finish in the 500 free `C' final with a time of 4:52.65, seven seconds faster than her previous best. Ahlin also helped the 400 medley relay `B' team consisting of senior Afton Pickett, junior Shawna Keller and Neely to an eighth-place finish, notching 22 points toward the Cougars' 63 team points on the day.
Burton took a third-place finish in the `D' final of the 200 IM with at time of 2:04.89. The finish moves Burton up to fifth-place on the Cougar all-time top 10 list. Burton also finished sixth in the `D' final of the 50 free (23.84).
Senior Elyse Peterson kept her final chances alive in the 50 free prelim tying Amie Osten of Wisconsin with a time of 23.89. Peterson went on to finish fifth in the `E' final (23.80). MacLeod finished third in the same final (23.68) while Neely took eighth (24.06).
Sophomore Jennifer Dean also notched lifetime bests today with her 500 free prelim time of 4:58.13 as well as with her 200 free relay split.
"We had 16 lifetime bests this morning alone," Quam said. "Everyone just stepped up and swam outstanding tonight."
Arizona's Lara Jackson set NCAA and American records in the 50 free in day one of the Texas Invite with a time of 21.33.
"There has been a lot of fast swimming today with Lara Jackson setting NCAA and American records in the 50 free," Quam said. "We are really rising to the level of competition that is here and we are certainly not backing down."
WSU is currently in sixth-place with 63 points. Arizona leads the pack with 448 points followed by Texas (266), Wisconsin (159), ASU (95) and UCLA (70). Nebraska (54), and Houston (35) round out the top eight.
Racing will continue Friday at 10 a.m. as day two of the Texas Invite gets underway. Live results for the event can be found at www.tsc.utexas.edu/results/index.htm.