Jan. 31, 2009
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Washington State swim team (6-1) came back from a 20 point deficit after the first break to make for an exciting meet Saturday as the Cougars dropped their first dual meet of the season by just one point.
"We lost a lot of close races over the course of the meet, especially in the first half," WSU Head Coach Erica Quam said. "Any of them could have gone our way, OSU was just a little better than we were. They had to swim a lot of season best times to get the win today and they were able to do that."
Senior Elyse Peterson and sophomore Rugile Mileisyte led the Cougars with 18 points apiece. Peterson notched first-place finishes in both the 100 breast with a time of 1:04.23 and 200 breast (2:18.00). Mileisyte took back-to-back events beginning with the 50 free (24.15) followed by a victory in the 100 free (52.01).
"This was an outstanding day for our seniors as they led the charge where we needed it," Quam said. "Afton got in there for two second-place finishes in the backstrokes, Elyse had two huge wins in the breaststrokes, Jamie had two solid relay splits and Kristin Marceau got in there for third in the 1000 free and was just off her lifetime best in the 100 breast."
Junior Michaela Ahlin tallied 15 points on the day with nine of her points coming from a first-place finish in the 500 free (4:57.47).
The Cougars also took first and second-place in the final event of the day, the 400 free relay with the A team of sophomore Sierra Burton, freshman Emma Neely, Ahlin and Mileisyte finishing in a time of 3:28.15. The B relay team followed close behind with a time of 3:32.01.
Sophomore Talor Whitaker contributed 12 points to the WSU total with three second-place finishes Saturday. Whitaker followed Mileisyte in the 50 free and had tight races with OSU swimmer Saori Haruguchi in the 100 fly (56.95) and Brittney Iverson in the 200 IM (2:05.07).
"I am so proud of the character of this team for never giving up and fighting back until the very end," Quam said. "We went first and second in the last relay, but we couldn't make up that one point difference. This kind of mental toughness will be our backbone throughout the rest of the season where it really counts, Pac-10s and NCAAs. We didn't sacrifice our training going into this meet, we are still working hard and these guys are looking forward to some rest!"
WSU will wrap up the remainder of its dual meet season Saturday, Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. against arch-rival Washington at Gibb Pool.