March 4, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - For the first time in the history of Washington State swimming, the program will be sending three swimmers to the NCAA Championships March 19-21.
Senior Elyse Peterson, junior Michaela Ahlin and sophomore Rugile Mileisyte will all make their first appearances at the NCAA Championships traveling to College Station, Texas for the event hosted by Texas A&M University.
Ahlin will become the fourth Cougar swimmer to compete in three events swimming in the 500 freestyle as well as the 100 and 200 butterfly. She holds the WSU record in both fly events and is ranked second on the Cougar all-time top 10 list in the 500 free. She is seeded 28th in the 200 fly, 49th in the 100 fly and 56th in the 500 free. Ahlin set the WSU record for both the 100 (53.72) and 200 fly (1:56.66) last weekend at the Pacific-10 Conference Championships as well as swimming a lifetime best in the 500 free (4:43.46).
Peterson will be swimming in the 100 breaststroke after breaking her own WSU record in the event at the Pac-10 Championships with a time of 1:00.92, seeding her 30th among the field. She will also be competing in the 200 breast, which she also holds the WSU record in with a time of 2:13.36. She is seeded 48th in that event.
Mileisyte will be competing in the 50 free after breaking the WSU record in the event with her lead off in the 200 free relay at the Pac-10 Championships. The sophomore swam a split time of 22.45 and is seeded 35th in the event. She is seeded 61st in her second event, the 100 back after swimming a lifetime best in the event with a time of 54.88.
"I'm just really excited for our team and certainly these three that have worked so hard for this accomplishment," WSU Head Coach Erica Quam said. "I think it took our whole team pulling together for these guys to get to this level and I think they are set up really well. I really believe in them and I think that not only are they going to go, but they are going to go and swim faster."
Overall the Pacific-10 Conference will be sending 69 athletes to the NCAA Championship with Arizona sending a conference high 18.
Cougar Swimming NCAA History
1998 Erin Eldridge 23rd 100 breaststroke 1:03.82 26th 200 breaststroke 2:18.55 1999 Erin Eldridge 13th 100 breaststroke 1:02.50 13th 200 breaststroke 2:14.61 2000 Erin Eldridge 8th 100 breaststroke 1:09.49 18th 200 breaststroke 2:14.61 2001 Melissa Hubley 36th 100 butterfly 56.10 25th 200 butterfly 2:02.08 2002 Andree Anne LeRoy 57th 200 IM 2:04.76 40th 400 IM 4:25.69 39th 200 backstroke 2:03.25 Rachel Dong 34th 100 butterfly 55.07 38th 100 breaststroke 1:04.26 2003 Lindsay Henahan 16th 100 butterfly 54.02 68th 100 freestyle 51.41 2006 Erin McCleave 28th 500 freestyle 4:50.26 21st 200 freestyle 1:48.09 11th 1650 freestyle 16:19.62 Jane Copland 28th 200 breaststroke 2:16.31 60th 200 IM 2:04.41 2007 Erin McCleave 58th 500 freestyle 4:54.76 14th 200 freestyle 1:47.01 10th 1650 freestyle 16:13.20