Dec. 5, 2009
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The Washington State University swim team wrapped up the final day of competition Saturday at the 2009 AT&T Short Course Nationals, finishing fourth in the 400 freestyle relay.
The team of Rugile Mileisyte, Talor Whitaker, Emma Neely and Michaela Ahlin finished two places higher than its seed position with a season-best time of 3:23.35. The group ended at the front of a three-team pack each touching the wall within a quarter of a second. Mileisyte's lead-off leg of 50.38 seconds was the fastest 100 freestyle by any Cougar this season and just missed the NCAA "B" time standard.
Two other Cougars had season-best performances Saturday night. Ahlin had the best finish of any WSU student-athlete, taking 10th in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:56.89, almost two seconds faster than her qualifying time.
"Michaela had a great swim in her 200 fly,"said WSU Head Coach Erica Quam. "She looked strong and she really followed through on the race details she wanted to work on."
Freshman Shelbi Luchini finished 36th in the 200 backstroke in 2:03.56, making her the sixth-fastest 200 backstroker in school history. Luchini notched the fourth-fastest time in the 100 backstroke during competition on Friday.
"I am encouraged about how the team responded," said Quam. "It shows character to come back and have some great swims when you don't start off the way you expect. I think it was another good learning opportunity and there are some definite takeaway points for the rest of the season."
The Cougars will compete in the 2009 USA Swimming Long Course Invitational Sunday in Federal Way, Wash. The one-day meet includes 14 individual women's events. The first session will begin at 9 a.m., with session two to begin an hour after its conclusion. For more information visit www.usaswimming.org.