Cougar Swimming Starts Strong at Big Al Open
Nov. 30, 2007
PRINCETON, N.J. - Washington State swimming sits in the third place after day one of Princeton's Big Al Open on the strength of two second place finishes by Cougar relay teams.
In the 200 free relay, Washington State's A team finished second in 1:35.13 and the Cougar B team posted a sixth place finish with a time of 1:38.11. In the prelims, WSU's A team swam a season-best 1:34.98.
The Cougars capped their evening with a second place finish by the A team in the 400 medley relay. WSU clocked a time of 3:46.44 to earn 34 points and raise the Cougars' day one total to 143 points. Penn State leads the meet with 286 points and Princeton is second at 181 points.
Individually, the Cougars recorded at least nine lifetime bests, one collegiate best and a NCAA B Standard. In addition, WSU swimmers registered four times on the school's all-time top 10 list, 14 on the Cougar season top five lists, and 24 personal season-best marks.
"We had two good sessions today," WSU Head Coach Erica Quam said. "We got off to a good start with a lot of people qualifying for second swims tonight. Our goal was to move up from where we were seeded and we did that across the board."
Sophomore Michaela Ahlin earned a NCAA B Standard with a lifetime-best time of 4:53.95 in the A final of the 500 free. Ahlin's time was is the best by a Cougar this season and the fourth fastest in WSU history. The Tyreso, Sweden native finished ninth in the event. Senior Lina Daugvilaite finished 14th in the event with a lifetime-best 4:58.66, the second fastest time by a WSU swimmer this season and the sixth quickest all-time by a Cougar.
"Michaela Ahlin was a nice surprise since the 500 free is an off event for her," Quam said. "Both of our relays were solid with solid splits."
Freshmen Erika Roach and Jennifer Dean each posted a PR in the 500 free with times of 5:06.33 and 5:07.08, respectively. Juniors Maya Dill (5:08.14) and Kristin Marceau (5:08.15) each swam a season-best in the event.
In the 200 IM, freshman Rugile Mileisyte finished 10th with a lifetime-best 2:05.37. The time earned her fourth place on the WSU all-time list. Sophomore Shawna Keller (2:05.48, 11th place), junior Afton Pickett (2:07.07, 13th place) and freshman Sierra Burton (2:07.67, 14th place) all earned points for the Cougars. Freshman Talor Whitaker swam a 2:06.57, a personal-best and the eighth-best all-time at WSU.
Mileisyte (24:15, 10th place), Burton (24.17, tied-11th place), junior Jamie MacLeod (24.26, 14th place) and Whitaker (24.33, 15th place) all tallied points for the Cougars in the 50 free.
WSU Volunteer Assistant Coach Erin McCleave, an honorable mention All-American for the Cougars in 2006 and 2007, posted a lifetime-best 23.46 in the 50 free in an exhibition performance.
The Big Al Open continues Saturday with sessions at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific.
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