FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.– The Washington State University women’s swim team continued to dominate at the Arkansas Invitational in the final day of the three-day competition. WSU won the meet with a score of 1238 points, beating the host University of Arkansas with 1015.5 and the University of Houston with 791.5.
The final day of competition was highlighted by five WSU school records, five NCAA provisional marks, and 12 additions to Washington State’s all-time top-10 lists for individual events. The Cougars won 14 of the 18 events in the three-day competition, breaking 13 school records and establishing 45 times in their all-time top-10 lists.
“After swimming so well, breaking so many school records and being so competitive in the NCAA top 25, I’m beyond pleased as a coach,” WSU Head Coach Rocco Aceto said. “The team has the confidence to finish the year strong at Pac-10’s and NCAA’s, and we’re excited to progressively continue getting better.”
WSU junior Jill Olson placed second in the 1,650 freestyle behind Arkansas’s Whitney Lynn, but did break the school record with a mark of 16:56.31. Her time ranks No. 14 in the NCAA according to the College Swim Coaches Association of America, and is an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Also for WSU, junior Rebecca Cohen placed fourth in 17:18.29 (3rd WSU all-time) and freshman Jadine Louw placed fifth (4th WSU all-time). In the event, Olson also broke the school record for the 1,000 freestyle, reaching that mark in 10:12.96.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve swam this fast, and it’s just exciting to share it with the whole team,” Olson said. “It’s a great feeling to know to know we all swam so fast going into our winter training.”
Two Cougars broke the school record for the 200 backstroke today. Sophomore Katie Byrnes clocked a 2:01.23, also ranking No. 18 in the NCAA, to break the record in the prelims. In the finals, however, her teammate Andree-Anne LeRoy broke the record again by posting a 1:59.64, ranking No. 6 in the NCAA. Byrnes placed sixth in the finals behind two other Cougars. Sophomore Sasha Taylor finished third in 2:02.73 (4th WSU all-time) and sophomore Nicole Chinn placed fifth in 2:05.49 (8th WSU all-time).
Another Washington State record fell as sophomore Taryn Ternent won the 100 freestyle in a time of 50.44 seconds. Ternent’s time also ranks No. 8 in the NCAA. Cougar junior Lindsay Henahan placed third in 52.43, and junior Sara Schmied placed fourth in 52.76 (6th WSU all-time).
“I’m really excited because we’ve gotten a lot of our best times here,” Schmied said. “I think we’re all excited for Pac-10’s because we know we can go so much faster. Everyone is up and happy to be one of the fastest teams in the nation.”
WSU’s Rachel Dong placed second in the 200 breaststroke behind Natalia Kodajova of Arkansas. Dong’s time of 2:20.09, second on the school’s all-time list. Christina Swanson finished fifth, and now ranks 10th on the Cougars’ all-time list with a time of 2:25.70 in the prelims.
Melissa Hubley, a sophomore form Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, claimed victory in the 200 butterfly for Washington State. Hubley’s time of 2:01.34 ranks No. 16 in the NCAA. Henahan placed fifth for the Cougars, and recorded a 2:07.85 in the prelims to move into seventh place on the school’s all-time list for the event.
Washington State concluded the invitational by continuing it’s dominance in the relay events, winning the 400 freestyle relay in a school-record of 3:23.27. That time is good enough to rank the quartet of LeRoy, Hubley, Dong and Ternent No. 2 in the NCAA. WSU won all five relays in the three days of competition.
The Cougars head home to continue training and prepare for finals week at Washington State, before heading off to train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the third consecutive year. WSU’s next competition is tough test against UCLA and Pacific at noon Jan. 19 in Los Angeles.