COUGARS AT OLYMPIC TRAINING CETNER: The Washington State University women’s swim team will head to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the third consecutive year. The Cougars depart for the facility Dec. 30 for a two week stay, returning Jan. 12. The trip provides the Cougars with the opportunity to utilize the most advanced training techniques available in the sport of swimming.
“Being invited back to the OTC for the third straight year does wonders for our swim program and staff,” WSU Head Coach Rocco Aceto said. “The wealth of information available to the WSU swim program at the center is second to none. For example, Scott Riewald, the bio mechanics director at USA Swimming will be will be collecting data on our athletes trying to relate passive drag to body dimensions. The test will be conducted in the swimming flume, and will allow us to learn a alot about stroke efficiencies as well.”
Sara Schmied will be making her third trip with WSU to the training center. To the junior from Woodinville, the trip is a great chance to be able to spend some time with the team.
“I look most forward to the team unity, how we can come together and look toward one another when we need help and get each other going,” Schmied said. “We practice twice a day for two week straight, so it can be hard to motive yourself so that’s why it’s great to be able to get help from others to motivate you when you’re feeling down.”
For Christina Swanson, the Olympic Training Center visit benefits the team by being able to take a trip away from school and focus on training.
“The trip lets us get away from distractions and really concentrate on training,” the Bainbridge Island-native said. “The atmosphere of being able to actually be around Olympians training also really helps give us motivation.”
For an athlete making her first trip to this type of facility, Jadine Louw expects to benefit greatly from the advanced equipment available at the OTC.
“I’m expecting the training to be very hard and the facilities to be something special,” said the freshman from Welgemoed, South Africa. “Coming to swim at the college level has been a big adjustment. The first challenge was adjusting to altitude. I was used to training at sea level, even though Pullman isn’t that high (2500 feet), it is still quite a change. Also, the different types of training have been an adjustment. My training at home was hard, but now working with a new coach, different coaches always demand different things. Third, I had to get used to going to class and training at the same time.”
This trip will be another new experience for Louw, who said there is no facility quite like the training center in Colorado Springs available in her homeland.
A myriad of advanced equipment and facilities are one huge advantage the Olympic Training Center provides.
“The chance to become an Olympian for two weeks is a dream come true,” Aceto said. “The USOC and USA Swimming have been generous to theour program by providing the Olympic experience through resources and sources generally not available to WSU swimming. Jimi Flowers, the USOC Aquatics director provides us with a 10 lane 50 meter pool with a towing device, catwalks, underwater video tracking device and much more.”
Among the training tools available at the OTC is a swimming flume. The flume is like a water treadmill, which has a current that can be adjusted from zero to three meters per second. The device also has underwater cameras and a glass-sided tank, and is contained in a hyperbaric chamber, which allows the altitude conditions to be adjusted to simulate anywhere from sea level to 8,000 feet above sea level to add to the intensity of the swim.
“The flume is one of the most beneficial training tools available at the center,” Schmied said. “It lets you see what you’re stroke looks like on tape when you’re tired and struggling. It lets you see exactly what’s going wrong with your stroke and hopefully correct it.”
A tow rope is another popular tool available to swimmers at the training center. The tow rope works by a series of cables attached to a harness which the swimmer is wearing. The cables can then pull the athlete to allow her to experience the speed need to keep a faster pace than could normally be achieved.
“My favorite piece of training equipment is the tow rope,” Swanson said. “It actually allows you to be able to feel what it is like to cut through the water at a world record pace.”
Overall, the Cougars hope the trip will allow them to continue improving on the impressive first half of their season.
We want to be able to keep on going and improving on what we have done, and to have even bigger improvements at Pac-10’s,” Schmied said. “The Olympic training center helps us train a little bit harder right before we have to rest a little to get us ready for Pac-10’s.”
The two weeks of training will be broken up by an exhibition meet against Georgia Tech, Jan. 3. After returning from the Olympic Training Center trip, Washington State competes next against UCLA and University of the Pacific Saturday, Jan. 19 at Los Angeles.
LAST WEEK: The Washington State University women’s swim team gave a dominating performance at the Arkansas Invitational, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, breaking 13 school records and establishing 45 times in its all-time top-10 lists. WSU won the meet with a score of 1,238 points, beating the host University of Arkansas with 1,015.5 and the University of Houston with 791.5. Cougar sophomore Andree-Anne LeRoy turned in an especially dominating performance, breaking a total of seven school records (four individual and three relay) in the meet, while recording seven times ranked in the NCAA top-25.
In the 200 backstroke, LeRoy – a native of Nanaimo, British Columbia – won the event with a school record-breaking time of 1:59.64, which at the time ranked No. 6 in the NCAA. Another Cougar sophomore, Katie Byrnes, (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), had already broken the 200 backstroke record with a time of 2:01.23, ranking No. 18 in the NCAA.
Rachel Dong, a sophomore from Paramount, Calif., also swam well, breaking five school records (two individual and three relay). Dong clocked a 54.75 in the prelims of the 100 butterfly, breaking the WSU record and ranking No. 2 in the NCAA. However, Dong finished second to teammate Melissa Hubley in the finals of the event. Hubley – a junior from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – also won the 200 butterfly, the event in which she qualified for the NCAA Championships last season.
WSU’s Taryn Ternent also recorded two individual wins and three as a member of relay teams. Another school record fell at the hands of the sophomore from Edenvale, South Africa in the 100 freestyle where she posted a winning time of 50.44, ranking No. 8 in the NCAA.
As well as the Cougars performed in the individual events, their effort inrelay events may have been even more impressive. Washington State won all five relays held at the Arkansas Invite, breaking school records in four of them and establishing one top-ranked NCAA time. In the 200 freestyle
relay, the WSU team of Ternent, Dong, Lindsay Henahan and LeRoy won the event with a school record-breaking 1:32.82, a mark that at the time ranked No. 1 in the NCAA.
COUGARS RANKED IN NATIONAL TOP 50: Washington State swimmers currently hold 14 individual marks ranked in the top 50 nationally by Taper and Shave’s College Quick 50. All five of the Cougar relays also rank in the NCAA top 25.
Rank Name Event Time
12 Rachel Dong 100 butterfly 54.75
13 Andree-Anne LeRoy 200 individual medley 2:01.73
15 Andree-Anne LeRoy 200 backstroke 1:59.64
17 Melissa Hubley 100 butterfly 54.92
28 Taryn Ternent 100 freestyle 50.44
28 Katie Byrnes 200 backstroke 2:01.23
29 Melissa Hubley 200 butterfly 2:01.33
32 Andree-Anne LeRoy 100 backstroke 56.23
34 Rachel Dong 100 breaststroke 1:03.54
36 Jill Olson 1,650 freestyle 16:56.31
38 Taryn Ternent 50 freestyle 23.42
38 Andree-Anne LeRoy 400 individual medley 4:21.67
39 Lindsay Henahan 100 butterfly 55.68
48 Katie Byrnes 100 backstroke 56.74
Rank Event Time
8 200 freestyle relay 1:32.82
Ternent, Dong, Henahan, LeRoy
9 400 freestyle relay 3:23.27
LeRoy, Hubley, Dong, Ternent
9 200 medley relay 1:42.33
Chinn, Dong, Henahan, Ternent
16 800 freestyle relay 7:27.57
LeRoy, Hubley, Cohen, Taylor
25 400 medley relay 3:47.97
Byrnes, Swanson, Hubley, Henahan
WSU EVENT WINNERS: Melissa Hubley’s two individual event wins in the Cougars’ victory over the Huskies moves her into a first place tie with Andree-Anne LeRoy (the figure in parenthesis represents wins as a relay team member).
1. Andree-Anne LeRoy 5 (5)
1. Melissa Hubley 5 (1)
3. Rachel Dong 4 (8)
3. Rebecca Cohen 4 (2)
3. Katie Byrnes 4 (1)
6. Sasha Taylor 3
7. Taryn Ternent 2 (5)
7. Semah Zavareh 2 (1)
7. Jill Olson 2
10. Lindsay Henahan 1 (8)
10. Christina Swanson 1
12. Nicole Chinn (4)
12. Sara Schmied (3)
12. Jadine Louw (1)
COACH ROCCO ACETO:
Rocco Aceto is currently in his fifth year as head coach of the WSU women’s swim team. Under his direction, the Cougars have sent athletes to the NCAA Championships four years in a row, gained their first three-time NCAA All-American, garnered recognition as the second best swimming team in the nation for academics, eclipsed school records 38 times and established 101 positions in the WSU All-Time top 10 list in his four years with the team.
Prior to his appointment at WSU, Aceto served for two years as the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s swimming programs at Auburn University.
Originally from Portland, Maine, Aceto competed on the swim team at his alma mater, North Carolina State, establishing school and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) records in the 50 freestyle and 400 and 800 freestyle relays during his collegiate career.
2001-02 TEAM CAPTAINS: Among the 14 returning athletes for Washington State is a trio of talented captains, Rachel Dong, Melissa Hubley, and Taryn Ternent.
“When you put these three student-athletes together, learning to be leaders, I think we have a bright future for this team,” Aceto said.
Hubley, a junior from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, comes off a season in which she broke her own school record in the 200 butterfly while placing fifth at the Pac-10 Championships, qualified for the NCAA Championships, and received the team’s Most Outstanding Award. During the summer, she went on to win a gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2001 Canada Games.
Dong’s collegiate career got off to a fast start during her freshman year. The native of Paramount, Calif., broke the school record in the 100 butterfly and contributed to three relay teams setting WSU records at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships. Currently, she holds positions on seven Cougar top-10 lists for individual events. After the season, Dong received the team’s Most Improved Award and Coach’s Award.
Ternent also excelled in her first year as a Cougar. The sophomore from Edenvale, South Africa smashed the school record in the 50 freestyle en route to placing eighth at the Pac-10 Championships last season, and swam on two relay teams that set WSU records. In addition, Ternent owns places on three other school top-10 lists.
ATHLETES IN WSU RECORD BOOKS: Cougar swimmers currently hold 55 positions on WSU’s all-time top 10 lists for individual events, including 10 school records: Rachel Dong-100 fly (54.75 seconds), Melissa Hubley-200 fly (2:00.36), Andree-Anne LeRoy-200 IM (2:02.74), 400 IM (4:21.67), 100 back (56.34), 200 back (1:59.64), Jill Olson-1,000 free (10:12.96), 1,650 free (16:56.31), Taryn Ternent-50 free (23.26), 100 free (50.44). The following swimmers currently hold positions in WSU top 10 lists:
Andree-Anne LeRoy-200 IM (1st), 400 IM (1st), 100 back (1st), 200 back (1st), 100 free (3rd), 200 free (3rd)
Rachel Dong-100 fly (1st), 50 free (2nd), 100 breast (2nd), 200 breast (2nd), 200 IM (2nd), 100 free (5th)
Taryn Ternent-50 free (1st), 100 free (1st), 100 back (3rd), 100 fly (8th)
Jill Olson-1,650 free (1st), 1,000 freestyle (1st), 500 free (5th)
Melissa Hubley-200 fly (1st), 100 fly (2nd), 500 free (10th)
Rebecca Cohen-500 free (2nd), 200 free (4th), 1,650 freestyle (3rd), 1,000 freestyle (4th), 100 free (8th)
Katie Byrnes-200 back (2nd), 100 back (2nd), 400 IM (6th), 500 free (7th)
Sasha Taylor-200 free (2nd), 200 back (4th), 100 back (7th)
Lindsay Henahan-100 fly (3rd), 100 free (4th), 50 free (4th), 200 fly (7th)
Jadine Louw-500 free (3rd), 1,650 free (4th), 200 free (6th)
Semah Zavareh-500 free (4th), 1,650 free (5th), 1,000 free (8th)
Nicole Chinn-200 IM (5th), 100 fly (6th), 100 back (6th), 200 back (8th), 400 IM (10th)
Christina Swanson-100 breast (6th), 50 free (8th), 200 breast (10th)
Sara Schmied-50 free (7th), 100 free (7th)