FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.– The Washington State University women’s swim team continues to lead the Arkansas Invitational after two days of the three day competition. Going into the final day of the event, WSU has scored 857 points to lead host University of Arkansas with 667 and the University of Houston with 550.
In the second day of competition, Washington State broke five school records, recorded seven NCAA provisional qualifying times, and established 18 spots on school all-time top-10 lists for individual event.
The Cougars continued to dominate the relay events, placing first and second in the 200 medley relay. The winning WSU team of Nicole Chinn, Rachel Dong, Lindsay Henahan and Taryn Ternent broke a school record with a time of 1:42.33, which is third best in the NCAA this season according to the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). The Cougar team of Katie Byrnes, Christina Swanson, Theresa Dunn, and Sara Schmied placed second, posting a 1:45.10.
WSU’s Andree-Anne LeRoy, a sophomore from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, claimed victory in the 400 individual medley, clocking a 4:21.67 to break her own school record in the event. Her time ranks No. 18 in the NCAA. Katie Byrnes placed third in 4:32.15, lodging the sixth spot on Washington State’s all-time list for the event.
“The 800 free relay did excellent tonight, we broke the school record and we got a NCAA B qualifying mark,” LeRoy said. “I was very proud of my 400IM and 100 back today, to get three school records in one day is amazing.”
In the 100 butterfly, Washington State notched six of the top eight spots. Sophomore Rachel Dong posted a No. 2 NCAA ranked time of 54.74 in the prelims, breaking her own school record, but placed second in the finals behind teammate Melissa Hubley who clocked a 55.13, ranking No. 9 in the NCAA. WSU junior Lindsay Henahan finished third with a 55.68 (No. 17 NCAA). Other Cougar finishers in the event include Nicole Chinn in fifth with a 57.90 (6th WSU all-time), Taryn Ternent in sixth with a 58.24 (8th WSU all-time), and Christina Swanson in eighth with a 59.47.
“I am very happy with my split in the 800 free relay,” Hubley said. “It was my best time by two seconds and I felt I could do well after my 100 fly. The whole team is swimming very well and we're representing WSU with pride.”
Washington State’s Sasha Taylor grabbed second place in the 200 freestyle behind Arkansas’s Cheyne Bees. Taylor, a sophomore from Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, posted an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:50.83, which ranks second in school history. In the prelims for WSU, Rebecca Cohen marked a 1:51.76 (4th WSU all-time), Hubley swam a 1:52.30 (5th WSU all-time), and freshman Jadine Louw posted a 1:53.19 (6th WSU all-time).
“’I wanted to won and break dee record’ has been a long-running joke on our team; this weekend it has become our creed,” Taylor said. “Everyone is swimming fantastic and contributing to the overall team effort. Our relays are a perfect reflection of how everyone to adding to the team.”
Cougar sophomore Dong won the 100 breaststroke with a 1:04.59 ahead of Arkansas’s Natalia Kopajova. However, Dong went even faster in the prelims, clocking in at 1:03.54, second in WSU history and No. 21 in the NCAA. Christina Swanson placed fifth for the Cougars with a 1:06.17 (6th WSU all-time).
"I was really pleased with how things went today,” Dong said. “All the relays were incredible, breaking both school records. I was really happy to finally go under a 55 in the fly and to go a best time in the 100 breaststroke this early in the season. The team performed so well, and I am so proud to be a part of this team. It is great to see how far we have come since last year.”
LeRoy also won the 100 backstroke for WSU with a time of 56.34, but went .01 seconds faster in the prelims, to break the school record set one day earlier by Katie Byrnes. LeRoy’s time also ranks No. 21 in the NCAA. WSU’s Ternent placed second with a 57.05 (3rd WSU all-time), Byrnes placed third in 57.48, and Nicole Chinn finished fourth in 57.51 (6th WSU all-time). Washington State boasted seven of the top eight finishers in the event.
In the final event of the day, Washington State won its fourth relay of the invitational in the 800 freestyle relay. The Cougar quartet of LeRoy, Hubley, Cohen and Taylor broke the school record, marking a time of 7:27.57 to rank No. 6 in the NCAA. LeRoy also posted a 1:51.27 200 free leadoff split (3rd WSU all-time).
“It was very exciting to be part of the relay team that broke the record,” Cohen said. “The team is having a wonderful meet and it is only more exciting to think about how good we well all do at the end of the season.”
The final day of competition begins with preliminaries at 10 a.m. CST tomorrow, followed by finals at 6 p.m