WSU swimming falls short in Arizona over the weekend

Cougs came up short in their first two meets in 2023 against the Arizona schools


Courtesy - WSU Athletics

WSU swim team competing against Cal, Oct. 16 2022.

LUKE WESTFALL, Evergreen reporter

The WSU swim team took on Arizona and Northern Arizona and then Arizona State over the weekend losing 186-108 Friday and 206-56 Saturday.

After intense winter training and not having the surroundings and everything they like they are “doing the best with what they got,” said WSU head coach Matt Leach. 

“When you go from intense training, travel a full day down there and you’re tryna get your team up and ready to go, we didn’t really have that competitive edge, or drive to compete where we’d like to,” Leach said.

Leach said they need to get back to the drawing board and talk about team values and competitiveness that were put in at the beginning of the season. Leach also said that despite coming off a long break and having a double-header meet, heading toward the Pac-12 Championships it should not be that big of a deal.

“Going from Arizona to the Arizona State meet can be tough, that’s what the Pac-12 is,” Leach said. “We’re kind of in our final push.”

Despite some rust from the team in the beginning, they started to get back into the swing of things, said Hailey Grotte, WSU junior and team captain. Despite the struggles, Grotte said the team stayed positive and came together as a family.

“After the first half of the meet, we realized, ‘hey we need to buckle down and we need to fight for this cause it’s not gonna come easy as it shouldn’t,'”said, “I think our second half was a lot better and we fought a lot harder.”

The Cougars had some impressive individual performances Friday with freshman Emily Lundgren taking first place in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke. Fellow freshman Dori Hathazi clinching her fourth career win in the 200-meter butterfly stroke and sophomore and U.S. Open gold medalist Angela Di Palo taking second in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle. 

Notable individual performances Saturday include Di Palo taking second place in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle, Hathazi taking second in the 200-meter butterfly stroke, junior Alexandra Vartiainen taking second in the 200-meter breaststroke and the 400-meter freestyle relay team taking second. 

Junior Kiana Swain also recorded a lifetime personal best in the 200-meter backstroke at 2:38.23 while senior Jewel Springer notched her own personal best in the 200-meter individual medley at 2:26.65.

The Cougars travel to Salt Lake City Friday to take on the Utah Utes.