The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU swim up in numbers; ready to dive into new season

With a larger squad, the team is prepared to take on the pool and make a splash
WSU women’s swimmer Angela Di Palo dives into the water during an NCAA women’s swim meet against University of Idaho, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

The Cougs have an updated roster this year with some returning and some new athletes joining the pool bringing the roster to a total of 29. This is a much-needed increase as opposed to the 23 they had last year. 

“This team that we have right here is the most talent that we have had on deck and in the pool probably in the entire WSU swimming history,” junior Noelle Harvey said.

Head coach Matt Leach is still leading the charge, and he has expressed pride and enthusiasm for this year’s squad.

“The roster from top to bottom is probably the best roster we have had in a very, very long time, if not ever,” Leach said.

With the scoring of the swim meets being point-based, having a larger squad will increase the potential for more points and thus more wins in the names of the Cougars.  

Returning for their sophomore year are Clara Anderson (freestyle/butterfly), Skylar Brgoch (freestyle/butterfly), Kirsten De Goede (butterfly/backstroke), Dori Hathazi (butterfly/freestyle/individual medley), Emily Lundgren (breaststroke/IM), Elli Moss (backstroke/butterfly), Emily O’Brien (backstroke/butterfly), Anna Rauchholz (backstroke/freestyle) and Lauren Wille (breaststroke/IM).

Returning for their junior year are Angela Di Palo (freestyle), Selena Duran (sprint freestyle), Noelle Harvey (freestyle/backstroke) and Sophie Macy (breaststroke/IM). 

Coming back for their senior year are Hailey Grotte (sprint freestyle), Josie Liebzeit (freestyle/IM), Makayla Poloni (backstroke), Kiana Swain (butterfly/backstroke), Kaya Takashige (breaststroke/butterfly) and Alexandra Vartiainen (breaststroke). 

Starting off as a graduate student this term will be Jewel Springer, a name many will remember from her accolades during the previous year as a senior.

Along with Leach, the team agrees that they are headed toward a successful season.

“I am feeling very confident in myself, very confident in my teammates. I think we are gonna do really outstanding this year,” Harvey said.

There are several new names this year with a large crew of freshmen swimmers who will help bring the team into full force as their training continues. 

The list of seven freshmen swimmers joining the team this year are Kate Bluford (backstroke), Hannah Huarte (freestyle), Addyson Lewis (freestyle/butterfly), Madison Parker (freestyle), Mira Szimcsak (freestyle) and Ariel Wang (backstroke/IM). 

There are also two veteran transfer swimmers joining the Cougar squad this year. Sophomore Emma Wright (freestyle) from the University of Houston and junior Sam Krew (freestyle/butterfly) from Tulane University.

In addition to the new swimmers, there is a new addition to the coaching staff.

Kaersten Meitz was an international swimmer and has had numerous accolades and accomplishments. Those include being Purdue’s MVP during her time there, establishing records in the 500 and the 1000 meter swims and beating her own records later on. There are many more that show her qualifications that she will bring to the Cougars to help them dominate the pool.

“She is gonna be coming out this next week. She has started already, her name is Kaersten [Meitz]. She’s awesome, she is a high-level swimmer; swam at Purdue and she turned pro but then COVID hit,” Leach said.

According to coach Leach, Meitz’s primary duty will be distance. She is going to work with everybody but specializing in distance herself will bring a great swing of skill and knowledge to the table. 

With the squad looking strong, the women will get to test out their skills at the Crimson and Gray intrasquad meet Friday, Sept. 22 at WSU’s own Gibb pool. 

The intrasquad meet will give the team an opportunity to get into the atmosphere of a meet and show their skill and speed in the water before competing against another school.

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About the Contributors
PARKER R. SCHAFER, Evergreen columnist
Parker is a sophomore going into Public Relations. He is from Vancouver, Washington (Go Timbers!! Sounders suck). Parker started working for the Evergreen in fall of 2022 and has been an editor for the Evergreen Opinion section and is currently a copy editor. He loves to talk (a bit too much) and is always looking to learn more about anything. They have currently taken back up their role as the WSU swim beat writer and loves attending the meets! He is also fluent in Spanish and is always open to practicing and learning in whatever way he can..
HAILEE SPEIR, Evergreen photo editor
Hailee Speir is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Hailee is a junior English education major from Spokane, Washington. Hailee started working for the Evergreen in fall 2021 as a photographer.