Young swim team prepares for season

The Cougs lost eight senior athletes, but gained eight freshmen for the season


JESSICA HARJA | Daily Evergreen File

Swimmers push off the Gibb Pool wall during an Oct. 29, 2016, meet against the University of California, Los Angeles.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU swimming begins its season in San Luis Obispo, California, against Cal Poly Thursday. The Cougars do not hold a home meet until October when they face Arizona at Gibb Pool — their first of four home meets.

Head Coach Tom Jager continues to lead the team, entering his seventh season at WSU. He will have to do so without eight seniors from last year.

“We are looking forward to an exciting year,” Jager said, according to Athletic Communications. “We have a young, talented team. I am looking forward to preparing them for the challenge of the Pac-12. I like our schedule … it will give our fans a chance to see us swim a little more.”

Mackenzie Duarte of Alhambra High School in Martinez, California, signed a national letter of intent to attend WSU earlier this year. Duarte finished 13th in state for 100 breaststroke her senior year of high school. She was also a member of the Orinda Aquatics, where she was named swimmer of the year.

WSU swim also received Scholar All-America honors after posting a 3.33 team GPA during the spring semester. Graduates Addisynn Bursch and Elise Locke each earned Scholar All-America honorable mention from the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.

Graduate Anna Rosen was recently recognized by the conference when she received the Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award for her performances last year. Rosen’s win marks the second consecutive year a Coug has received the award.

“It is very humbling, and I feel honored to be recognized by the Pac-12 Conference for such an incredible award,” Rosen said. “I hope my story can inspire others to fight and not let setbacks be the end of their journey.”

Rosen swam three years at WSU with an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator in her abdomen after being diagnosed with a rare heart condition.

She red-shirted her freshman year due to her diagnosis and recovery from the procedure that implanted the ICD in her abdomen. Rosen was back in the water for fall of 2014. She is the first NCAA athlete to be cleared to swim with Long QT Syndrome.

“She is a great Coug, and we are equally excited to see her pursue her goals and dreams,” Jager said. “Anna will impact the world in a positive way, and we are very fortunate to have had her represent Washington State.”

The Cougars’ full swim schedule can be found on the WSU Athletics website. After opening the season at 6:30 p.m. against Cal Poly on Thursday, the Cougars will face UC Santa Barbara before returning home to face Arizona on Oct. 14.