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

Cougs take close third at first meet of season

The Cougars had the best first meet possible and have the setup for a record-breaking season
WSU women’s swimmer Kaya Takashige swims in a butterfly race during an NCAA women’s swim meet against University of Idaho, Feb 3.

WSU swimming took third in their most recent invitational, coming in just behind San Diego State University. So close, in fact, that if SDSU did not have a diving team, the Cougars would have sat comfortably in second place just behind the dominant UCLA.

“When you look at it and you look at the swimming specific, we out swam them,” head coach Matt Leach said. “We took out the diving points and we were second. So for us, this is a huge stepping stone because number one, we haven’t won a relay at all in the five years previous, and then this year we win two.”

Wazzu came in the top three in seven events throughout the 12-event meet. This has put them leaps and bounds ahead of where they were over the previous years.

This meet was a strong showing of where the Cougars are at not only on the local level but on the national level.

“There was a big meet at [South Nazarene University] where they were suited; some top 10, top five teams. Our unrested unsuited times were beating some of their times,” Leach said.

Suited refers to wearing a tech suit, a very tight racing suit meant to be worn only once or twice which can shave seconds off of a swimmer’s race, giving them a vital edge in many competitions. 

The Cougars seem to only be going up this year, and even lacking a diving squad they are dominating not only their competition but their previous records.

“It’s hard to see those results but I think it lights a fire in us. As one of our team goals is to be competitive with those other teams in Pac-12 without diving,” senior Kiana Swain said. “So I think obviously, racing UCLA and San Diego State without diving was a good starting point to see what we really need to do when we get to Pac-12.” 

With the first time seeing UCLA out of the way, the Cougars can start to look toward their next meet against the Bruins.

“I am just excited for another home meet,” Swain said. “Our Crimson and Gray meet went really well. We swam super fast and we had a lot of spectators here, so hopefully we have more Coug fans coming in with it being a meet and homecoming weekend, just bringing the energy and good vibes in the pool.”

At the end of the invitational the Cougars came in 205 points shy of UCLA, and with this upcoming meet they are ready to close that gap.

“They are flying in the same day they are racing so we will see how, hopefully, tired they are based on their travels,” Leach said. “We just have to worry about what we’re doing if we can find three or four tents in hundreds, half a second or more in the 200 meters, we are gonna be right in it.”

WSU will face off against UCLA at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Gibb Pool. With some already close times, the match is sure to make an impact on the swimmers and their season with a chance to bring them as close to a victory as the Cougars have seen in at least five years. 

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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.