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

The ice can’t freeze Cougar swimming’s spirit

Despite the cold weather the swimmers hit the water hard against the Trojans
WSU women’s swimmer in a race during an NCAA women’s swim meet against, University of Southern California, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.

WSU swimming lost its first meet of 2024 to the USC Trojans 133.5 to 104.5, Saturday at Gibb Pool.

USC started off strong with a first-place win in the 200-meter medley relay but the Cougars were right on their tail in second and third keeping the Trojans on their toes.

With the swimmers coming off of a break, they were determined to take the Trojans by storm. But given the long break, the Cougars had some post-holiday rust to shake off.

“Sometimes you can have a little bit of rust coming off of a long break, I mean our last meet was in November to early December so to get that rust off is good,” head coach Matt Leach said. “Putting that work in you shouldn’t be that rusty if you have been getting up and doing what you need to do and we have been and we swam really well.”

The Cougars swam with their usual pride and grace raking in three first-place wins. One was even from Sophomore Dori Hathazi who was still sick at the time of her 200-meter butterfly. Hathazi finally took the first first place for the Cougars in the 200-meter butterfly with her typical record-setting speed.

The travelers stole first for the majority of the races but the Cougars were always shortly behind with second or third places.

WSU swimmer during an NCAA women’s swim meet against University of Southern California, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.

Freshman Ariel Wang also took first in her 200-meter IM. The swimmer set a time of two minutes and four seconds to steal her first career win showing a lot of promise for her future at Wazzu.

“I didn’t realize I won,” Wang said. “I was sprinting all the way through. Before I swam the 200-IM I spoke to coach Kirsten about ‘Do you have any advice for my IM?’ and she said ‘Just go fast on your back-stroke and just go fast.’ ”

Wang said, her goal for the season is to break two minutes. Not an unreasonable goal to set especially given how close she is to breaking two minutes already.

Coming off of a winter break and jumping head first into a meet can be an intimidating time for a new swimmer causing some nerves and jitters before a race. But according to Wang, she was able to put that aside.

“I was nervous before racing because I trained really hard over the winter so I really hoped I would have a good time on this meet so I was really nervous about that,” Wang said “But before I race I just don’t think about anything.”

With the swimmers gearing up for another meet they will take a full week to really shake off that post-Christmas rust and get back up to their in-season stamina.

“We were trying to build confidence off of today and really give our best lineup against Utah moving forward,” Leach said. “But all in all we are seeing different people step up. We are seeing different people try some different race strategies and plans. We still have some sharpening of turns and starts to work on but all in all it’s a good start to 2024.”

WSU will swim against Utah at 5 p.m. Feb. 5 at Gibb Pool.

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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..
Julian Caballero is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. He is a junior broadcast production major from Tacoma, Washington. Julian began working for the Daily Evergreen in fall 2022.