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

Swimmers hit the last Pac-12s hard

The Cougars have been building to this 3-day tournament all year
A+WSU+swimmer+during+an+NCAA+womens+swim+meet+against+University+of+Southern+California%2C+Saturday%2C+Jan.+20%2C+2024%2C+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.
JULIAN CABALLERO
A WSU swimmer during an NCAA women’s swim meet against University of Southern California, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.

Coming out of a 2-week break from meets, the Pac 12 tournament has begun for the swimmers. This 3-day tournament is sure to be a growing experience for Wazzu’s strongest swimmers in the past 5 years.

Coming off of two winning dual meets the team has begun raising their hopes for the tournament. According to head coach Matt Leach, the team has shown a lot of promise in their practices and has had high nerves as the tournament approaches.

“This week is always anticipating and trying to keep them calm even though my nerves are relatively high,” Leach said. 

This meet will really set up the following tournament of the NCAA’s. The team needs to show up and show off for these races to make the times and take their spots for their second big event. Leach has some swimmers he is expecting to make big strides during this year’s Pac-12.

“I think we have two that are in that NCAA mix that will be going to NCAA’s; Emily Lundgren and Dori Hathazi, that are consistently sharp,” Leach said. “But I think there are some other people that will also step up. With Mira [Szimcsak] coming back from worlds and getting third at the world championships in the mixed open water swim relay, it’s pretty cool to have a world championship medal hanging up in your office.”

Other than those three Leach said that everyone from seniors to freshmen will be stepping up to take their time in the spotlight. naming Kiana Swain, Lauren Wille, Anna Rauchholz, Angela Di Palo, Selena Duran, Emma Wright, Samantha Krew and Ariel Wang.

According to Leach, given the time away from meets the team has been refining everything from their kick count to their stroke count to be able to put everything they can into this meet. With the Pac-12 collapsing, some swimmers are having mixed feelings about this meet. 

“I was really nervous because I know this will be my first Pac12 but it will also be my last Pac12 ” freshman Ariel Wang said. “It’s kind of sad but I think for me I just really enjoy it and I am really excited to see how my winter training is going so far and I am also really excited to see some Olympians like Léon Marchand.”

There are a lot of athletes who have been at the Olympics during these races. The men’s team has strong contenders such as Léon Marchand, Destin Lasco, Dare Rose and Jack Alexy, all of whom are going for a second shot at the Olympics for the trials coming up later this year.

Wazzu women are also shooting for the Olympic tryouts later this year but it all starts with these few days. 

“It’s the longest meet all year, I mean NCAA’s are the same setup, the only meet that is longer would be every four years where you are talking about the U.S. Olympic trials where you are going eight, nine days of straight swimming,” Leach said. 

The swimmers took a couple of shorter practices over the few days before the meet just to be able to get the extra rest before the long meet. According to Leach, everyone is expected to swim fast and hard during the next few days and taking wins over Idaho and Utah in their most recent meets set them on the right path.

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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.