Cougar swim prepares for return to the water

WSU to host two meets in January to kick off spring swim season



WSU swimming participates in a meet against University of Arizona on Oct. 14, 2017 at Gibb Pool.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU swimming and diving (2-3, 0-3) has three meets remaining in the season, but the team won’t finish the long multi-semester year until February. To end the season, the Cougars will face Arizona State University, Oregon State University and University of Utah, before heading to the Pac-12 Championships.

Cougar swim started the year with two wins on the road in California. WSU defeated California Polytechnic State University by 43 points in the season’s first meet. The Cougs then faced University of California, Santa Barbara, and obtained their second victory by a 141-121 score.

Head Coach Tom Jager said the first two wins gave the team momentum, but they will need to build up more after winter break.

“It’s great it brings the team together, but we have a long season. If this was a single-semester sport, it would probably be more important,” Jager said. “What you do in September doesn’t have a whole lot to do with what you do in February … once you get back from the Christmas break, you got to basically start all that momentum from scratch.”

After starting 2-0 the Cougs lost meets to Pac-12 competitors University of Arizona, University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles. In October, the Cougars held the first-ever Cougar Alumni Exhibition with more than 40 alumni in attendance.

WSU was then invited to compete in the Ohio State Invitational, where Jager said freshman Emily Cook exceeded his expectations by breaking the WSU school record in the 100-meter backstroke at the event.

“That was a great meet, our kids swam well,” Jager said. “As we got further in the meet we kept on swimming great. We had some freshmen that really stood up.”

Recently, the team announced that seven athletes have already signed national letters of intent to attend WSU next fall and join the swim team.

“We like kids that like to work hard, that are pretty mild mannered for the most part in the public and then pretty tenacious in the water,” Jager said. “That’s kind of a hard combo, but it’s out there and I think we do well with that type of athlete.”

Jager and the swim team returns home 11 a.m., Jan. 13 to face Arizona State in Gibb Pool.

“We’re looking forward to swimming against Arizona State, they’re pretty good this year. As much as we try to catch these teams, they’re trying to get better too, and that’s what makes sports great,” Jager said. “As soon as you’ve reached some type of goal, there is someone else to knock you down … you’ve got to fight through it, there’s people always trying to take you down.”