Cougars crush Beavers in final home meet of season

WSU earned victory as three senior Cougar swimmers participated in final home meet


GEORGE RODRIGUEZ | The Daily Evergreen

A Cougar swimmer makes her way through the water during a meet against Oregon State on Friday.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU swimming emerged victorious from Gibb Pool after a commanding 163-74 win over Oregon State University on Friday.

This was the Cougars’ last home meet of the season, and it was especially important for WSU swimmers Anna Brolin, Rachel Thompson and Talisa Wibmer, who celebrated senior night with their families.

Head Coach Tom Jager said the three seniors left it all in the pool in their final time swimming in front of the Cougar faithful.

“My seniors, they swam great, but I think my whole team is coming together because they care for each other and they wanted to do well for these seniors,” Jager said. “They’re so proud to be Cougars, they’re so proud to be swimmers and they’re just proud to be Talisa, Rachel and Anna.”

WSU had a swimmer place first in every event in the meet, and Brolin, Thompson and Wibmer were all a part of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay team. Thompson had individual wins in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, and Wibmer placed first in the 100-yard butterfly.

Thompson said she will always remember having the chance to compete with the rest of the seniors in the relay.

“I thought it was super fun. We’ve never done a senior relay before,” Thompson said. “I’ve never swam the 50 in a dual meet before. Just swimming that and winning was super special, because I’m a mid-distance freestyler, so doing a sprint event and then winning it was really special for me.”

Each Cougar swimmer had the number three written on their backs to honor Tyler Hilinski, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Jan. 16.

Thompson said the team felt it was a great way to remember Hilinski.

“All the teams have been doing it for their meets,” Thompson said. “We thought it would be super special for us to do that, especially for senior night, just to honor him and what he stood for.”

Jager said this victory will help propel his team through the rest of the season.

“Swimming, like any other sport, is confidence, and I would say that these guys are draining their shots now,” Jager said. “In the last three weeks, I couldn’t ask for a better spot to be in.”

The team will be back in the water at 10 a.m. on Feb. 10 to take on University of Utah in Salt Lake City.