Cougars get back in the pool against Seattle U

WSU women’s swim looks to rebound off loss to Utah on Jan. 15



Senior Taylor McCoy participates in the backstroke competition for WSU.

KAT MCKINNEY-ROLEY, Evergreen reporter

The WSU women’s swim team has not been able to compete since last March at the beginning of the COVID- 19 pandemic. After a long time away from the pool, the women are now ready to swim.

This week the Cougars travel to Seattle to swim against Seattle University at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Last week the Cougars swam against The University of Utah, with several swimmers setting personal bests and senior Chole Larson beating the Gibb Pool all-time record in 50m free. The whole meet was neck and neck between the Cougars and the Utes, but in the end, Utah pulled out the victory over WSU 140-118.

“Hopefully we can continue to grow off of our meet against Utah and bring that to Idaho,” head coach Matt Leach said.

The season for the Cougar women might be short, but there is a promising future for the Pac-12 Championships in late February and a possible NCAA Championship at the end of the season.

The team is ready to go and swim as hard and fast as they can, Larson said.

“I think we’re going to do some big things; our eyes are set on Pacs,” Larson said. “We’re training hard every week.”

The Cougars have only swum in one meet in 2021 after their season was postponed. Leach said this team should be one to watch, with several swimmers that he is excited to see improve.

“I’m really excited about this season. This season has taken a lot to develop,” Leach said. “It’s been a lot of ‘hit the gas, then stop.'”

One swimmer who fans should look out for is freshman Kiana Swain, who recently made it to the top 10 in the 200 butterfly.

“Kiana has been working hard all season. She’s a freshman and has already had a top-8 time in the program,” Larson said.

The seniors of this team are hungry for a season and hungry to show the Pac- 12 and the rest of the country that they are going to swim as hard as they have trained to compete at an elite level.

“I think it’s going to be fun to swim against everyone and have the experience of what it means to be a Pac-12 swimmer,” Larson said.

The coaching staff has been working all pre-season to add new ideas to push swimmers and break them out of their shells. The team is swimming at the level Leach has been training them for since he took over as head coach. Leach’s goal has been to keep the same energy from practices to the meets.

“We’ve always been trying to bring in more competition and more energy,” Leach said.

The Cougars are ready to travel to Seattle to compete and look to have more top times as the team starts preparing for the Pac- 12 Championship meet.

Catch the Cougar swim team face the University of Seattle at 10 a.m. Saturday. The meet will be aired on the WSU Athletics website.