|Vandals kick off season with school record|
PULLMAN, Wash. - The University of Idaho swim team opened the 2009-10 season with an overall successful start at the Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational at Washington State University Friday.
The Idaho Gold and Idaho Black teams are separated by just one point for third and fourth place at 68-67 and sit just behind Washington State Gray at 74 points. The Gold squad opened the competition with a disqualification in the 400 yard medley relay due to a false start, but Idaho recovered nicely with strong performances in the remaining seven events which included a school record swim.
"Today went pretty well and was pretty exciting," Idaho coach Tom Jager. "We got some good swims and they competed very well and showed they have the ability to race some people. The swimmers showed great energy and confidence. It helps that all of Idaho's sports are doing better and there was no doubt we walked into this pool with a better feeling about ourselves. This was our first meet so we needed to get the cobwebs out."
Freshman Treasa Ring set an Idaho school record with a time of 55.89 in the 100-yard butterfly in her first collegiate meet. Her time also was fast enough to set the meet record, however she was just out-touched by a WSU swimmer who took the honor at 55.71. The previous meet record was 56.45.
Sophomore Si Jia Pang is Idaho's top point scorer after day one with 11 after a third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle and a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle. Amanda Watson is close behind with 10 points after taking third in the 100-yard backstroke and fifth in the 200-yard freestyle.
Senior Cortnee Hanson kicked off the season with a strong race in the 400-yard IM and finished just seven seconds behind her previous career best at 4:40.50.
Although the loss of points in the 400-yard relay hurt Idaho's chances of finishing in the top spot, the Vandals will push to move ahead of Washington State Gray as the meet turns to the longer races.
"We are usually better at the long races and tomorrow is all the long stuff. We lost a lot of points in the relay so our goal for tomorrow will be to beat Gray," Jager said.
The meet continues Saturday at noon at Gibb Pool.