The Washington State University swimming team prepares to take on the Golden Bears as they travel to California in this weekend’s competition.
The Cougars are now 0-3 in dual meets after falling to the Utah Utes 147-115 in last weekend’s competition.
Junior Shelbi Luchini and senior Danielle Palumbo tied for WSU's top scoring honors, contributing 13 points each while junior Evelina Bieleckaite earned 11 individual points against the Utes.
Luchini earned the first-place position in the 200 fly and finished second in the 500 free with times of 2:09.02 and 5:18.63, respectively.
Palumbo finished first in the 200 back, touching the wall with a time of 2:04.82, and also placed fourth in the 100 back and 200 IM with times of 58.66 and 2:14.98, respectively.
Bieleckaite touched the wall with the fastest time in the 50 free with a time of 24.31 and finished in the fourth-place position in the 100 free with a time of 54.12.
Head Coach Tom Jager said the Cougar sprinters swam really well on the weekend. Jager said the team had some really great individual performances on the weekend.
Palumbo said the swimmers did really well at performing under the conditions of the meet.
“I think that we did really well at the high altitude,” Palumbo said. “I think it was at about 5,000 feet, so we were at a slight disadvantage because they train in that every day. But overall, I think that we did really well at stepping up to the challenge and we had a lot of strong finishes.”
Both Palumbo and Luchini said the team needs to pay attention to the smaller details of the races in order to perform well this weekend.
Palumbo said that faster turns and better starts are going to be key in this weekend’s meet against California.
“The sprinters on the team needs to focus on the starts and turns of each race but also just focusing on one race at a time will definitely be to everyone’s advantage for the weekend,” Luchini said.
The Cougars are set to take on the Golden Bears Friday at 1 p.m. and after last weekend’s lost, swimmers say they are motivated for this season.
“I don’t think that any of us are feeling beat down by our slow start at all,” Palumbo said. “I think that we are more so inspired by it. It makes us want to work even harder.”