Hougan swims her last

February 23, 2011 

Karlyn Hougan saved her best for last.

In her final collegiate swim meet, Hougan, a senior at the University of Wisconsin and a Tumwater graduate, was the only Badger to qualify for the 200-yard butterfly finals at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.

She swam a season-best 2 minutes and 72 hundredths (2:00.72) of a second to place third in the C consolation final.

“She was happy with the way her season ended,” Wisconsin coach Eric Hansen said. “She’s great under water. She kicks hard under water. That’s something we’ve worked hard on.”

Hougan also placed fifth in the 100-yard butterfly in the A final with a 53.6, a lifetime best.

The last two years, Hougan swam a leg on 200- and 400-yard medley relays, earning All-American honors. But she was bumped from the relays by a freshman from Sweden.

“It’s not a personal decision. It’s a business decision,” Hansen said. “Swimming is easy. Times don’t lie.”

Hansen said while Hougan was disappointed about not being on the relay teams, she didn’t let that affect how she approached practice and meets.

“She’s a hard worker,” Hansen said. “She showed a lot of growth since coming here.”

At Tumwater, Hougan was a two-time state champ. Her parents both swam in college. Her mom, Mary, swam at Washington State. Her dad, Matt, swam at the University of Puget Sound.

MONDA RUMBLE

It didn’t take Jason Monda much time to adjust to major college pitching.

In his first start for Washington State, Monda, a Capital graduate, went 3-for-3, belting two singles and triple as the Cougars’ designated hitter in a 4-2 win against Cal State Bakersfield. Monda took one step toward catching his dad.

Monda’s dad, Greg Monda, is WSU’s career leader in average at .369.

WSU’s win had another Olympia link. Junior Adam Conley, an Olympia grad, struck out a career-best nine in eight innings to pick up the win.

“Adam was a bulldog,” WSU coach Donnie Marbut said. “We could have sent him out for the ninth, but we wanted to get Richie (Ochoa) into a situation where he could close a game.”

In the top of the ninth inning, Monda was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on an error and scored on a passed ball.

After three games, Monda is batting .455, going 5-for-11.

DEADEYE SHOT

Saint Martin’s Roni Jo Mielke’s career 3-point percentage of 43.0 ranks second in Great Northwest Athletic Conference history.

She’s made 83 of 193 attempts and is second to Western Washington’s Stacey Miller, who shot 44.3 percent from behind the 3-point arc, making 155 of 350.

THROWING BBS

Casey Mitchell was nearly too good to be true.

The Saint Martin’s senior pitched a five-hit shutout and struck out 12 in nine innings as the Saints recently blanked Linfield, 5-0.

Mitchell, a Capital graduate, did not walk a batter. That performance not only snapped the Saints’ two-game skid, when SMU was outscored 10-2, it also earned Mitchell the conference’s athlete of the week award.

TOUGH CROWD

It’s over for Evergreen.

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams missed the Cascade Conference postseason tournaments. But it’s not easy to qualify. Four conference men’s teams are ranked in the NAIA’s top 25: No. 8 Oregon Tech, No. 11 Eastern Oregon, No. 18. Warner Pacific and No. 23 Northwest. Among women, Concordia is No. 22, and Corban and Northwest received votes.

The Evergreen men, after reaching the NAIA tournament two of the previous three years and winning 19 or more games, finished ninth in the conference with an 8-20 record, one spot out of the playoffs. The Geoducks lost seven of their last eight games, losing three of those by two points or fewer.

Evergreen women finished 5-20 overall, 3-15 in conference to tie Oregon Tech for ninth.

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