Fresno, Calif. --- Senior distance swimmer Riley Spitser collected three individual wins as the San Jose State Spartans swimming and diving team edge past Mountain West rival Fresno State Bulldogs, 153-147, in the season finale on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (5-3) opened the meet with early 11-6 lead after winning the 200-yard medley relay. The Spartans’ (7-3) relay team of senior Brynne Beneke, junior Taylor Solorio, sophomore Colleen Humel, and Brenna Bushey placed second, touching in 1:45.84. The relay team of senior Amanda Buxbaum, junior Lisa Ellis, sophomore Angel Van Hofwegen, and Brittany Heng came in third for San Jose State.
“We know this was going to be a very tight meet. One of things when we were looking over the meet beforehand was that we know winning the 200 medley relay was going to be essential,” said the Spartans Head Coach Sage Hopkins. “Obviously, things didn’t go our way from the start and Fresno took it, putting us in a hole.”
The Spartans captured the lead in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a one-two punch from senior Riley Spitser and junior Allyson Fellows. Spitser finished in 10:36.65 for her eighth in in the 1,000 freestyle this season. Fellows posted a season best and season personal best with a time of 10:38.19.
“From that point on, the team really stepped up and had a number of very strong swims,” Hopkins said. “The highlight of which would be Riley Spitser’s double of the 1000 freestyle, which she won, and stepped right back on to the starting block to win the 200 freestyle with less than a minute of rest between the two events.”
Picking up back-to-back wins, Spitser finished first in the 200-yard freestyle as San Jose State swept to lead 37-18 over Fresno State after three events. Rounding out the sweep were sophomore Taylor Lehr in second and senior Alli Davis in third.
“In my 11 years at SJSU, we’ve never asked a swimmer to double an event before but we knew that to win, we would need Spitser in both of those events and she came through for us today,” Hopkins said.
San Jose State led 66-65 at the midway point and would maintain its lead through nine events with first place finishes from freshman Marley Maluafiti in the 200-yard butterfly, winning by a margin of 1.63 seconds, and sophomore Cari Reiswig in the 1-meter springboard, posting the top score of 284.55. The first of two wins for Maluafiti and Reiswig.
“I would also like to mention Maluafiti and Reiswig for their two individual wins today as well,” Hopkins said.
The Spartans also earn second places finishes from Humel in the 100-yard backstroke and Solorio in the 100-yard breaststroke. Beneke picked up a pair of second place finishes in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle, finishing behind Fresno State’s Leah Hatayama in both events.
Fresno State regained the lead after the 200-yard backstroke, going ahead of San Jose State 97-91. Humel finished second in the 200 backstroke with Ellis placing third. The Bulldogs would hold on to the lead for two events.
Picking up some crucial points to keep the Spartans in the chase for the win, Buxbaum finished second in the 200-yard breaststroke with Solorio placing third.
Spitser captured her third victory of the meet in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:03.07, winning by a margin of 4.43 seconds over Fresno State’s Casey Kennemann. Spitser now has nine wins this season in the 500 freestyle including an NCAA B Standard provisional qualifying time posted at the A3 Performance Invitational. Fellows finished fourth in the event.
The Spartans jumped back into the lead three events later, leading 123-122, when Maluafiti earned her second victory of the afternoon in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.70. Bushey finished third and junior Alyssa Cable finished fifth for San Jose State.
“We are very proud of Marley’s performance today, she’s learned a lot about the sport over this year and I firmly believe that she will be a central pillar of our program over the coming years,” Hopkins said.
Scoring a new season personal best in the 3-meter springboard, Reiswig posted the only score about 300 with a dive total of 310.73 for her second win of the day.
With two events to go, the Bulldogs’ Esme Gullick captured a win in the 200-yard individual medley and gave Fresno State a 143-140 lead. The Spartans’ Davis finished second in the race with a time of 2:09.61.
San Jose State pulled through in the last event to win 400-yard freestyle relay with the team of Spitser, Beneke, Lehr and Maluafiti, beating Fresno State by 2.23 seconds to take the lead for the meet win. The Spartans relay team of Solorio, Humel, Heng and Bushey finished third.
by Brian S. Stanley, SJSU athletics media relations student assistant.
Team Scores: San Jose State 153, Fresno State 147
200 Medley Relay – 1, Fresno State A, 1:44.61. 2, San Jose State A (Colleen Humel, Taylor Solorio, Brenna Bushey, Brynne Beneke), 1:45.84. 3, San Jose State B (Taylor Lehr, Natasha Moffitt, Marley Maluafiti, Kimberlee Giggey). Other San Jose State Finishers – 5, San Jose State C (Lisa Ellis, Amanda Buxbaum, Angel Van Hofwegen, Brittany Heng), 1:49.23.
1000 Freestyle – 1, Riley Spitser, San Jose State, 10:36.65. 2, Allyson Fellows, San Jose State, 10:38.19. 3, Danielle Powers, Fresno State, 10:46.18. Other San Jose State Finishers – 4, Kendal Guy, 10:55.85.
100 Breaststroke – 1, Brooke Rodriguez, Fresno State, 1:05.94. 2, Taylor Solorio, San Jose State, 1:06.27. 3, Hailee Baldwin, Fresno State, 1:06.78. Other San Jose State Finishers – 4, Amanda Buxbaum, 1:07.00. 5, Natasha Moffitt, 1:08.76.
50 Freestyle – 1, Leah Hatayama, Fresno State, 23.46. 2, Brynne Beneke, San Jose State, 24.29. 3, Katelin Britton, Fresno State, 24.42. Other San Jose State Finishers – 4, Brittany Heng, 24.63. 5, Kimberlee Giggey, 24.92. Brenna Bushey, 25.01.
1-Meter Springboard – 1, Cari Reiswig, San Jose State, 284.55. 2, Shelbie Holden, Fresno State, 276.60. 3, Lacie Ruth, Fresno State, 247.05. Other San Jose State Finishers – 4, Megan Au, 216.00. 5, Tamada Eri, 203.10.
100 Freestyle – 1, Leah Hatayama, Fresno State, 51.94. 2, Brynne Beneke, San Jose State, 52.03. 3, Taylor Lehr, San Jose State, 52.92. Other San Jose State Finishers – 7, Kimberlee Giggey, 54.79. 9, Brittany Heng, 55.69.
200 Backstroke – 1, Ugne Mazutaityte, Fresno State, 2:00.14. 2, Colleen Humel, San Jose State, 2:04.94. 3, Esme Gullick, Fresno State, 2:07.42. Other San Jose State Finishers – 4, Lisa Ellis, 2:10.76.
200 Breaststroke – 1, Hailee Baldwin, Fresno State, 2:21.57. 2, Amanda Buxbaum, San Jose State, 2:23.84. 3, Taylor Solorio, San Jose State, 2:25.62. Other San Jose State Finishers – 5, Natasha Moffitt, 2:29.22.
500 Freestyle – 1, Riley Spitser, San Jose State, 5:03.07. 2, Casey Kenneman, Fresno State, 5:07.50. 3, Ugne Mazutaityte, Fresno State, 5:09.59. Other San Jose State Finishers – 4, Allyson Fellows, 5:12.73. 6, Kendal Guy, 5:22.49.
100 Butterfly – 1, Marley Maluafiti, San Jose State, 56.70. 2, Tarryn Rennie, Fresno State, 57.26. 3, Brenna Bushey, San Jose State, 57.30. Other San Jose State Finishers – 5, Alyssa Cable, 1:00.05. 7, Angel Van Hofwegen, 1:02.97.
3-Meter Springboard – 1, Cari Reiswig, San Jose State, 310.73. 2, Shelbie Holden, Fresno State, 278.55. 3, Lacie Ruth, Fresno State, 258.08. Other San Jose State Finishers – 4, Megan Au, 227.48. 5, Eri Tamada, 194.44.
200 Individual Medley – 1, Esme Gullick, Fresno State, 2:08.30. 2, Alli Davis, San Jose State, 2:09.61. 3, Hailee Baldwin, Fresno State, 2:10.00. Other San Jose State Finishers – 5, Amanda Buxbaum, 2:11.64. 6, Alyssa Cable, 2:14.77. 7, Allyson Fellows, 2:16.98.
400 Freestyle Relay – 1, San Jose State A (Riley Spitser, Brynne Beneke, Taylor Lehr, Marley Maluafiti), 3:28.01. 2, Fresno State A, 3:30.24. 3, San Jose State B (Taylor Solorio, Colleen Humel, Brittany Heng, Brenna Bushey), 3:31.41. Other San Jose State Finishers – 5, San Jose State C (Angel Van Hofwegen, Kimberlee Giggey, Lisa Ellis, Kendal Guy), 3:39.69.