Swimming & Diving Hits Road For Three Meets

THIS WEEK - SPARTANS HIT THE ROAD FOR THREE MEETS
The San Jose State University women’s swimming and diving team hits the road for one final time this regular season for three meets to begin the new year this weekend. The Spartans, idle from competition since December 8 due to final exams and a break for the holiday season, will first head to Bakersfield, Calif., on Thursday, January 3, to contest a pair of dual meets over the following two days. San Jose State will take on Cal State Bakersfield at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, January 4, and again at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, at the Hillman Aquatics Center.

The Spartans will travel further south to Irvine, Calif., to participate in the relay portion of the annual UC Irvine/Ayres Hotel & Suites Invitational on Sunday, January 6. Action at the Anteater Aquatics Complex, which should include approximately 12 total relay races, is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Freshman Jo Thibodaux will also be competing in the one-meter diving event that afternoon. The team is slated to return to San Jose late on Monday, January 7.

San Jose State moved above the .500 mark at 5-4 on the dual meet season following a thrilling, come-from-behind one-point victory (131-130) at Pacific on Saturday, December 8. Brie Marhenke continues to be the top-rated sprint freestyler in the Western Athletic Conference with the Spartans’ lone NCAA B’ cuts thus far of 23.09 in the 50 and 50.60 in the 100, both achieved at the 2007 Nike Cup in Long Beach, Calif., in November. She remains undefeated in dual meets in both events this season, at 8-0 in each.

The two dual meets at Cal State Bakersfield will follow a 13-event format, but will each consist of just 12 events. Friday’s meet will be without the 500 free and Saturday’s without the 1000. Diving from the one-meter and three-meter springboards will run simultaneous to the swimming on both days. The order of swimming events will be as follows for Friday: 200 medley relay, 1000 free, 200 free, 50 free, 200 IM, break, 200 fly, 100 free, 200 back, break, 200 breast and 200 free relay. On Saturday: 400 medley relay, 200 free, 50 free, 400 IM, break, 100 fly, 100 free, 100 back, 500 free, break, 100 breast and 400 free relay. Scoring will be the usual 9-4-3-2-1 for individual events and 11-4-2 for relays.

San Jose State’s final tuneup for the 2008 WAC Championship will come in a home dual on Senior Day against Cal State East Bay on Saturday, January 26, at The Aquatics Center.

SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (5-4, 3-1 WAC)
at CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (0-2, 0-0 CUSA)
HILLMAN CENTER, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 3:00 P.M.

CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (0-2, 0-0 CUSA)
HILLMAN AQUATICS CENTER, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, 11:00 A.M.

UCI/AYRES HOTEL & SUITES INVITATIONAL (RELAY MEET)
ANTEATER AQUATICS COMPLEX, IRVINE, CALIF.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 10:00 A.M.


SAN JOSE STATE (5-4, 3-1 WAC) at CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (0-2)
Cal State Bakersfield is 0-2 in duals this year following home losses against UC San Diego (136-159) on November 3 and UC Santa Barbara (77-152) on November 17. The Runners last competed at the 22nd annual UNLV Winter Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev., December 15-17.

Current third-year San Jose State head coach Sage Hopkins is 1-0 against his alma mater. San Jose State topped the Runners on the road, 188-160, last season on January 6, 2007. The Spartans took 12 out of the 16 events. Individual winners included Lauren Mar, who produced a first-place effort in her first 200 freestyle swim of the season, in 1:57.33, before sweeping the sprint freestyle events, taking the 50 in 24.56 before touching first in the 100 in 53.10. Amanda Carr swept the distance freestyles, winning both the 1000 (10:34.05) and 500 (5:11.78) as the only Spartan entrant in either event. The Spartans won the 200 medley relay in 1:50.63.

Other San Jose State individual first-place finishes were turned in by current first-year Spartan assistant coach Ashley Vrieze in the 100 back (59.63), Hannah Tringham in the 200 fly (2:08.72), Katey Nelson in the 200 back (2:09.22) and Amanda Collier in the 200 breast (2:30.13). Tarolyn Robertson (59.98) and Beste Erener (2:13.57) each produced the first dual meet wins of their collegiate careers in the 100 fly and 200 IM, respectively.

Hopkins was a seven-time All-American at Cal State Bakersfield, graduating in 1997. He was an assistant coach with the Roadrunner men’s team from 1995-97.

Cal State Bakersfield features diver Victoria Kreutz, who competed for the Spartans as a freshman a year ago. She won both the one-meter and three-meter diving events at UNLV. Fellow Canadian Stephanie Donnelly, a freshman backstroke specialist, has also performed well. Melanie Sloan, now in her sophomore year, swept the diving events against SJSU last season.

Pat Skehan, the first head coach in the history of the Cal State Bakersfield women’s program, is now in her 19th season at the helm. The Runners, NCAA Division II national runners-up in 1998 and a traditional Division II power over the years, are in the process of moving up to the NCAA Division I.

SAGE HOPKINS ON UPCOMING WEEKEND
“We are looking forward to our last road trip of the regular season, and getting in some good racing in Bakersfield and in Irvine. We had a great competition last year against Cal State Bakersfield, and we are looking to continue that tradition. This weekend will also provide the valuable experience of three days of back-to-back racing, to help prepare us for when we go to the WAC Championship for four days of consecutive racing in February.”

LAST TIME OUT: SPARTANS RALLY TO TOP PACIFIC ON THE ROAD
San Jose State finished first and third in the final event of the day, the 200 free relay, to overtake Pacific by a single point, 131-130, at Pacific’s Chris Kjeldsen Pool on Saturday, December 8. It marked the Spartans’ first victory over Pacific in known program history.

Down by three points at the final break, 114-111, Spartan underclassmen Hannah Tringham (4:32.53), Caitlin Macky (4:37.10) and Kirsten Trammell (4:37.95) finished second, fourth and fifth in the 400 individual medley to collect seven points for their team, while Pacific gained 12 more points to extend its advantage to eight points heading into the final event.

Knowing they needed to win the 200 freestyle relay and still also place another foursome in either second or third, San Jose State did exactly that. Diving into the water behind by a little over a second after freshmen Daphne Yeung and Julie Wynn, senior co-captain Brie Marhenke swam a 22.74 split to her counterpart’s 24.05 to take a slim lead, with junior Tarolyn Robertson holding off UOP’s Melissa McGhee with a 25.09 anchor.

Meanwhile, the Spartan B’ relay of freshman Meghan McCurley, juniors Joanna Torres and Lauren Mar, and senior Sara Riley, timed 1:39.17 to easily outdistance the remainder of the opposition for the two crucial points for third place.

Marhenke remained undefeated in both of the sprint freestyles in dual meets this season, winning the 50 free in 23.76 before taking the 100 by over a second over Mar (53.76), in 52.69. The win in the 50 marked the 20th of her dual meet career as a Spartan, against zero defeats. Marhenke also anchored the second-place 200 medley relay (1:48.40) to begin the meet, with Mar, Macky and Robertson swimming ahead of her.

Other individual winners for the Spartans included Mar in the 100 back (59.31) over teammate Katey Nelson in second (1:01.37), and Tringham in the 200 fly (2:06.60) over Jillene Golez (2:09.87) and Ally Jack (2:10.83) in a 1-2-3 SJSU sweep. Macky won the 200 breast in 2:22.93. Yeung (54.90) and McCurley (55.28) completed a rare 1-2-3-4 effort for San Jose State behind Marhenke and Mar in the 100 freestyle.

SPARTANS IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
Three current Spartans appear among the top 115 in the latest CollegeSwimming.com national charts as of Wednesday, January 2. Brie Marhenke is tied for 42nd in the 50 freestyle (23.09) and 78th in the 100 free (50.60). Freshmen Kirsten Trammell (2:19.78) and Caitlin Macky (2:20.48) are 102nd and 114th, respectively, in the 200 breaststroke.

MARHENKE REMAINS UNDEFEATED IN DUALS IN 50 FREE
Brie Marhenke, a member of the CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major All-American Team for the 2005-06 season, made her return to competition at Stanford on Friday, October 5, by sweeping the two sprint freestyle events there for the second time.

Marhenke is 8-0 in each event in dual competition this season. She is a perfect 20-0 in dual meets in the 50 free as a Spartan, and 17-1 in the 100. Her only dual defeat in the 100 came at home against Washington State All-American Erin McCleave on October 29, 2005. She avenged that lone loss in the 100 to the Cougars in a dual meet at home on Saturday, October 27.