Swimming Wins UCI/Ayres Relay Invitational

Irvine, Calif. - The San Jose State University women’s swim team wrapped up a busy and successful road weekend by winning five of 10 events en route to its first UC Irvine/Ayres Hotel & Suites Relay Invitational at UCI’s Anteater Aquatics Complex on Sunday, January 6.

The Spartans, coming off back-to-back dual meet victories at Cal State Bakersfield over the previous two days, scored 336 points to hold off host UC Irvine in second place with 277 points. A pair of its Western Athletic Conference opponents, Boise State (258) and the University of San Diego (245), were third and fourth, respectively, followed by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (169), club team Atlantic Legends (115), Whitman (38) and Willamette (32).

San Jose State’s A’ relays put together five first-place efforts, including the first two and last two events of the afternoon, and finished second in four events. UC Irvine won the remaining five events. Individually, senior co-captain Brie Marhenke, junior Lauren Mar and freshman Caitlin Macky led the way as part of three winning relays each. Freshmen Meghan McCurley, Kirsten Trammell and Daphne Yeung were on two winners apiece, with junior Tarolyn Robertson and sophomores Erin Garcia and Hannah Tringham grabbing single victories.

Top highlights for the Spartans included the winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays. The 200 freestyle A’ foursome of Marhenke, Mar, McCurley and Yeung matched the meet record of 1:36.93 previously set by WAC rival Nevada in 2002. The 400 freestyle A’ relay to close the event of Mar, Yeung, Marhenke and McCurley, narrowly missed another meet mark by just .66 seconds, timing 3:32.06 to fall just short of Nevada’s 3:31.40, also from 2002.

“We knew we had a shot at taking the meet when we looked at the psych sheets,” said third-year San Jose State head coach Sage Hopkins. “We talked about a couple of things beforehand. One was racing hard, and the other was mental toughness. Many of our swimmers competed in a number of races today, and we talked about staying tough through each of them. Rudie Guerrero, for instance, swam in eight of the 10 events, with just a few minutes in between, and we had others in six or seven events.

“We had good performances from Lauren Mar, Brie Marhenke, Caitlin Macky and Erin Garcia in particular, but got all-around great performances from top to bottom. One of our goals for the meet was to get a lot of racing in, and we welcomed the rain, which helped emphasize the importance of racing under less than favorable conditions and swimming hard regardless of the conditions. It was a great victory for our team to carry us through the last portion of our season.”

Mar concluded a remarkable weekend for the third-year junior. She added a second lifetime-best mark in three days with her 50 backstroke leadoff split of 26.74 on the first-place 200 medley relay to begin the meet. The native of San Francisco, Calif., had posted a lifetime best of 2:08.27 in winning the 200 backstroke and had already matched her season-best 50 split (27.03) to lead off the victorious 200 medley relay in a dual meet at Cal State Bakersfield on Friday. Her previous bests were 26.81 and 2:08.41, respectively, both from the 2006 WAC Championship in her freshman season. The 50 back split was a school record at the time. Mar also swam a 100 backstroke leg of 58.18, a season best by .21 seconds, to lead off the first-place 400 medley relay on Saturday at Cal State Bakersfield.

Swimming with Mar on the 200 medley relay were Macky, Robertson and Marhenke as the Spartans timed 1:46.80, just .36 seconds off a season best, to top 19 other entrants. The B’ relay of Rudie Guerrero, Kirsten Trammell, Jillene Golez and McCurley went 1:54.30 for fourth.

Macky, Trammell and Garcia gave San Jose State a second successive victory in the 3 x 100 breaststroke relay, beating 12 other trios in 3:24.00. Macky’s lead leg of 1:06.11 was an unshaved lifetime best and just .03 seconds off her collegiate best over 100 yards.

A run of three straight event wins for UC Irvine began with the 3 x 100 backstroke, as the Spartan A’ team of Guerrero, McCurley and senior Sara Riley placed fourth in 3:09.37. The B’ trio of senior co-captain Nikki Chapman and freshmen Julie Wynn and Amanda Mikaelsson was 10th in 3:20.69.

With UC Irvine timing 2:50.91 to lower its own meet record of 2:53.13 from 2006 and win the 3 x 100 butterfly relay, the San Jose State A’ and B’ squads placed second (3:00.91) and third (3:02.14). The former relay was made up of Golez (59.89), Tringham and Robertson, with the latter of Guerrero, Ally Jack and Macky. Macky’s anchor leg of 58.88 on the B’ was the fastest 100 split of any of the six Spartan competitors in the event.

Trammell, Julia Koch, Garcia and senior Amanda Carr swam 8:00.07 to finish second in the 800 free relay, with Guerrero, Ashley Krisman, Mikaelsson and Wynn going 8:18.72 for sixth. It was Guerrero’s first 200 freestyle of her college career.

Marhenke’s opening split of 23.83 triggered the meet-record 200 free relay victory, with Riley, Wynn, Mikaelsson and Ashley Ladd timing 1:44.54 for sixth and Koch, Krisman, Guerrero and Golez going 1:46.18 for seventh. Koch’s leadoff split of 26.13 was her collegiate best, while Golez’s 50-yard anchor on the C’ relay was the first freestyle swim of her senior season.

Mar, Macky, Golez and McCurley turned in a second-place showing in the 400 medley relay in 4:00.06, with Mar’s lead split a 58.49. Guerrero, Trammell, Jack and Yeung were fifth in 4:11.23.

In the eighth event, the non-traditional three-leg (100-200-500) 800 free relay, McCurley, Garcia and Carr posted a runner-up finish in 8:07.82. Yeung, Krisman and Koch were sixth in 8:22.43 and Chapman, Wynn and Mikaelsson ninth in 8:48.17. Chapman’s lead leg on the C’ relay was her first 100 freestyle of the season, while Mikaelsson’s anchor was her first 500.

Ending the meet with back-to-back wins, Trammell, Macky and Tringham first took the 3 x 100 individual medley relay in 3:08.77, with Macky’s middle leg of 1:00.23 her best mark. Krisman, Garcia and Guerrero were fourth in 3:14.94.

Behind the winning A’ relay Mar, Yeung, Marhenke and McCurley in the 400 freestyle, which beat UC Irvine (3:33.31) by 1.25 seconds, Trammell, Koch, Riley and Ladd placed fifth in 3:46.17, with Krisman, Guerrero, Mikaelsson and Wynn seventh in 3:50.16. In just her second 100 freestyle of her college career, Trammell swam a 57.86 leadoff split, .62 seconds faster than her first appearance as the lead leg (58.48) of the 400 free relay at CSUB on Saturday.

Competing in the one-meter diving event as part of the Ayres meet, Spartan freshman Jo Thibodaux placed fourth out of 15 entrants, scoring 199.30 points over six total dives.

San Jose State will now be idle from competition for nearly three weeks before closing the regular season with a dual meet at home on Senior Day at The Aquatics Center against Cal State East Bay on Saturday, January 26, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

San Jose State at UC Irvine/Ayres Hotel & Suites Invitational
January 6, 2008

Team Standings (Relay Meet)
1. San Jose State 336

2. UC Irvine 277
3. Boise State 258
4. University of San Diego 245
5. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 169
6. Atlantic Legends 115
7. Whitman 38
8. Willamette 32

Results (Winners plus San Jose State performers)

200 Yard Medley Relay
1. San Jose State A’ (Lauren Mar, Caitlin Macky, Tarolyn Robertson, Brie Marhenke), 1:46.80. 4. San Jose State B’ (Rudie Guerrero, Kirsten Trammell, Jillene Golez, Meghan McCurley), 1:54.30.

3 x 100 Yard Breaststroke Relay
1. San Jose State A’ (Caitlin Macky, Kirsten Trammell, Erin Garcia), 3:24.00.

3 x 100 Yard Backstroke Relay
1. UC Irvine A’, 2:58.98. 4. San Jose State A’ (Rudie Guerrero, Meghan McCurley, Sara Riley), 3:09.37. 10. San Jose State B’ (Nikki Chapman, Julie Wynn, Amanda Mikaelsson), 3:20.69.

3 x 100 Yard Butterfly Relay
1. UC Irvine A’, 2:50.91. 2. San Jose State A’ (Jillene Golez, Hannah Tringham, Tarolyn Robertson), 3:00.91. 3. San Jose State B’ (Rudie Guerrero, Ally Jack, Caitlin Macky), 3:02.14.

800 Yard Freestyle Relay
1. UC Irvine A’, 7:50.48. 2. San Jose State A’ (Kirsten Trammell, Julia Koch, Erin Garcia, Amanda Carr), 8:00.07. 6. San Jose State B’ (Rudie Guerrero, Ashley Krisman, Amanda Mikaelsson, Julie Wynn), 8:18.72.

200 Yard Freestyle Relay
1. San Jose State A’ (Brie Marhenke, Lauren Mar, Meghan McCurley, Daphne Yeung), 1:36.93. 6. San Jose State B’ (Sara Riley, Julie Wynn, Amanda Mikaelsson, Ashley Ladd), 1:44.54. 7. San Jose State C’ (Julia Koch, Ashley Krisman, Rudie Guerrero, Jillene Golez), 1:46.18.

400 Yard Medley Relay
1. UC Irvine A’, 3:54.22. 2. San Jose State A’ (Lauren Mar, Caitlin Macky, Jillene Golez, Meghan McCurley), 4:00.06. 5. San Jose State B’ (