Swimming & Diving Hosts Cal State Bakersfield

The San Jose State University women’s swimming and diving team heads into the final stretch of the 2008-09 regular season with the first of three straight Saturday dual meets at home, against visiting Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday, January 24.

The first of 14 swimming events is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. at The Aquatics Center on campus. The day will follow a standard collegiate 16-event dual format, beginning with the 200 medley relay and ending with the 200 freestyle relay. The complete order of swimming events is as follows: 200 medley relay, 1000 free, 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 200 fly, 50 free, 100 free, 200 back, 200 breast, 500 free, 100 fly, 200 IM and 400 free relay. There will be two breaks, after the 50 free and 100 fly, during which the one-meter and three-meter diving events will take place on the new diving boards at The Aquatics Center.

San Jose State has compiled an impressive dual record of 13-1, having reeled off 13 straight victories since a season-opening loss at No. 2 Stanford on October 3. This is believed to be the best start in program history, with the 13 wins also likely a program-best total.

Cal State Bakersfield enters Saturday’s meet at 2-6 overall. The Spartans have faced off with the Runners in dual action at least once each year for the past three seasons under head coach Sage Hopkins. San Jose State is a perfect 4-0 against the Runners during this stretch. Hopkins is a 1997 cum laude graduate of CSUB. The Spartans already topped the Runners in Bakersfield, 166.5-109.5, to begin the 2009 calendar year on Saturday, January 3.

Following Saturday’s meet, the Spartans will round out the regular season with two more home duals against teams they have already beaten in 2008-09. On Saturday, January 31, San Jose State welcomes two-time defending Western Athletic Conference champion Nevada to The Aquatics Center for a meet slated to begin at 1:00 p.m.


Cal State Bakersfield is in the fourth year of a five-year reclassification process from the NCAA Division II level up to Division I. The Runners, currently considered a Division I independent, placed seventh out of seven teams at the 2008 Conference-USA Championship, and will end their season at that event again this coming February in Houston, Texas.

In their last time in the water, the Runners defeated San Jose State’s conference rival, Fresno State, at home by the final score of 169-118, on Saturday, January 17.

CSUB is led by freshman breaststroke specialist Rachel McCall, who won the 100 breast (1:05.91) and was second in the 100 free while aiding her team to a third-place finish at the Winter Festival in Long Beach, Calif., December 12-14. She and senior teammate Lexie Kelly each won a trio of individual events against Fresno State. Kelly was victorious in the 200 fly (2:14.46), the 200 breast (2:31.80) and the 200 individual medley (2:15.74), while McCall won the 100 breast (1:08.10), the 50 free (24.85) and the 100 free (54.09).

McCall’s fellow Canadian, junior Victoria Kreutz, who spent her freshman season at San Jose State, leads the diving contingent for the Runners. Kreutz swept the diving events in the prior dual against the Spartans at home, before winning again on both the one-meter and three-meter boards at the UCI/Ayres Hotels Diving Invitational the following day in Irvine, Calif.

The Runners are led by Pat Skehan, now 68-74 in dual meets in her 19th season in charge. She is the only head coach the CSUB women’s swim program has ever known.

San Jose State defeated Cal State Bakersfield at the Hillman Aquatics Center, 166.5-109.5, back on Saturday, January 3. The Spartans previously topped the Runners on the road on back-to-back days a year ago on January 4 and January 5, by the final scores of 149-61 and 128-82, respectively. On January 6, 2007, the Spartans edged the Runners, 188-160, also on the road.

San Jose State head coach Sage Hopkins is a 1997 cum laude graduate of Cal State Bakersfield. He faces his alma mater for a third straight season in charge of the Spartans, and the second time this year, on January 24. As a member of the Runner men’s swim team, Hopkins was a seven-time All-American and team captain. Hopkins, who was an assistant coach for the CSUB men’s squad from 1995-97, has a 4-0 dual record against the Runners as a head coach.

“We’re generally very pleased with our performance. We’re in the middle of a lot of really hard training both in the pool and in the weight room. This was a great opportunity to put many of the girls in non-traditional events. I think we had some great swims, people stepping up in areas that are pretty new to them. For instance, Heather Denman and Rudie Guerrero stepping up in the distance events, some of our distance people stepping up and performing well in the sprints, and some of our sprinters, like Meghan McCurley and Daphne Yeung, going in, swimming nonfreestyle events and doing very well. So we’re very pleased, and from here on out, we just want to keep sharpening and getting ready for the WAC Championship. Our goal over these next three meets, is just to get a little bit better each week, be a little sharper and a little better both technically and tactically, and be prepared to be at our best at the WAC Championship.””

San Jose State won 10 out of 11 events to top host Cal State East Bay, 119-61, in a non-conference women’s swimming dual meet in Hayward, Calif., on Friday, January 16.

Fourth-year Spartan head coach Sage Hopkins put a majority of his 19 active swimmers in different events and competing in different strokes throughout the shortened meet.

Tri-captain Kirsten Trammell won both the 200 freestyle (1:59.79) in her first appearance in the event of her sophomore campaign, and the 100 butterfly (1:00.04), with the latter mark a lifetime best and over nine seconds faster than her previous best this season.

Heather Denman tried her hand at the distance freestyle events and placed first in both her initial collegiate attempts in the 1000 (10:55.95) and 500 (5:22.39). She won at the grueling longer distance over sophomore Rudie Guerrero (11:11.43), also in her first such race as a Spartan. Amy Friedhoff, like Denman a true freshman, took the 100 free in a season-best 55.16.

Lauren Mar (2:13.26), Meghan McCurley (1:02.51) and Daphne Yeung (1:12.06) won the 200 individual medley, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke, respectively. It was Mar’s first collegiate IM race and Yeung’s first collegiate breaststroke activity.

The meet began with a Spartan victory in the 200 medley relay. San Jose State went 1-2-3 in the event, led by the first-place foursome of Erin Garcia, Beste Erener, Linzy Warkentin and Caitlin Macky in 1:57.00. In the 200 freestyle relay to cap the afternoon, Denman, Julie Wynn, Guerrero and Megan Mills timed 1:43.50 for the top spot.

San Jose State freshman swimmer Heather Denman has put together an incredible streak of 25 straight individual victories in dual meets. She most recently won both the 1000 and 500 freestyle at Cal State East Bay in her first collegiate tries in the distance events. Denman went a perfect 6-0 during the double dual meet in Davis, Calif., on Saturday, January 10, winning all three of the individual events she was entered in, against both host UC Davis and Fresno State.

The last time that Denman was beaten in an individual event during a dual meet, was by Nevada senior Courtney Eads in the 200 butterfly on the second day of the inaugural Western Athletic Conference Shootout in Las Cruces, N.M., on October 11. She was edged out by .60 seconds. Denman has a total of 27 individual dual meet triumphs on the season.

San Jose State swimmers have the top marks in the Western Athletic Conference in 10 of 14 individual events through January 21. Heather Denman is the fastest in the WAC in the 100 fly, 200 fly, 100 back and 200 back, while fellow freshman Amy Friedhoff has the league’s top marks in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free. Meghan McCurley (50 free), Lauren Mar (100 free) and Julia Koch (200 free) are the remaining Spartans who pace the WAC in their respective specialties.

San Jose State also has the top 400 free relay in the WAC (3:26.86), and has the second-fastest foursomes in the other four relay events contested at the conference championship.