Swimming & Diving Faces Off With Nevada

The San Jose State University women’s swimming and diving team continues its final stretch of the 2008-09 regular season with the second of three straight Saturday dual meets at home, against two-time defending conference champion Nevada on Saturday, January 31.

The first of 16 events is now scheduled to begin at an earlier 11:00 a.m. at The Aquatics Center on campus, instead of the original 1:00 p.m. start. The day will follow a standard collegiate 16-event dual format. The complete order of swimming events is as follows: 400 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 200 free relay. The one-meter diving event will lead things off at 11:00 a.m. on the new diving boards at The Aquatics Center, with the three-meter competition slated for the first of two breaks, after the 50 free. The other break will come after the 100 fly.

San Jose State has compiled an impressive dual record of 14-1, having reeled off 14 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 14 wins also likely a program-best total. The Spartans are a perfect 6-0 in dual competition against Western Athletic Conference opposition this season.

Nevada, which has won back-to-back WAC championships, enters Saturday’s meet at 6-2 overall and 3-1 against league foes. The Spartans have already topped the Wolf Pack twice earlier this season, in dual activity on the second day of the inaugural WAC Shootout in Las Cruces, N.M., 127-115, back on October 11, and then again at the annual UCI/Nike Cup in Long Beach, Calif., in late November. The dual win was San Jose State’s first over Nevada since 1985.

Following Saturday’s meet, the Spartans will round out the regular season with one more home dual, against another WAC rival in Fresno State, on Senior Day on Saturday, February 7. San Jose State will recognize four valuable fourth-year seniors, Beste Erener, Lauren Mar, Katey Nelson and Tarolyn Robertson, ahead of an expected 12:00 p.m. start at The Aquatics Center.


SAN JOSE STATE (14-1, 6-0 WAC) vs. NEVADA (6-2, 3-1 WAC)
Nevada has yet to compete during this calendar year. The Wolf Pack last defeated WAC opponent Idaho at home in Reno, Nev., 131-83, in a dual meet back on December 6. The Wolf Pack then took a break from competition, as they departed for winter training trips. The diving team went to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., January 1-8. The swimmers trained on those same dates in Costa Rica, and competed against the University of Costa Rica during the trip.

Against Idaho on its Senior Day at Lombardi Pool, Nevada won 11 of the 12 events. The Wolf Pack scored 733 points to place fifth behind the runner-up Spartans (952) at the Nike Cup.

Nevada is led by junior breaststroke specialist Margaret Doolittle, the 2008 WAC Swimmer of the Year. The Wolf Pack also feature top performers in the likes of seniors Courtney Eads and Kim Kabesh, and 2008 WAC Freshman of the Year Jeanette Tour. Senior Candice Minette, a two-time WAC Diver of the Week this season, leads the Nevada diving contingent. Eads, Doolittle and Minette each provided a pair of individual wins in the Idaho meet.

The Wolf Pack are headed by Mike Richmond, the 2008 WAC Coach of the Year who is 12-6 in dual meets in his second season in charge. Jian Li You is in her 13th year as the diving coach.

San Jose State defeated Nevada at the WAC Shootout, 127-115, on October 11 in Las Cruces, N.M. In 26 prior meetings since the 1977-78 season, the Spartans had managed just one win, 72-64, in Reno, Nev., on November 8, 1985, and a 150-150 tie at The Aquatics Center on February 4, 2006. The other showdown during that 2005-06 season was just as close, with the Wolf Pack edging the Spartans by just a single point, 149-148, during a five-way dual, also at The Aquatics Center, on December 3, 2005. Nevada won a 152.5-139.5 decision at home on January 27, 2007. Sage Hopkins is now 1-2-1 against the Wolf Pack as a head coach.

“We’re happy with the performances today. We decided to run kind of a combination of girls in traditional events and some in some non-traditional events. Overall, I was very pleased with the swims, especially with where we are in our training cycle leading to the WAC Championship.

“We got a great meet coming up on Saturday against Nevada. We kind of wanted to use this as a little road check with where we are given the training we’ve been going through. We want to make sure that we’re tuned up and ready to go that day.”

“Nevada’s going to be ready to go. We beat them at the WAC Shootout, and we beat them at the Nike Cup in November. They are hungry. The word is they’ve got five new foreign girls that have come in at the semester, so they are going to be a much different team than we have seen at our previous two competitions. They did not like losing to us those two times, and they are really going to be ready to go, as are we. So, it’s going to be a great meet and a fun meet.”

San Jose State took 12 of 16 events in extending its win streak to 14 meets with a 171-109 victory over Cal State Bakersfield at The Aquatics Center on Saturday, January 24.

Lauren Mar, Rudie Guerrero and Amy Friedhoff all provided a pair of individual victories for the Spartans, with Julia Koch, Katey Nelson, Daphne Yeung and Beste Erener contributing the others. Spartans took the top two spots in three of the first four events, for a commanding lead early. The lone exception was the 1000, in which Friedhoff was the only San Jose State entry.

Mar sprinted 24.20 to take the 50 free, before touching first in the 200 back in her first appearance of the season in the event. She posted a lifetime-best mark of 2:07.97, and also aided in a pair of relay triumphs for her team. The A’ 200 medley relay of Mar on the leadoff 50-yard backstroke leg, Erener, Guerrero and Meghan McCurley on the freestyle anchor, timed 1:50.78 for first to begin the meet. In the last event of the afternoon, Mar swam the second leg behind McCurley and before Yeung and Erin Garcia on the winning A’ 200 free relay in 1:38.53.