Swimming & Diving Hosts Fresno State On Senior Day

The San Jose State University women’s swimming and diving team concludes the 2008-09 regular season with a dual meet against rival Fresno State on Senior Day at The Aquatics Center this Saturday, February 7. The action gets under way beginning at approximately 12:00 p.m., after a special recognition ceremony for the Spartans’ fourth-year senior quartet of Beste Erener, Lauren Mar, Katey Nelson and Tarolyn Robertson.

The day will follow a standard collegiate 16-event dual format. 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 200 free relay. The three-meter diving event will likely lead things off at 12:00 p.m. on the new diving boards at The Aquatics Center, with the one-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 15-1, having reeled off 15 straight victories since a season-opening loss at No. 2 Stanford on October 3. This is believed to be the best dual meet record in program history. The Spartans are 7-0 in dual competition against Western Athletic Conference opposition this season. On Saturday against Fresno State, they will look to complete what again is likely to be the first perfect league season ever for the program.

Fresno State is 0-7 in its first year back in existence as a women’s swimming and diving program since 2003-04. San Jose State already topped Fresno State twice this season, 198-80 in a double dual at UC Santa Cruz back on October 18, and again, 240-57, in a double dual at UC Davis on January 10.

Following Saturday’s meet, the Spartans will have just 17 days remaining to prepare for the 2009 WAC Championship, to be held once again at the Palo Alto College Natatorium in San Antonio, Texas, February 25-28.

vs. FRESNO STATE (0-7, 0-3 WAC)

SAN JOSE STATE (15-1, 7-0 WAC) vs. FRESNO STATE (0-7, 0-3 WAC)
Fresno State is coming off a third-place performance at the Beach Cup Invitational in San Diego, Calif., last Saturday, January 31. The Bulldogs competed against the host Toreros of the University of San Diego, a conference foe of the Spartans, and Loyola Marymount University.

Freshmen Heidi Gjoen and Jordan Morillo earned first-place finishes at the Beach Cup Invite, with Gjoen capturing the 100 back and Morillo the 100 breast in a best time of 1:09.03. Junior Kendra Weeks was second in the one-meter diving event with her best score of 219.98.

The 2003-04 season was the most recent year of Fresno State women’s swimming and diving, before the program was cut.  It was brought back on January 7, 2007, with Jeanne Fleck being appointed head coach after spending nine years at Ohio State . The Bulldogs have 16 swimmers on their 2008-09 roster. Taryn Ignacio, a former national champion in the platform event at Kentucky , leads a group of four Fresno State divers.

In its last WAC Championship appearance in 2004, Fresno State placed sixth out of six competing teams, with 166 points. San Jose State was fifth that year with 329 points. The Bulldogs finished ahead of the Spartans at the meet in the seven years prior to 2004.

The Spartans and Bulldogs will have met a total of three times in duals this season, ahead of the 2009 WAC Championship later this month. San Jose State already raced past Fresno State, 198-80, in a double dual at UC Santa Cruz back on October 18, and 240-57, in another double dual at UC Davis on January 10. Sage Hopkins is 2-0 against Fresno State as a head coach.

Prior to this season, the teams last met in dual competition on February 7, 2004, with the Spartans coming away with a 158.5-125.5 victory on Senior Day in San Jose. Fresno State won at home, 180-120, on February 8, 2003, with San Jose State winning in another home finale the year before, 171-129, on February 9, 2002.

San Jose State will bid a fond farewell to four valuable fourth-year members this Saturday, February 7, on Senior Day at The Aquatics Center. There will be a special ceremony recognizing Beste Erener, Lauren Mar, Katey Nelson and Tarolyn Robertson, for their tremendous contributions to the program ahead of their final home appearance.

The quartet played a vital role in helping San Jose State to three consecutive program-best fourth-place Western Athletic Conference placements, with their sights set on a top-three finish, at minimum, at this year’s event later this month in San Antonio, Texas. All four swimmers have been exemplary student-athletes during their time at San Jose State, each having earned multiple all-conference honors athletically, as well as academic all-conference distinction.

“We talked about this meet a lot over the last few weeks. Going into it short-handed, on paper we were the underdogs. The team stepped up in an unbelievable way. Without question, it was our finest performance of any competition since I’ve been here. The girls just put together amazing swims from start to finish.

“From this point, we just want to keep getting sharper and stay hungry. We’ve got one last dual meet. We want to make it big and special, especially for the seniors, and finish out the season hopefully undefeated within our conference. I believe that would be the first time in school history for that. Winning 15 straight (dual meets) is a great feeling. We’ve got two more times (Fresno dual and WAC) that we’ve got to get it done.”

San Jose State produced wins in nine of 16 events, including a pair of well-placed 1-2-3 sweeps, to knock off two-time defending Western Athletic Conference champion University of Nevada, 170.5-129.5, in a dual meet at The Aquatics Center on Saturday, January 31.

Meghan McCurley swept the sprint freestyle events while aiding in two relay triumphs for the Spartans, turning in an incredible, lifetime-best 100-yard freestyle split of 50.30 as the anchor on the first-place A’ 400 medley relay to kick off the day’s swimming activity. She took the 50 in 23.99, just .47 seconds off her best ever, and the 100 in 52.47.

Lauren Mar was also a member of both winning relays for San Jose State. Individually, she won the 100 backstroke in 57.55, and improved on her lifetime best for a second straight meet in the 200 back, swimming 2:06.92 to place second behind fellow fourth-year senior Katey Nelson. Nelson won the event by over a full second, in 2:05.72.

Nevada took an early 15-4 advantage after the three-meter diving event to start things off, but San Jose State made the lasting early statement by storming to a 1-3 showing in the 400 medley relay. When McCurley hit the water for her blistering anchor leg, the Spartans were trailing the Wolf Pack by over two full seconds at 2.26. Mar, Caitlin Macky and Rudie Guerrero made up the remainder of the foursome.

The Spartans still trailed, 30-25, after a 2-3-5 effort in the 1000 free by Amy Friedhoff (10:15.28), Megan Mills (10:31.09) and Ashley Krisman (10:50.37). In the 200 free, however, Julia Koch (1:54.16), Erin Garcia (1:54.74) and Kristin Yamaguchi (1:55.58) raced to a 1-2-3 sweep for maximum points to give the Spartans the lead for good at 41-33.

Other individual winners for San Jose State included Hannah Tringham in the 200 fly and Friedhoff in the 500 free. The 200 free relay of Daphne Yeung, McCurley, Mar and Garcia won in a time of 1:36.51. The Spartans posted a 1-2-3-4 finish in the 100 free.

Meghan McCurley was named the Western Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Week for the week of January 26-February 1. It was the first such honor for her career.

McCurley was the top Spartan swimmer during a comprehensive 170.5-129.5 dual meet victory at home over two-time defending WAC champion Nevada on Saturday, January 31. She swept the two sprint freestyle events, as well as swimming on both winning relays on the afternoon, totalling 18 points individually and aiding in 22 more in relays.

The Western Athletic Conference, in conjunction with its website partner, JumpTV Sports, has announced that it will stream the finals of all four nights of the 2009 WAC Swimming & Diving Championship, February 25-28. Viewers can sign up by visiting www.WAC.tv.

Each individual night can be viewed for a subscription of $5.95, or a full championship package can be purchased for $9.95. Finals begin at 6:30 p.m. CT (4:30 p.m. PT) on all four nights. More information and instructions on how to subscribe can be found at www.WAC.tv.