San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State University women's swimming and diving team competes in the Western Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championship this week in San Antonio, Texas. The four-day meet begins on Wednesday, February 23, and runs through Saturday, February 26, at the Palo Alto Natatorium.
"The ladies are right where we hoped they would be at this point," head coach Sage Hopkins said. "This is always a fun and exciting part of the season. The bulk of the hard work is done. It is just a matter of sharpening and refining what we are doing."
Last season the Spartans had their best finish in the WAC Championship, third place, after four straight fourth-place finishes. Boise State won in 2010 with 587 points, New Mexico State was second with 494 and San Jose State scored 487.
"Boise State is the defending champion," Hopkins said, "and on paper they are the strongest and deepest team, but the meet hasn't started yet. Looking at it right now, Boise has a little advantage, but right behind them are Northern Arizona, New Mexico State and us. We're right there and will be in the thick of things.
"Our goal is always to finish in the top-3, but first and foremost, we want to have a very strong competition top to bottom, swimmers and divers."
The Spartans swimmers are led by three athletes who all achieved NCAA "B" Cut qualifying times at the Arena Invitational last November. Freshman Darcie Anderson recorded a 1:02.52 in the 100 breast and a 2:16.06 in the 200 breast, a school record. Sophomore Marisa DeWames swam a 49.64 in the 100 free, which was also a school record and Heather Denman, a junior, recorded a 54.94 in the 100 back.
In addition, seven other school records were set this season. Anderson (29.68/50 breast), Denman (25.80/50 fly and 59.01/100 IM) and Julia Craddock (4:25.08/400 IM) set individual school marks. Elana Faria, DeWames, Kiley Foster and Erica Harvey (44.16/100 free relay), Amy Friedhoff, DeWames, Harvey and Julia Koch (7:28.37/800 free relay) and Denman, Anderson, Julia Craddock, and Foster (48.00/100 medley relay) also set program records in relays.
Among WAC competitors, the Spartan have recorded at least two of the fastest-five times in seven individual events, with Denman (100 back & 200 IM) and Anderson (100 breast) setting the conferences fastest top times.
Sophomore Jessica Holden set two Spartans diving records (290.70/1-meter and 292.27/3-meter) and qualified for the NCAA Zone E Diving Meet at the Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Amy Kilby also qualified for the Zone E Meet and set career-bests in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events.
The 2011 WAC Championship will feature 21 events including, three diving and five relay events. The meet gets under way with finals in the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay at 4:30 p.m. PST on Wednesday.
Individual events will be scored to 16 places: eight places (20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11) for finals and eight places (9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1) for consolation finals. Relay scores will count double those point totals.
Results will be posted following every heat on the WAC's website at WACSports.com. Links will also be available through the San Jose State website at SJSUSpartans.com.
The Western Athletic Conference has announced it will stream the finals of all four nights of the 2011 WAC Swimming & Diving Championships, Feb. 23-26. Viewers can sign up by visiting www.WAC.tv.
On Wednesday, Feb. 23, there will be finals in two relays, the 200-yard medley and 800 freestyle. Viewers that sign up, will be able to watch those two events for free. Full schedules begin Thursday with finals in several events the next three nights. Each of those three nights 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 on all four nights.
More information and how to subscribe to any of these video streaming events can be found at www.WAC.tv.