Freshman Trio Leads 15 Swim Finalists On Day Three

San Antonio, Texas - Freshmen Kirsten Trammell, Julia Koch and Caitlin Macky earned top-five seeds while juniors Beste Erener and Tarolyn Robertson are No. 6 seeds among 15 total finalists for San Jose State University during day three preliminaries at the 2008 Western Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championship. The four-day meet will continue at the Palo Alto College Natatorium with finals in seven events beginning at 4:30 p.m. PST.

Trammell, out of Goodyear, Ariz., produced the second-best preliminary time in the 400 individual medley, winning her heat in 4:31.20, a lifetime best by 1.22 seconds. She thus moves up from sixth to fifth in the event all-time at San Jose State. Summer Morgan-Halwas of Nevada’s 4:27.71 was the only time to beat Trammell’s, already a second-team All-WAC honoree through her fourth-place effort in the 200 IM last night.

Koch continued a stellar inaugural WAC Championship for her by swimming 1:52.77 to turn in the fourth best time of the morning in the 200 freestyle. The mark is her best by almost three full seconds. Like Trammell, Koch earned All-WAC recognition for the first time on Thursday night with a sixth-place finish in the 500 free. She now ranks sixth all-time in school history in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events.

Macky, like Koch a native of San Diego, Calif., is the fifth seed heading into evening finals of the 100 breaststroke. She timed a lifetime-best 1:04.85 to move up from eighth, all the way to fourth on the all-time Spartan chart. The previous best of her rookie season was 1:06.08 from Nike Cup last November.

Trammell was the only other San Jose State competitor in the event, timing 1:08.08 to place in a tie for 16th, which would have required a swim-off for a spot in the consolation final, but Trammell only swam exhibition in the breast as she will be focusing on the 400 IM final this evening. Nevada’s Margaret Doolittle had the top time, an NCAA B’ standard, of 1:01.94.

Erener joins Trammell in that 400 IM championship final, having swam the sixth fastest time this morning, in 4:34.63. The native of Istanbul, Turkey, is thus already assured of All-WAC honors in her specialty event for the third year in a row, but will be looking to further improve after placing seventh as a freshman in 2006 and sixth a year ago.

Robertson tied for the sixth fastest time of morning prelims in the 100 fly, sprinting 57.41, her best ever by .48 seconds. Three Spartans will compete in the consolation final, in senior co-captain Brie Marhenke (10th, 58.29), sophomore Ally Jack (11th, 58.43) and freshman Rudie Guerrero (13th, 58.70). Jack’s time was her lifetime best by .46 seconds. Guerrero was the last member of the Spartans’ travel roster to begin competition in the meet, making her WAC Championship debut a memorable one with a lifetime best by almost two full seconds.

Fourth-year senior Jillene Golez will take part in the bonus consolation final, her time of 59.26 placing her 18th.

Junior Lauren Mar’s 58.19 was just .01 off her season beset, putting her in the consolation final as the 11th seed. Guerrero capped her strong morning in the 100 backstroke, turning in another best time. Her 59.60 was her top time by 1.62 seconds, and earned her a spot in the bonus consolation final alongside junior Katey Nelson, who swam a season-best 1:00.10 for 22nd.

Senior co-captain Nikki Chapman was a fourth Spartan entry in the 100 backstroke. She swam 1:02.86, her collegiate best by almost two full seconds. Chapman had previously gone 1:04.85 at the 2007 WAC Championship.

A crowded Spartan field in the 200 freestyle prelims behind Koch included senior Amanda Carr (1:55.71), freshman Ashley Krisman (1:56.63) and Erin Garcia (1:57.18), all of whom will swim in tonight’s bonus consolation final. Carr was just .24 seconds off her best time, while Krisman earned the first WAC Championship evening swim of her college career by shaving 2.29 seconds off her lifetime best in the event. Fellow freshman Meghan McCurley is an alternate for evening finals, placing 26th in 1:57.88, her best by 1.32 seconds. Daphne Yeung was 33rd in 1:58.50, while another freshman, Ashley Ladd, was 36th in 2:01.37.

Swimming exhibition, freshman Julie Wynn and junior transfer Kelly Wilkings each provided strong swims in the 200 free. Wynn went 3.46 seconds better than before with a time of 1:59.48, while Wilkings similarly was 3.64 seconds faster than her previous Spartan best, timing 1:59.62. Senior Sara Riley (2:00.41) and sophomore Amanda Mikaelsson (2:01.96) rounded things out. Mikaelsson’s mark was a lifetime best by .62 seconds.

Jo Thibodaux, a freshman out of Alvin, Texas, is competing for the Spartans on the three-meter springboard this afternoon. The top eight divers qualify for evening finals.

San Jose State at 2008 WAC Championship
February 20-23, 2008

Team Scores (Through 7 of 21 events):
1. Nevada 246
2. Northern Arizona 236
3. Hawai’i 200
4. San Jose State 192
5. New Mexico State 171
6. Boise State 98
7. Idaho 94
8. University of San Diego 91

Results (Top times and Spartan swimmers in day three preliminaries):
400 Individual Medley: 1. Summer Morgan-Halwas, NEV, 4:27.71; 2. Kirsten Trammell, SJSU, 4:31.20; 6. Beste Erener, SJSU, 4:34.63.

100 Butterfly: 1. Kim Kabesh, NEV, 55.36; T6. Tarolyn Robertson, SJSU, 57.41; 10. Brie Marhenke, SJSU, 58.29; 11. Ally Jack, SJSU, 58.43; 13. Rudie Guerrero, SJSU, 58.70; 18. Jillene Golez, SJSU, 59.26.

200 Freestyle: 1. Emma Berry, UH, 1:50.49; 4. Julia Koch, SJSU, 1:52.77; 18. Amanda Carr, SJSU, 1:55.71; 22. Ashley Krisman, SJSU, 1:56.83; 24. Erin Garcia, SJSU, 1:57.18; 26. Meghan McCurley, SJSU, 1;57.88; 33. Daphne Yeung, SJSU, 1:58.50; 36. Ashley Ladd, SJSU, 2:01.37; Julie Wynn, SJSU, 1:59.48; Kelly Wilkings, SJSU, 1:59.62; Sara Riley, SJSU, 2:00.41; Amanda Mikaelsson, SJSU, 2:01.96.

100 Breaststroke: 1. Margaret Doolittle, NEV, 1:01.94; 5. Caitlin Macky, SJSU, 1:04.85; T16. Kirsten Trammell, SJSU, 1:08.08.

100 Backstroke: 1. Meredith Egloria, NAU, 57.31; 11. Lauren Mar, SJSU, 58.19; 20. Rudie Guerrero, SJSU, 59.60; 22. Katey Nelson, SJSU, 1:00.10; Nikki Chapman, SJSU, 1:02.86.

Three-Meter Diving: In progress.