Spartans Increase Team Lead At WAC Championship

SAN ANTONIO – With just one day of competition left the San Jose State women’s swimming and diving team has put itself in a position to win its first-ever Western Athletic Conference championship, as it expanded its lead over second-place Northern Arizona to 64 points with two event wins and eight other top-five finishes.
After three days of competition, San Jose State leads with 475 points, while Northern Arizona is second with 411. Hawaii is third with 398 points, followed by New Mexico State with 289, Nevada (255), Idaho (244), Fresno State (213) and North Dakota (139).
“We had a tremendous team effort today across the board, swimming and diving,” said San Jose State head coach Sage Hopkins. “We just really got it done.”
Northern Arizona made an early charge Friday evening when it had the top two finishers in the first final of the day, the 400 individual medley. Julia Craddock finished fourth in the event in 4:21.48, one of the Spartans’ 10 total top-five finishes on the day.
After that, the Spartans took over.
The 1-2 combination of senior Kirsten Trammell and sophomore Darcie Anderson in the 100 breaststroke gave the Spartans their first event win of the day. Trammell (1:01.60) and Anderson (1:01.65) both posted NCAA “B” standard times. Senior Karly Brown gave the Spartans another top-10 finish with her ninth-place performance in 1:03.64.
The Spartans also won the 400 medley relay with a school-record and NCAA “B” standard time of 3:39.45. The team of Heather Denman, Ashlyn Acosta, Marisa DeWames and Trammell broke their own school record (3:40.23) set earlier this season on Nov. 17, 2011 at the Arena Invitational.
The Spartans earned big points in the 100 butterfly by taking the second through fourth places in the race. Freshman Michael McLean led the group in second place with a personal-best 55.43. Denman followed in third (55.54) and Acosta was fourth in 55.88.
San Jose State again piled on the points in the 200 freestyle with three top-10 finishes. DeWames finished fourth with a school-record time of 1:48.53. Kiley Foster was fifth in 1:49.14, and Erika Harvey finished ninth in 1:50.80.
Amy Kilby and Jessica Holden finished back-to-back in the three-meter springboard diving event. Kilby was 13th with a score of 270.80 and Holden was 14th, scoring 265.10.
Action concludes tomorrow at the Palo Alto College Aquatic Center with the 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 3-meter diving and the 400 freestyle relay. Prelims begin at 11:00 a.m., the first two heats of the 1650 free begin at 4:30 p.m. and the finals start at 6:30 p.m.
“We’ve got one more day and we’re really looking forward to getting back in the pool for racing and diving (Saturday),” said Hopkins.
2012 WAC Championship – Day 3, Feb. 24, 2012
At San Antonio, Texas
(Event winners and SJSU finishers)
400 Individual Medley
1. Rachel Palmer (Northern Arizona), 4:18.46. 4. Julia Craddock, 4:21.48.
100 Butterfly
1. Sofija Djelic (Hawai'i), 54.34. 2. Michaela McLean, 55.43. 3. Heather Denman, 55.54. 4 Ashlyn Acosta, 55.88. 12. Meghan McCurley, 56.96. --- Andrea Chan, X58.11. --- Kayla Nakamoto, X58.34. --- Danielle Smyth, X58.60.
200 Freestyle
1. Aliena Schmidtke (New Mexico State), 1:46.38. 4. Marisa DeWames, 1:48.53. 5. Kiley Foster, 1:49.14. 9. Erika Harvey, 1:50.80. 13. Amy Friedhoff, 1:51.62. 16. Brittney Boyd, 1:55.32. --- Taylor Stoddard, X1:52.96. --- Megan Mills, X1:54.24.
100 Breaststroke
1. Kirsten Trammell, 1:01.60. 2. Darcie Anderson, 1:01.65. 9. Karly Brown, 1:03.64.
100 Backstroke
1. Christa Prior (Hawai'i), 54.07. 3. Heather Denman, 54.67. 9. Michaela McLean, 56.63. 10. Briana Swinney, 56.66. 13. Haley Smith, 57.26. 20. Christina Bruni, 58.33.
3-meter Diving
1. Daniella Nero (Hawai'i), 343.75. 13. Amy Kilby, 270.80. 14. Jessica Holden, 265.10.
400 Medley Relay
1. San Jose State (Denman, Trammell, Acosta, DeWames) 3:39.45. 2. Northern Arizona, 3:41.74.
Team Standings 1. San Jose State 475 2. Northern Arizona 411 3. Hawaii 398 4. New Mexico State 289 5. Nevada 255 6. Idaho 244 7. Fresno State 213 8. North Dakota 13