San Antonio, Texas - Six more San Jose State University swimmers qualified for evening championship finals on day four of the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Championship. The four-day meet concludes on Saturday night at the Palo Alto College Natatorium, with finals in seven events beginning at 4:30 p.m. PST.
Three more school records for Spartan swimmers in the morning give them 15 for the meet and 24 on the season, all by far program highs under fourth-year head coach Sage Hopkins.
The morning highlight came in the 200 backstroke, where freshman Heather Denman and fourth-year senior Katey Nelson turned in the two fastest times as the only two Spartan entrants, both in school-record times. Nelson first broke a school mark for the first time in her career, going 2:01.48 to win her heat, going over two seconds faster than ever before, and best Denman’s original standard of 2:01.71. The freshman out of Brookeville, Md., then took her title back a short time later by winning the final and fastest heat, in 2:01.01.
In the 100 freestyle, Lauren Mar, herself a fourth-year senior, sprinted a lifetime-best 50.47 to take the second seed in tonight’s championship final, behind Boise State freshman Stephanie North (50.33). Sophomore Meghan McCurley (52.04) and Daphne Yeung (52.12) will swim in the consolation final, with Yeung’s prelim time her best by over a second, and putting her in ninth-place on the all-time San Jose State chart.
Kristin Yamaguchi (52.52) and Erin Garcia (52.74) are in the bonus consolation tonight. Yamaguchi’s time was a lifetime best. In what was likely her final collegiate swim, fourth-year senior and tri-captain Tarolyn Robertson went a season-best 55.19.
The third and final school record came from sophomore tri-captain Kirsten Trammell in the 200 breaststroke, as she broke her own mark of 2:17.78, by going over a second faster at 2:16.65. Sophomore teammate Caitlin Macky had the ninth-fastest time of the morning, of 2:19.76, and will swim in the consolation final as the only other Spartan entrant in the event. New Mexico State freshman Maria Spies had an NCAA B’ cut 2:13.59 for the top prelim time.
Two Spartans will be in the championship final of the 200 butterfly, in junior Hannah Tringham and senior Beste Erener. Tringham went a lifetime-best 2:04.10 to grab the fifth seed, while Erener continued an incredible final collegiate meet for the Istanbul, Turkey, native, by sneaking into the eighth and final spot in a best time of 2:05.23, moving up to fifth all-time at SJSU.
Sophomore Rudie Guerrero shaved over five seconds over her previous best and went 2:05.74 to move into the Spartan record book in the event, into eighth. Linzy Warkentin swam a lifetime-best 2:09.07.
Other Spartans competing in the 100 free prelims were Julia Koch (53.75), Julie Wynn (53.18) and Ashley Ladd (53.90). Wynn and Ladd’s times were bests.
Jo Thibodaux and Jessica Holden will compete in platform diving prelims in the afternoon, with each performing five dives.
The Spartans sit in fourth-place with 341 points, 20 behind New Mexico State, as they look to move up tonight and produce a program-best top-three finish at the WAC Championship.
San Jose State at 2009 WAC Championship
February 25-28, 2009
Team Scores (Through 14 of 21 events):
1. Nevada 442
2. Northern Arizona 426
3. New Mexico State 361
4. San Jose State 341
5. Hawai’i 340
6. Boise State 262
7. San Diego 178
8. Idaho 129
9. Fresno State 87
Results (Top seeds and Spartan swimmers in day four preliminaries):
200 Backstroke: 1. Heather Denman, SJSU, 2:01.01; 2. Katey Nelson, SJSU, 2:01.48.
100 Freestyle: 1. Stephanie North, BSU, 50.33; 2. Lauren Mar, SJSU, 50.47; 13. Meghan McCurley, SJSU, 52.04; 14. Daphne Yeung, SJSU, 52.12; 19. Kristin Yamaguchi, SJSU, 52.52; 21. Erin Garcia, SJSU, 52.74; 35. Julia Koch, SJSU, 53.75; 40. Tarolyn Robertson, SJSU, 55.19; -- Julie Wynn, SJSU, 53.18; -- Ashley Ladd, SJSU, 53.90.
200 Breaststroke: 1. Maria Spies, NMSU, 2:13.59; 3. Kirsten Trammell, SJSU, 2:16.65; 9. Caitlin Macky, SJSU, 2:19.76.
200 Butterfly: 1. Kim Kabesh, NEV, 1:59.16; 5. Hannah Tringham, SJSU, 2:04.10; 8. Beste Erener, SJSU, 2:05.23; 11. Rudie Guerrero, SJSU, 2:05.74; -- Linzy Warkentin, SJSU, 2:09.07.
Platform Diving: In progress.