Marhenke Heads To Long Beach Seeking NCAA Berth

San Jose, Calif. - San Jose State University swimmer Brie Marhenke will head to Long Beach, Calif., this Saturday afternoon, March 1, to attempt to attain an automatic NCAA Championships qualifier in the 50 freestyle the following day at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.

Marhenke, a senior co-captain out of Carmichael, Calif., will travel with third-year Spartan head coach Sage Hopkins following morning practice on Saturday, and return on Sunday night. She will have up to three opportunities to attain an NCAA A’ cut in the 50 freestyle, as a special invitee to the Pacific-10 Invitational, which consists of time trials following the conclusion of the 2008 Pacific-10 Conference Swimming Championships, held at the same venue, Wednesday, February 27, through Saturday, March 1.

Marhenke currently has three NCAA B’ cuts, or consideration qualifiers, in both of her specialty events this season, the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. Her top times this season are 22.65 and 50.23, respectively, with the latter a new school record achieved during a first-place finals effort at the 2008 WAC Championship last Saturday, February 23.

The mark of 22.65 in the 50 free, attained in another gold-medal performance in the championship final of the 50 free at the WAC Championship last Thursday, February 21, fell just .03 seconds short of the NCAA A’ standard. Marhenke will attempt to make up those .03 seconds this Sunday and earn a trip to the 2008 NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio, March 20-22. Her best-ever mark in the 50 free is a school-record 22.54 from morning preliminaries of the 2006 WAC Championship.

In her second appearance at a WAC Championship last week, Marhenke compiled six medals, including four gold and two bronze, four first-team All-WAC and two second-team All-WAC certificates, four NCAA B’ cuts and three more school records as San Jose State finished a best-ever fourth at the event for a third straight year.