Bakersfield, Calif. - Several current and former San Jose State University swimmers competed this past weekend at the USA Swimming Bakersfield Sectional, hosted by the Bakersfield Swim Club.
The Bakersfield Western Zone Gold Sectionals, a long-course meter event held Wednesday through Sunday, July 16-20, was one of eight such meets around the country last week, all part of the Speedo Champions Series.
Highlights for Spartan affiliates included senior-to-be Katey Nelson and former standout Ashley Vrieze, who were both competing for De Anza Cupertino Aquatics (DACA). Nelson made the evening finals in her specialty, the 200-meter backstroke, as she produced the 22nd-fastest morning time of 2:25.71 on Thursday, July 17. Nelson went 2:26.83 in the bonus consolation final at night for fifth in the race and 21st overall in the event. She also swam the 200 free (142nd, 2:16.32), 400 free (83rd, 4:41.89) and the 100 back (74th, 1:10.76).
Vrieze turned in a personal-best time to place second in her top event, the 100-meter backstroke, on Sunday, July 20. Vrieze’s championship final time of 1:03.29 was faster than the previous meet record of 1:03.99, but she was edged out for first place and the new meet record by Presley Bard of Terrapins Swim Team in 1:01.67. Vrieze raced 1:06.40 for the fifth-fastest time that morning. She made the bonus consolation final in the 50 free on Saturday, July 19, racing 27.62 for the 17th-fastest morning time, before placing eighth in her race and 24th overall with a mark of 27.81 at night. Vrieze also clocked 2:26.44 for 29th in the 200 back and 1:01.20 for 73rd in the 100 free.
To round out the competition on Sunday evening, Vrieze took the lead-off backstroke leg in DACA’s first-place 400 medley relay. The foursome posted a time of 4:21.25, winning by over four and a half seconds ahead of their nearest opponent. Vrieze’s 100 meters of backstroke timed 1:04.06, with 31.11 over the first 50 meters.
Among other Spartans competing in preliminaries for DACA over the weekend, senior-to-be Lauren Mar swam the 50 free (tied 76th, 28.49), 100 free (78th, 1:01.33) and 100 back (51st, 1:10.00), junior-to-be Hannah Tringham swam the 200 fly (72nd, 2:39.22), 100 fly (126th, 1:10.27) and 400 free (112th, 4:48.89), and sophomore-to-be Rudie Guerrero swam the 50 free (165th, 29.44), 100 back (54th, 1:10.28) and 100 fly (tied 88th, 1:08.59). Sophomore-to-be Meghan McCurley raced 28.34 for 64th in 50 free prelims on Saturday and swam a time trial in the 100 free on Sunday morning, going 1:01.81.
DACA finished third in the rankings for large teams, with a combined team score of 861 points.
Swimming for Heartland, Julia Koch competed in the 50 free (tied 175th, 29.50), 100 free (tied 135th, 1:02.31), 200 free (97th, 2:14.04) and the 400 free (66th, 4:39.42). For Burlingame Aquatics, fellow sophomore-to-be Daphne Yeung swam the 50 free (tied 76th, 28.49), 100 free (tied 164th, 1:02.80) and 200 free (194th, 2:21.99).
Yeung swam the freestyle anchor leg of Burlingame’s 400 medley relay in 1:01.66 as the foursome went 4:42.79 for 34th, while Koch did the same in 1:02.23 as Heartland placed 38th in 4:44.00. Yeung also led off the 400 free relay in 1:02.25 for Burlingame (47th, 4:12.53). Koch anchored Heartland’s 400 free relay (50th, 4:13.73) in 1:02.39.