Vrieze Narrowly Misses Trials Qualifier At Sectionals

Fresno, Calif. - Ashley Vrieze narrowly missed a qualifying time for Olympic Trials as several current and future members of the San Jose State University women’s swim team competed this past weekend in the 2007 Speedo Championship Series sectional meet at the Clovis Olympic Swim Complex on the campus of Clovis West High School. The event began on Wednesday, July 18, and concluded on Sunday, July 22.

The meet was one of five sectional competitions organized by USA Swimming, with this one encompassing the states of California and Nevada, and was co-hosted by the Clovis Swim Club. The event was staged in long-course meters.

The top performer among the Spartan affiliates was Vrieze, a former standout and current first-year assistant for head coach Sage Hopkins. Swimming for De Anza Cupertino Aquatics (DACA), Vrieze qualified individually for evening finals in both distances of her specialty, the backstroke. She also helped propel the DACA A’ squad (4:22.19) to victory in the finals of the 400 medley relay on Sunday night, putting together a backstroke leg of 1:04.81 to lead off. The mark left her just .22 seconds off an Olympic Trials qualifying mark in the 100 back of 1:04.59.

Entered as the top seed in her best individual event, the 100 backstroke, Vrieze raced 1:06.23 to easily advance to the evening portion in third place. The top preliminary time was 1:06.10. In the championship final, Vrieze improved to a personal-best 1:05.95, placing fifth behind winner Kelsey Klatt (1:05.01) of the Fresno Dolphins.

Vrieze then swam 2:24.71, the 17th-best time in morning qualifying, to move on as the top seed for the bonus consolation final in the 200 backstroke. She placed second in the bonus consolation and 18th overall with a personal-best evening performance of 2:23.79.

Vrieze also tied for 50th with former teammate and junior-to-be Tarolyn Robertson in the 50 freestyle, with both swimmers racing 28.26 during morning preliminaries. In prelims of the 100 freestyle, Vrieze swam 1:01.22 to place her in a tie for 75th. She posted personal best times in all of her events.

Daphne Yeung, one of five incoming Spartan freshmen to take part in the meet for their respective club teams, swam 28.33 to finish tied for 55th during 50 freestyle prelims for her side, BAC. Fellow newcomer Julia Koch went 29.34 and senior-to-be Sara Riley timed 29.85 for DACA.

Yeung also went 1:01.82 in the 100 freestyle, narrowly behind DACA’s Amanda Carr in 1:01.74, a personal best time for the senior-to-be. Robertson and Riley swam 1:01.86 and 1:04.32, respectively.

Three other Spartan newcomers joined Yeung in the 100 free, with Koch swimming 1:02.04 for Heartland, Caitlin Macky posting a time of 1:02.30 for CAST, and Lindsay Warkentin going 1:05.08 for NOVA.

Koch was the top Spartan in the 200 freestyle, timing 2:13.29, while Carr was next in a personal-best 2:13.82. Carr posted best times in three of her five events in all during the week, competing in all five freestyle distances.

Junior-to-be Katey Nelson went 2:14.96 for DACA. Riley (2:19.59), Warkentin (2:19.91) and Yeung (2:20.95) also were entered in preliminaries.

Carr continued her strong meet with a 40th-place showing in the 400 freestyle in 4:35.92, her third personal best. Nelson swam 4:41.01 while sophomore-to-be Kerstin Fenton, competing for Vacaville Swim Club, posted a 4:46.30.

Carr then turned in a 9:32.23 (36th) in the 800 freestyle and an 18:17.46 (28th) in the 1500 freestyle as the only Spartan affiliate entered in either final.

In addition to Vrieze in the 100 backstroke, Nelson went 1:10.56 for a tie for 71st in prelims. In the 200 back, Nelson timed 2:27.28, just half a second off a finals qualifier, for 27th place. Nelson collected best times in three of her four entries.

Macky was 35th in prelims of the 100 breaststroke in 1:18.19 and 23rd in prelims of the 200 breaststroke in 2:47.64, qualifying for the bonus consolation final in the latter. Fenton was 58th in 2:53.08. At night, Macky was eighth in her final and 24th overall in the 200, going 2:49.05.

Robertson placed in a tie for 58th in prelims of the 100 butterfly, in 1:07.17. She produced two personal bests among her three races. Macky went 1:08.48 and was followed closely by senior-to-be Jillene Golez in 1:08.54 for DACA. Warkentin and Fenton timed 1:08.92 and 1:09.16, respectively.

Golez turned in a 2:30.58 for 54th place in 200 butterfly preliminaries to give her personal-best times in both fly distances.

In the 200 individual medley, Macky was San Jose State’s top finisher, in 39th (2:28.77), with Warkentin swimming 2:40.66. Macky was also the top Spartan in the 400 IM, in 30th (5:14.34). Fenton was 61st in 5:23.00.

In relays, Macky anchored the CAST 400 freestyle relay, finishing in 1:02.35 in helping her squad to a 20th-place effort in 4:04.33. Fenton anchored the Vacaville foursome, going 1:02.84 as part of a team time of 4:15.67.

Julie Wynn, a fifth Spartan newcomer involved in the meet, anchored her club side, Westside, in 4:15.67. Her split was not available.

Macky swam the second leg (2:14.32) of her 800 freestyle relay (8:53.21) that placed 24th, as well as the second leg (1:18.01) of her 400 medley relay (4:32.07). Fenton swam her lead leg (2:16.45) as Vacaville timed 9:10.10 in the 800 free, and the third leg (1:10.07) in the 400 medley (4:52.44).

DACA finished first in the Large Team division, out-pointing the Mission Viejo Nadadores, 467-441 through 17 events.