Minneapolis, Minn. - Former San Jose State University swimming standout Ashley Vrieze competed at the 2008 U.S. Open that took place at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center from Tuesday, July 29, through Saturday, August 2.
Vrieze, who completed a decorated Spartan career in 2007 and served as the San Jose State assistant coach last season, swam her specialty, the 100-meter backstroke, on day four of the long-course meet on Friday, August 1. The native of Arcata, Calif., was seeded 28th with her best time of 1:03.29. She fell just .62 seconds short of that mark in turning in a morning preliminary time of 1:03.91. It was the 28th-fastest among 63 swimmers to participate in prelims.
Swimming for De Anza Cupertino Aquatics (DACA), with fourth-year San Jose State head coach Sage Hopkins also present in Minneapolis as part of the DACA coaching staff, Vrieze went 30.88 seconds over the first 50 meters and 33.03 seconds over the last 50. Although she earned the position of first alternate for evening finals, she did not swim again that night. Hayley McGregory of Longhorn Aquatics of Texas sped 59.11 for the fastest morning time before racing 59.20 to win the championship final.
Vrieze also swam the leadoff 100-meter backstroke leg of DACA’s 400 medley relay on the meet’s final night on Saturday, August 2. DACA placed 12th out of 15 teams in a time of 4:18.01, bettering its seed time of 4:18.60. McGregory led Longhorn Aquatics to a first-place time of 4:06.56, posting a 59.31 lead backstoke leg.
The U.S. Open is sanctioned by USA Swimming through Minnesota Swimming, and served as the selection meet for the 2009 World University Games, to be held from July 2-7, 2009, in Belgrade, Serbia. Twenty-four members of the U.S. national team were slated to compete. A total of fifteen meet records were broken over the five days of competition.