Swimming & Diving Returns To Action This Week

The San Jose State University women's swimming and diving team is back in action this week for the first time since the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Shootout at its home venue in early October. The Spartan swimmers and divers will round out the 2009 calendar year in split locations. Head coach Sage Hopkins, assistant coach Chris Michelmore and 22 swimmers are set for the newly re-named Toshiba Classic, Presented by Business Copier Solutions, at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif. The Spartans flew to Southern California on Wednesday morning, November 18, with the three-day meet running from Thursday, November 19, through Saturday, November 21. This meet, formerly the Speedo Cup and then the Nike Cup, annually marks San Jose State's top competition during the fall portion of the schedule. Due to UC Irvine dropping it's men's and women's swimming and diving programs in the off-season, the meet is now being hosted by UC San Diego, at the same location as usual, under a new sponsor and name. Diving coach Brian Tanner, meanwhile, will take sophomore Jessica Holden and freshman Amy Kilby to the Arizona Wildcat Diving Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., Friday through Sunday, November 20-22. The trio will travel on Thursday. All of the Spartans will return to San Jose on Sunday.



The Toshiba Classic, formerly the Nike Cup, is expected to be one of the fastest collegiate meets in the country this season, with a formidable lineup making its way to Long Beach, Calif., for the annual competition. The Spartans will be joined there on the women's side by the likes of Pacific-10 Conference powers Stanford, California and UCLA. The meet will be scored to 24 places in each individual event.

The Spartans produced an all-time program-best finish of second-place at the 2008 Nike Cup, with then-freshman Heather Denman earning Most Outstanding Female Swimmer distinction. She became the first San Jose State swimmer to notch an individual event victory at the meet since Elin Carlsson (500 free, 4:59.28) in 1997, posting the fastest times in the 100 fly (53.97), 100 back (54.86) and 200 fly (1:59.69). The team competition was won by BYU with 1076 points. The Spartans collected a program-high 954 points over the 18 events to out-perform 19 other squads. They set eight school records in three days, with Denman a part of five of them. San Jose State's previous bests were a fourth-place showing with 650.5 points in 2005, Sage Hopkins' first year in charge.

Tickets for this year's event cost $15.00 for general admission and $5.00 for students and children, per day. A three-day pass for $25.00 is available on November 19 only, and a two-day pass for $20.00 is available on November 20 only.

Preliminaries will begin at approximately 11:30 a.m. on all three days for the women, with finals starting at 6:00 p.m. The schedule consists of the 200 free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and 400 medley relay on Thursday, the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 800 free relay on Friday, and the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay on Saturday.

The Spartans are sending divers to the Arizona Diving Invitational for the second year in a row. The three-day meet, in just its second year, takes place at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. Jessica Holden and Amy Kilby will compete on the three-meter springboard on Friday, November 20, the one-meter springboard on Saturday, November 21, and the platform for the first time this season on Sunday, November 22. Preliminary competition is expected to begin at approximately 12:00 p.m. on each of the first two days, and at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. Both Spartan divers will get six preliminary dives in each springboard event, with the top eight moving on for six more attempts in championship finals, and scores nine through 16 to consolation finals. Sunday's platform event will consist of just five dives over a single round.

This weekend's meets for the San Jose State swimmers and divers mark their final competitions of the 2009 calendar year. The Spartans will train around the November and December holidays, and return  to action with a dual meet at head coach Sage Hopkins' alma mater, Cal State Bakersfield, on Saturday, January 2. They will then compete at the University of San Diego Invitational the following day.