Denver, Colo. - San Jose State University’s Heather Denman has been named the Western Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Week for the week of November 17-23.
The Spartans have now been recognized with weekly distinction by the conference five times already this year. Denman was also selected as the WAC Swimmer of the Week back on October 20. Sophomore teammate, Jo Thibodaux, is a two-time Diver of the Week, while fellow freshman, Jessica Holden, earned Diver of the Week distinction on November 3.
Denman, a native of Brookeville, Md., (Sherwood HS) in her first season of college swimming, was again the top Spartan performer during another stellar weekend for San Jose State. Denman led the way to a program-best second-place finish for the Spartans at the annual Nike Cup in Long Beach, Calif., totaling 954 points for runner-up honors behind BYU (1076). Previous highs for San Jose State were fourth-place and 650.5 points, both in 2005, head coach Sage Hopkins' first year in charge.
Among the 19 teams that San Jose State out-pointed at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, were two-time defending Western Athletic Conference champion Nevada (733) and a second conference foe, the University of San Diego (333).
Denman earned UC Irvine/Nike Cup Most Outstanding Female Swimmer honors with three individual event wins and five total school records over the three-day event. She set four individual school standards and was part of one record relay. Denman posted the first three NCAA B’ cut times of her Spartan career and the first three for San Jose State this season.
Her weekend began as a member of the school-record 400 medley relay that placed second in 3:48.80, almost a full second faster than the school’s previous best (3:49.72). Denman’s B’ cut lead leg of 54.84, improved on her own school mark in the 100 back of 55.72, also a relay split, set at the WAC Shootout in Las Cruces, N.M., on October 11.
Denman won both the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly on Friday night, November 21, becoming the first Spartan swimmer to win an event at the Nike Cup, formerly known as the Speedo Cup, in over a decade, since Elin Carlsson took top honors in the 500 freestyle in 1997.
Her time of 53.97 in the 100 fly is a consideration qualifier for the NCAA Championships, and bested the previous school mark of 54.84. Denman timed 54.86 in the 100 back, just .02 seconds behind her own school mark, and another B’ cut.
On Saturday, Denman broke the San Jose State record in preliminaries of the 200 back, producing the fastest time of the morning of 2:01.71. Being held out of the 200 back final due to the meet’s three-final limit for each individual, Denman instead won the 200 fly, timing a school-record 1:59.69 and just missing her fourth NCAA B’ cut of the meet by .15 seconds.
Denman also led off the second-place 200 medley relay on Friday night, which finished second in 1:44.52, second-fastest in program history.
Northern Arizona sophomore Taryn Harris earned Diver of the Week honors for the second week in a row. San Jose State’s Holden was also nominated following her performance at the three-day University of Arizona Diving Invitational in Tucson, Ariz.