Spartans Swimmers Rank Among Country's Best

A number of San Jose State swimmers find themselves among the nation’s best this week after an outstanding performance at last week’s prestigious Arena Invitational in Long Beach.
The Spartans own 14 national top-50 times, including seven in the top-10, across 10 different individual and relay events. Seven different athletes represent San Jose State among the nation’s elite in individual events, while two more join forces with them to form some of the fastest relay teams in the country.
“We’re very pleased with our early-season progress,” said head coach Sage Hopkins. “I think it’s a great indication of the progress the team has been making and the sacrifices they have made.”
The group is led by the 200 freestyle relay team of Meghan McCurley, Marisa DeWames, Kiley Foster and Erika Harvey, which holds the fourth-best time in the country at 1 minute, 31.15 seconds. The team set a new school record and earned an NCAA “B” standard with the performance at last week’s Arena Invitational on Nov. 17.
It should be no surprise that the San Jose State 200 freestyle relay team is one of the best in the country with three of its members being ranked among the top-50 individually in the 50 freestyle. DeWames (16th, 22.89), Foster (37th, 23.18) and McCurley (38th, 23.19) all appear in the top-50 times swam so far this year. The trio gives San Jose State more top-50 swimmers in the event than any of the last four NCAA national championship teams (California 1, Florida 1, Arizona 1, Auburn 2).
All three athletes set their marks in the 50 freestyle at the Arena Invitational, with DeWames’ being an NCAA “B” standard. DeWames is also ranked in the nation’s top 10 in the 100 freestyle. She swam an NCAA “B” standard and set a school record with a time of 49.41 seconds during the preliminaries at the Arena Invitational to rank 10th in the country.
“Sprinting is something we’ve always been known for,” said Hopkins. “We have a very unique situation in where we have a group that’s very competitive with each other, but also very supportive of each other.”
The duo of Kirsten Trammell and Darcie Anderson has made waves in the breaststroke events, ranking among the top-10 in both the 100 and 200 distances. Trammell and Anderson dipped under the San Jose State school record in the 100 breaststroke while finishing second and third, respectively, at the Arena Invitational. Trammell finished the race in 1:01.44 to retain the record. Anderson swam 1:01.65, besting Trammell’s old mark of 1:02.37 set in 2009. Both times were under the NCAA “B” standard of 1:02.98. Trammell’s mark ranks No. 6 in the country and Anderson’s comes in at No. 10.
Trammell and Anderson come in back-to-back nationally in the 200 breaststroke at No. 10 and No. 11, respectively.  Trammell capped an outstanding meet at the Arena Invitational with a school-record and NCAA “B” standard time of 2:12.88 in the preliminaries. The time broke Anderson’s school record of 2:16.06 by nearly four seconds. Anderson also beat her old school record after swimming 2:13.07 in the preliminaries. Anderson tallied a NCAA “B” standard with her performance.
Three other Spartans relay teams rank among the top-15 in the country. The 200 medley relay team of Heather Denman, Ashlyn Acosta, Trammell and DeWames comes in at No. 13 with a NCAA “B” standard time of 1:41.30, swam at the Arena Invitational. The four combined again to swim a school record and NCAA “B” standard time in the 400 medley relay in 3:40.23.
“One of the things we made a priority this year was elevating our relay performances,” said Hopkins. “I definitely think we’ve done that, but we’re not where we want to be yet. We want to keep getting faster.”
Denman is also among the national leaders in the 100 backstroke with a time of 54.14, good for the 11th-best time swam so far this year. Julia Craddock is also among the top-50 in an individual event, coming at No. 41 on the 400 individual medley list with a time of 4:19.06.
San Jose State is now on a seven-week break from competition. The Spartans will return to the pool on Jan. 6 at CSU Bakersfield, then continue on to the University of San Diego Invitational on Jan. 7.