Swimming and diving team capture second consecutive WAC Championship

by Mar 3, 2013 2:27 pm Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The back to back WAC Champion SJSU swimming & diving team are greated by friends and alumni at San Jose Mineta Airport Sunday. Raphael Kluzniok / Spartan Daily

The back to back WAC Champion SJSU swimming & diving team are greated by friends and alumni at San Jose Mineta Airport Sunday. Raphael Kluzniok / Spartan Daily

Junior swimmer Ashlyn Acosta set a San Jose State University record in the 200-yard butterfly and the team's overall depth prevailed as the Spartans successfully defended their Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Women's Swimming and Diving Championship.

SJSU had 695 points in the team scoring to finish ahead of Northern Arizona University's 688 and the University of Denver's 631.5 in the nine-team championship

The Spartans now have back-to-back conference championships after not having won any prior to 2012.

"When you have 25 people working together through the season with a common goal, they can do great things," said San Jose State head coach Sage Hopkins, who was named WAC Women's Swimming Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. "The depth and strength of our team carried us through the whole season."

Acosta broke the school record twice on the meet's final day with a 1:59.86 qualifying round time and a NCAA Championship provisional qualifying mark of 1:59.03 to finish second in the championship final.

The Spartans won the championship without a first-place finish in any of the last 13 events on the final two days.

"This team won the championship by working harder than they ever have before," Hopkins said.

SJSU won the first three relay races and 2012 WAC Swimmer of the Year senior Marisa DeWames captured the 50 freestyle for the second year in a row during the first two days of the four-day championship meet.

Acosta, DeWames in the 100 freestyle and senior diver Amy Kilby, performing in platform diving, finished second in their respective events.

"With the amount of work we put in this year I can't say I'm surprised," DeWames said. "With the level of intensity we set the bar to it's something I expected out of us."

Jessica Holden placed fourth in the platform, her best finish in the WAC Championship.

"They (Kilby and Jessica Holden) were humungous," said co-captain Julia Craddock, who was third in the 200 butterfly final.

Kilby scored points with a third in the three-meter and fourth in the one-meter to go along with her second in the platform.

"They really, really helped the team and dove extremely well," Craddock said.

The Spartans' seven-point margin of victory was the closest victory in WAC meet history according to wacsports.com.

"This is a tremendous team, a tremendous group," Hopkins said. "I'm very lucky to work with a great group of student-athletes."

The Spartans now must wait until Wednesday to find out what seed they will draw in the national championship tournament, which begins March 11.

 

 

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