Swimming & Diving Picked Second In MWC Preseason Poll
Sept. 16, 2010
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The San Diego State swimming and diving team has been picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference, its highest league ranking ever in the preseason. The Aztecs are coming off the most successful campaign in school history that included a 14-3 overall record and a third-place finish at the 2010 MWC Championships.
Brigham Young received six first-place votes and garnered 62 points to finish atop the poll as voted on by the league's coaches. San Diego State collected two first-place votes for a second-place total of 56, while Wyoming received the remaining first-place selection to sit in third position at 50 points.
UNLV claimed the fourth spot with 45 points, followed by Colorado State and Utah, tying for fifth with 33 points each. TCU (22 points), New Mexico (13 points) and Air Force (10 points) round out the poll finishing seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
San Diego State returns nine all-conference performers from a year ago including MWC co-Swimmer of the Year Meghan Zimmer. Also back are Katelyn Weddle and Leona Jennings, who last season became the first Aztec swimmers to advance to the NCAA Championships. Weddle finished this past summer ranked 72nd in the world in the 100 breaststroke while Jennings earned all-conference accolades in three events last season.
SDSU set school records in all 14 individual events and five relays during the 2009-10 campaign led by Jennings with four (100 back, 20 back, 100 fly, 200 IM). Swimmers who set 11 of those marks are back along with four of the relays squads in tact (the fifth relay lost just one member to graduation). Other Aztec record-setters returning include Weddle (100 & 200 breast), Zimmer (200 & 500 free), Stephanie Koch (50 & 100 free) and Brooke Vessey (200 fly). With the exception of Vessey, a senior this fall, all of those athletes are sophomores.
Adding to that talented array is a recruiting class that was ranked 22nd in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com. Included among the newcomers is a quartet of high school All-Americans: Mikaela Macklin (breast/IM), Natalie Meltzer (breast), Berklie Oscarson (back/IM) and Taylor Yamagata (breast).
Among the other top recruits, Kelly Marquenie (free) was named the outstanding swimmer at the Australia Youth Olympics on two occasions and swam for her native country in team competitions against New Zealand and Japan. Olivia Sefton (fly/IM) represented Great Britain at the European Junior Championships with a sixth-place finish in the 200-meter butterfly and she is a past age-group national champion (2007) in both the 100- and 200-meter fly.
In addition, the diving side received a major boost with the arrival of junior Kristen Meier from George Mason University. She was the Diver of the Year in the Colonial Athletic Association last season and qualified for both the one- and three-meter events at the NCAA Championships.
San Diego State gets its 2010-11 season underway next Friday, Sept. 24, when it hosts the University of San Diego for a pentathlon meet at 2:00 p.m. at the Aztec Aquaplex. The Aztecs' first dual meet is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2, against Oregon State at noon at the Aquaplex.