`Dogs Earn Majority of Best Times
Dec. 5, 2008
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Fresno State had a strong start at the Mustang Invitational hosted by Cal Poly at Sinsheimer Park Friday, claiming a first place victory and a best time in the 200 medley relay, the first event of the meet. That started momentum for the remainder of team to muster up multiple season bests.
"Today was very fun," said head coach Jeanne Fleck. "We had so many breakthrough swimmers today. Every swimmer had at least one best time in an event."
Leading off for the `Dogs in the medley relay was backstroke powerhouse freshman Heidi Gjoen (Oslo, Norway), followed by freshman Jordan Morillo (Lindsay, Calif.) whose display was strong in the breaststroke, sophomore Stephanie Hatayama (Fresno, Calif.) in butterfly and junior Kelli Sargent (Modesto, Calif.) who finished the race in freestyle. The team earned a season best finishing 1:53.26 and gave the Bulldogs momentum entering the meet.
In the 200 freestyle event, freshman Dede Torres (Fresno, Calif.) earned a personal best finishing 2:05.98 with fellow teammate senior Rebecca Sussman (Walnut Creek, Calif.) following close behind, who earned a best of 2:08.5, taking nearly two seconds off her previous time.
Gjoen dominated the competition claiming a win in the 100 backstroke event, beating both Cal Poly and Northridge opponents, while in the second heat, junior Stephanie Saunders (Castro Valley, Calif.) earned her own best time finishing 1:18.44.
Continuing the string of bests, junior Marissa Cecil (Palmdale, Calif.) earned a second place finish with a time of 1:15.97 in the second heat of the 100 breaststroke, improving from her 1:16.66.
Other lifetime bests earned in the 100 breaststroke as follows:
Sophomore Stephanie Hatayama swam strong in the 50 freestyle event, a sprint event, placing third and earning a high time of 24.97. Joining Hatayama with bests include junior Rebecca Strmiska and Torres, each within only a second of one another.
"Stephanie Hatayama was great in the 50 freestyle and her time in the relay was by far her best," Fleck said.
Taylor gave a solid performance in heat two of the 200 breaststroke event, keeping a consistent pace and lead against both opponents, earning her first place finish and a season best of 2:34.05. Blake and Morillo also earned highs for the `Dogs.
Gjoen proved her versatility in all strokes shaving two seconds off her 500 freestyle time finishing 5:21.04 and placing third. She earned another best in the 200 backstroke, placing second and taking two seconds off her previous best time, finishing 2:06.77. Both events combined, Gjoen gave the `Dogs 53 points after both backstroke events, and her 500 freestyle finish, not including her lead off in the winning 200 medley relay.
Sophomore Rebecca Atchley raced to her best time in the 100 freestyle, while multiple teammates had first time competitive appearances in the event as well.
Perhaps the greatest improvement in time today belongs to sophomore Cindy Engle (Edwards, Colo.,) who made immense strides in the 100 butterfly event, advancing her time nearly five seconds, making it look easy. Three other fellow Bulldogs followed her lead earning personal bests in the event as well.
The Bulldogs concluded today's events the way they started, dominating the 200 freestyle relay to end with a bang.
"Getting the relays better is huge for us," said Fleck. "The girls are starting to get confidence and today's outcome was really what we had planned for."
Standings after day one:
The Bulldogs will resume action tomorrow at 9 a.m. for the conclusion of the Mustang Invitational. For complete results please log onto www.gobulldogs.com.
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The Fresno State swimming team continues action Saturday, Dec. 6 at the conclusion of the Mustang Inviational in San Luis Obispo, Calif.