Swimmers and Divers Celebrate First Season
    Junior diver Kendra Weeks earned most valuable player recognition at the team's award barbecue.
    Junior diver Kendra Weeks earned most valuable player recognition at the team's award barbecue.

    May 27, 2009

    FRESNO, Calif. - The 2008-09 Fresno State swimming and diving team commemorated their first season back at the University Thursday evening at a barbecue awards ceremony to celebrate and honor outstanding aquatic performances by Bulldogs.

    Head swimming coach Jeanne Fleck and head diving coach Taryn Ignacio honored the team after a successful debut season with distinguished awards.

    Amongst top swimmers and divers recognized were freshmen Heidi Gjoen (MVP), Sara Blake (most improved), Jordan Morillo (most inspirational) and junior diver Kendra Weeks (MVP).

    "I am very excited about what Heidi brought to this program in and out of the water," said Fleck. "She did great as a freshman in the pool and in the classroom and I am excited to see what the next three years bring for her."

    Gjoen led the `Dogs in the team's first WAC championship this season to finish third place in the 200 backstroke event and a top five finish in the 100 backstroke. She earned the team 16-points with her finish, 2:00.65, which shattered the nearly decade-old school record. Her performance at the conference meet earned her podium recognition and a first team All-WAC title, where she showcased a solid representation for the Fresno State team.

    Morillo kicked off her first collegiate swimming season with a first place finish in the 200 IM at the season opener against UCSC. She went on to earn a slew of best times in the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke and the 200 butterfly at the Washington State Invitational against many well-known, nationally recognized teams. The freshman swimmer continued to build off that early momentum and went on to earn many first place finishes and lifetime best times in the 200 breaststroke event, proving her ability to perform as a powerhouse breaststroker at the college level.



    Blake swam breaststroke and distance freestyle for the `Dogs this season. She earned her first breakthrough best time at the Cal Poly Invitational in the100 breaststroke, improving four seconds off her previous time , and progressed her time the next day in the 500 freestyle 12 seconds. From season start to finish, Blake improved her 100 breaststroke time by seven seconds.

    The only diving award recipient was Weeks, who opened her season with a first place win over UCSC on the 3-meter, a second place finish on the 1-meter and second place finish on the 3-meter against rival San Jose State. Weeks gave consistent top-three dives on the 1-meter board and claimed many first place finishes against a wide spectrum of opponents, including San Jose State, San Diego State and top three marks against UC Davis. Weeks concluded the season with a 16th place finish on the 1-meter board at the WAC Championships to earn Fresno State its first inaugural "point" at the conference championship.

    Thursday's awards ceremony officially concludes the swimming and diving season. The `Dogs will hit the pool to start the 2009-10 season at the end of the summer.

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