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SDSU Swimming & Diving Set to Host Utah in Season Opener This Weekend

Senior Jamie Vessey and the rest of the Aztec swimming and diving team will kick off the 2008-09 season vs. Utah on Saturday.
Senior Jamie Vessey and the rest of the Aztec swimming and diving team will kick off the 2008-09 season vs. Utah on Saturday.

Oct. 9, 2008

SAN DIEGO -

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THIS WEEK
San Diego State will open the 2008-09 campaign on Saturday, Oct. 11, when it welcomes Mountain West Conference foe Utah to the Aztec Aquaplex for a 3 p.m. (PST) dual meet.

SCOUTING THE UTES
Utah got off to a 4-0 start last weekend at Boise State as it defeated both the Broncos and the University of Washington twice in back-to-back double dual meets. On Saturday (Oct. 4), freshman Whitney Lopus captured the 100 free, 100 fly and 200 fly, while classmate Hannah Caron won the 200 breast, 200 individual medley and 200 free.

Utah returns 11 letterwinners from a 2007-08 squad that finished third at the conference championship meet a year ago. The Utes are led by a trio of defending MWC champions, including Natalie Edge (100 free), Jennifer Fredsall (100 fly) and Kwan Ling Yu (platform dive).

SERIES HISTORY
Since the inception of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-00, San Diego State trails in its dual-meet series with Utah by a 7-1 count. Last year, the Aztecs fell to the Utes, 156-128, in their season opener in Salt Lake City. The Scarlet and Black will be looking for its first victory against Utah since Jan. 6, 2000.

TRI-CAPTAINS
SDSU will have a trio of swim captains this season. Sophomore Noelle Holland and juniors Jessica Morrill and Kyla Power will team up to guide the Aztecs both in and out of the pool in 2008-09.

Holland (Casa Grande, Ariz.), who swam personal bests in the 100 and 200 fly last year, earned recognition for her work in the classroom as she was selected to the MWC all-academic team in addition to being named a MWC scholar-athlete as a true freshman.

Morrill, meanwhile, was a double-winner at two meets in 2007-08 and earned her first career MWC swimmer of the week award after claiming the 100 and 200 breast vs. Air Force/TCU. The Rio Vista, Calif., native also holds the fifth-best mark in school history in the 200 breast.

Power (San Jose, Calif.) is coming off a strong sophmore year in which she won three events and established lifetime bests in the 50 free, 200 free, 500 free and 200 backstroke. She is also a two-time MWC scholar-athlete and MWC all-academic selection.

BACK FOR MORE
San Diego State returns 11 letterwinners from last year's squad that posted an 8-4 mark in dual-meet action. In addition to Holland, Morrill and Power, the Aztecs welcome back seniors Megan Flanagan, Alexandra Rogers and Jamie Vessey, juniors Caitlin Atkinson, Amy Freeberg, and Nino Metsar, and sophomores Stephanie Henderson and Brooke Vessey.

YOUNG GUNS
The Aztecs have many new faces this year as 13 newcomers are on board for the 2008-09 campaign. With nine freshmen and four transfers, the incoming class will look to make an immediate impact in their first season on The Mesa.

Freshmen Jeanette Engzell and Elisabeth Krueger have already shown their potential as both individuals won six events each over the course of the two Red and Black meets in September. Fellow classmates Ashley Flynn, Allison Hall, Alexis McCoy and Shaida Solimani also picked up victories in the intrasquad competitions. Junior transfer Alex Barstad, meanwhile, swept the 1- and 3-meter diving events at the second Red and Black meet.

Also joining the Aztecs this year are sophomore transfers Dominique Campora and Melissa Church, and freshmen Shannon Bray, Kelsy Diener, Bojana Duric and Lisa Tompkins.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
San Diego State compiled a perfect 3-0 dual-meet record in its first year of competition at the Aztec Aquaplex in 2008. The sparkling new on-campus facility, which opened in the spring of 2007, serves as the home for the SDSU swimming and diving and water polo teams.

The 112,000 square-foot Aquaplex features a 50-meter competition pool, a recreational pool and a hydrotherapy spa. The competition pool can accommodate a multitude of swimming and diving events.

After its success at the Aquaplex last year, the Aztecs are looking forward to a five-meet home schedule starting with Utah on Saturday (Oct. 11). The Scarlet and Black will then return to action when it entertains Air Force, Colorado State and New Mexico in a MWC quad meet on Oct. 25 (1 p.m. PT).

2007-08 IN REVIEW
SDSU finished the 2007-08 dual-meet campaign with an 8-4 record, which was highlighted by a home sweep over MWC foes TCU and Air Force. The Aztecs had four individuals earn MWC weekly awards throughout the year, including swimmers Jessica Morrill and Brittany Daly and divers Caitlin Atkinson and Megan Flanagan.

The Aztecs closed out the season with an eighth-place finish at the MWC championship meet as both Katie Smith (100 back) and Amy Freeberg (platform dive) earned all-MWC honors. Atkinson and Flanagan also competed at the NCAA Zone E Diving Regionals for the second year in a row.

MWC PRESEASON POLL
San Diego State was picked to finish seventh in the 2008-09 Mountain West Conference preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head coaches. Brigham Young was tabbed as the favorite with eight first-place votes and 63 points overall.