Aztec Swimming Set To Open 2009-10 Campaign Against Cal

Oct. 15, 2009

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San Diego State will open its 2009-10 season against Cal on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 10:00 a.m. at the Aztec Aquaplex. The Golden Bears are the defending NCAA Division I champions. This will be a relay meet with 10 events including a number of non-standard races such as 3x100 and 3x50 distances in each stroke. The meet will not be scored.

San Diego State has been picked to finish third 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 seven first-place votes and 63 points. SDSU received one first-place vote. The third-place ranking is the highest for the Aztecs in the 11-year history of the MWC.

The complete MWC preseason poll is as follows:

Pl. Team (1st-Place Votes)  Pts.
 1. Brigham Young (7)........63
 2. UNLV (1).................54
 3. San Diego State (1)......49
 4. Wyoming..................42
 5. Colorado State...........38
 6. Utah.....................30
 7. TCU......................25
 8. New Mexico...............14
 9. Air Force.................9
San Diego State ended its 2008-09 campaign with a dual meet record of 9-6 overall and 2-6 in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs finished sixth at the MWC Championship Meet in late February, its highest placing since it captured the same spot in 2001.

San Diego State returns 11 letterwinners from last year's squad including four who earned all-Mountain West Conference honors last season. San Diego State's all-MWC returnees include senior Elena Karpeeva (100 IM, 100 back, 200 back) plus juniors Allison Hall (200 fly) and Brooke Vessey (100 fly) along with sophomore Shaida Solimani (100 back, 200 back).

Eight of the 11 returnees turned in times last season that rank among the Aztec all-time top 10. Three of those swimmers are school record holders. Brooke Vessey holds the San Diego State record in the 100 fly (55.69) while Shaida Solimani's 55.40 in the 100 backstroke is also an SDSU record. Senior Elena Karpeeva has the Aztec records in both the 200 back (1:57.76) and 200 IM (2:01.49). Vessey also has recorded SDSU top 10 marks in the 50 free and 100 back. Solimani has done the same in the 50 free and 200 back. Karpeeva's other top 10 mark have come in the 100 back.

Other returning swimmers who have notched Aztec top 10 times in their events include:
Kelsy Diener (100 & 200 back, 200 IM)
Allison Hall (100 & 200 fly)
Alexis McCoy (50 & 100 free)
Jessica Morrill (100 & 200 breast, 400 IM)
Kyla Power (200, 500, 1000 & 1650 free)

SDSU's recruiting class for the coming season has been ranked fourth in the nation by That group of newcomers includes two former NCAA Division I All-Americans plus five swimmers who earned All-America honors as high school athletes. Also included in that group are a pair of Olympic trials qualifiers plus a state swimmer of the year.
The NCAA All-Americans include senior Petra Radovic and junior Emilee Jennings, both of who come to SDSU from the University of Washington, which dropped swimming at the end of last season. A third four-year transfer is sophomore Tarin Corwin, one of the top high school sprinters in the nation two years ago, who was at Texas A&M last season.
The prep All-Americans include Meghan Zimmer (Pioneer Valley HS, Santa Maria, CA), Keri George (San Ramon Valley HS, Danville, CA), Stephanie Koch (Ames HS, Boone, IA) and Katelyn Weddle (Kofa HS, Yuma, AZ). Corwin also earned All-America honors at Blue Springs (Mo.) HS two years ago.
Other top newcomers include Melanie Garibaldi, an Olympic trials qualifier from Australia, along with Leona Jennings (sister of Emilee), who competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008. Freshman Maureen Cardwell won a state title in Washington (butterfly). Shelley Perkins was a state swimmer of the year in Colorado and qualified for the junior nationals is the 50 free.

After compiling a perfect 3-0 dual-meet record in its first year of competition at the Aztec Aquaplex in 2008-09 and a 6-3 mark last season, SDSU's record at its new home facility stands at 9-3. All three losses have come in conference action. This season San Diego State has 11 home dual meets on its schedule including three league contests.

SDSU will have open its conference season next weekend as it travels to Colorado Springs for a triple dual meet against MWC foes Air Force, Colorado State and New Mexico. That meet is scheduled to get underway at 1:00 p.m. (MT) at the Air Force Academy.

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