By David Rieder.
For the first time in 25 years, the Arizona State women’s swimming and diving team has beaten the University of Arizona in a dual meet. In a Saturday afternoon matchup between the Sun Devils and Wildcats at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, ASU earned big wins in both the women‚Äôs and men‚Äôs competition, but it was the women‚Äôs which was perhaps more notable.
In the first two years of Bob Bowman‚Äôs run as ASU head coach, his men‚Äôs teams have consistently been competitive with the Wildcats‚ÄĒthe two teams, in fact, tied in their 2017 dual meet in Tucson. The ASU women, on the other hand, had previously been dominated.
That changed with a 173-to-127 triumph for the Sun Devils.
‚ÄúIt has been a long time, and that‚Äôs why I‚Äôm so happy for these women because for the first two years, they‚Äôve had to really be in the shadow of the men,‚ÄĚ Bowman said. ‚ÄúThe men have done a great job, but I‚Äôm so pleased for the women because they bought in and worked hard.‚ÄĚ
The meet was the first time Arizona head coach Augie Busch had faced the Sun Devils since returning to Tucson has head coach in July. Busch explained after the meet that he was proud of how his team performed with top butterflyer Mackenzie Rumrill¬†absent.
‚ÄúI was proud of our energy,‚ÄĚ Busch said. ‚ÄúWe lost a few close races, which killed us. We win a few of those close races, and we win the meet.‚ÄĚ
The ASU women opened their campaign against their rivals with a wire-to-wire win in the 200 medley relay. with Chloe Isleta, Nora Deleske, Fanny Teijonsalo and Claire Fisch touching in 1:40.51.
The Wildcats rebounded immediately as Hannah Cox won the 1000 free in 9:58.66, with teammate Kirsten Jacobsen taking second. Arizona finished 1-2-3 in the ensuing 200 free, with Jacobsen winning in 1:48.19 ahead of teammates Cameron McHugh and Cox.
ASU then won four straight events going into the first break. Isleta won the 100 back in 53.88, and teammate Silja Kansakowski dominated the 100 breast in 1:01.03. Deleske topped the 200 fly in 2:00.10.
Deleske‚Äôs win was her first individual victory as a college swimmer, and it came on her 19th birthday‚ÄĒand in an event she hardly swims. Before requesting to swim the 200 fly in last week‚Äôs meet against Texas, the event had been completely off the radar for the breaststroke/IM specialist.
‚ÄúNora Deleske really stepped up and was a key for the women today,‚ÄĚ Bowman said. ‚ÄúThat 200 fly was probably the key to the whole meet‚ÄĚ
ASU‚Äôs women kept the momentum going after that as Fisch touched out Arizona sprinter Katrina Konopka, 23.07 to 23.18, and then after the break, Fisch won again with a 50.39 in the 100 free.
Isleta touched out McHugh to win the 200 back, 1:56.35 to 1:56.46. Capping off the streak, ASU‚Äôs Marlies Ross won the 200 breast in 2:14.91, with teammates Deleske (2:14.99) and Kansakowski (2:15.03) right behind.
Arizona came back to finish 1-2 in the 500 free. Jacobsen won her second event of the day in 4:52.16, and Cox was just behind in 4:52.66. But ASU‚Äôs Teijonsalo won the 100 fly in 55.07, and Ross touched out Isleta to win the 200 IM, 2:01.45 to 2:01.53, in another Sun Devil sweep.
Arizona did finish 1-2 in the final relay, with Konopka (23.02 lead-off), Jamie Stone, Ashley Sutherland and Morgan Ginnis winning in 1:30.76, but it was too late to matter in the team race.
ASU freshman Ashley McCool swept the two diving victories, on the 1-meter board (324.00) and 3-meter (358.28).
On the men‚Äôs side, the outcome was never really in doubt, as the Wildcats won just two races all day. ASU won the meet by a score of 203.5 to 94.5.
‚ÄúWe got spanked pretty good on the men‚Äôs side, but their dual meet lineup is probably as good as anyone‚Äôs in the country,‚ÄĚ Busch said of his rivals.
The Sun Devil men began their dominant afternoon with a 1-2 finish in the men‚Äôs 200 medley relay. Zach Poti, Christian Lorenz, Andrew Porter and Craig put up a quick time of 1:26.75, with Craig anchoring in 19.06. Meanwhile, ASU‚Äôs B-team of Reid Elliott, Jack Dalmolin¬ł Patrick Park and Evan Carlson touched out Arizona‚Äôs top squad or second, 1:26.75 to 1:28.05.
Craig ended up picking up two individual victories on the day, posting eye-popping times of 1:34.78 in the 200 free and 42.51 in the 100 free. Craig also led off the meet-ending 200 free relay in 19.61 as he, Porter, Evan Carlson and Park touched first in 1:18.81.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs training unbelievable, and he‚Äôs training hard unbelievable,‚ÄĚ Bowman said of his star sophomore. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs going 12,000 a day on the double days. He‚Äôs not, like, not training. He‚Äôs done some stuff in practice that‚Äôs just been unbelievable.
ASU‚Äôs Ben Olszewski led for the first 800 yards of the men‚Äôs 1000 free, but he fell apart over the last 200, with Arizona‚Äôs Brooks Fail swimming by him and winning the race in 9:13.13. The Wildcats ended up finishing 1-2-3 with Chris Wieser and Jerad Kaskawal touching second and third, while Olsewski fell to fourth.
After Craig and Grant House (1:35.89) finished 1-2 in the 200 free, Poti (47.10) and Elliott (48.04) led another Sun Devil 1-2 in the 100 back. Lorenz blasted a 53.99 to win the 100 breast, and he was followed by teammates Dalmolin (55.01) and Daniel Comforti (55.65) for an ASU 1-2-3.
Justin Wright put the Wildcats back on the board with a 200 fly win (1:44.82), but Andrew Porter came back in the next event to win the 50 free for ASU in 20.28, and Poti completed the backstroke sweep in the 200 back (1:43.47).
Lorenz then won the 200 breast in 1:58.59, Grant House won the 500 free (4:24.87), and Porter (47.43) and Patrick Park (47.62) finished 1-2 in the 100 fly. House won again in the final individual event of the day, recording a mark of 1:47.49 in the 200 IM.
Youssef Selim was the top diver of the day, recording a score of 373.65 to win the 1-meter event and 373.95 to win the 3-meter.