By Duncan Scott
TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 15. IT'S expected to be in the low 80s this weekend in the Phoenix area. Just as the weather begins to warm, it seems a good time for one of
the better weekends of the year for swimming competition in the Valley. While all the competition will be at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center at ASU, two distinct flavors of competition will be available:
1) top flight college dual meet swimming, men and women;
2) great USA Swimming club competition, with athletes ranging from age groupers to World Championship competitors.
College Intrastate Rivalry
Arizona State will swim the University of Arizona on
Saturday at noon in Pac-10 instate rivalry dual
meet season-ending college competition. For the first time in years, both men's teams and women's teams are ranked among the nation's top ten: in the men's poll, ASU is ranked #7, while U of A is #8; in the women's, Arizona is #8 while ASU is #10.
Men and women will compete in alternate heats, with both teams having divers who have contributed greatly to the success each team has had in dual meet competition. Each squad clearly would relish the bragging rights that come with a rivalry victory, but while this meet will end the dual meet phase of the season it is more importantly the final tune-up before the teams move on to the Championship season, including the Pac-10 Conference meet, NCAAs and,
for some, international meets including the Short Course World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
Among the topflight competitors in the college meet will be:
ASU Women: Agnes Kovacs, an ASU freshman presently reigning as World and Olympic champion in the 200 meter breaststroke and senior Sarah Baham,
presently ranked in the NCAA top eight nationally in both butterfly events.
ASU Men: Rising star sophomore Nick Brunelli in the sprints and the multi-stroke rejuvenation of senior Simon MacDonald.
U of A Women: Senior Sarah Tolar, a Dobson High School grad, is back to defend her 200 freestyle NCAA crown; Atlanta Olympic Champion Beth Botsford leads the
Wildcats in the backstrokes and more.
U of A Men: Fukuoka World Championship 50 freestyle medalist and NCAA season leader in the 50 freestyle Roland Schoeman leads the Wildcat
men. Juan Veloz is presently #1 in NCAA season rankings in the 200 butterfly.
The Lost Dutchman Meet
The Lost Dutchman Invitational will be hosted at ASU by
Tempe's Rio Salado Swim Team, starting with the timed-final distance freestyle events Friday evening and then running Saturday through Monday, having preliminary and final sessions each day, with finals
starting at 5:00pm.
With entrants from across the western U.S. and Mexico, the meet has drawn over 50 clubs and 925 athletes to Tempe. The largest squads include Sun Devil Aquatics(SDA), Scottsdale Aquatic Club(SAC), Phoenix Swim Club(PSC), Desert Thunder Aquatics(DTAC) and the world
renowned Mission Viejo Nadadores(MVN). Just as with the college meet, this event marks the end of the regular season as the final tune-up for the championship season for the club athletes with Sectional Championships (in Seattle), the National Club Swimming Jr. Nationals in Long Beach, USA Swimming National Championships and major international competitions.
Ashley Chandler (SDA) – Two time defending 400 Meter
Freestyle USA Swimming national champion, presently ranked #1 in national high school listings for the 500 freestyle.
Kalyn Keller (SDA) – 800 meters national champion from
last summer; America's first medalist in FINA Open Water World Championships; was recently added to US squad for FINA short course World Championships in Moscow.
David Rollins (Tucson Ford) — his 200 individual medley presently ranks #1 in national high school rankings, with his 100 breaststroke at #4.
Rollins' Tucson Ford teammate, Lacy Nymeyer stands #5 and #6 in the national high school lists in the 50 and 100 freestyle, respectively.
Caitlin Conneally (Arizona Desert Fox — AFOX) presently holds down spots # 3,4,5, respectively, in the high school lists for 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
Michael Passey, DTAC, stands is top 5 in the high school ranks in both the 200 individual medley(#4) and the 100 butterfly(#5).
Texas recruit, Colin Gaffney (Arizona Marlins – AZM)
stands #2 in the national high school ranks for the 100 backstroke.
Michigan recruit Tyler DeBerry (Tucson Ford) ranks #2(200 free) and #5(500 free) in high school rankings and was the 1500 meter champion in last summer's Janet Evans Invitational, a USA Swimming Grand Prix meet.
Others in the meet with at least one national high school top 6 ranking include: Zach Anderson (SDA), #5 in 200 freestyle, with a club meet performance in the 500 free matching DeBerry's high school time; Kara Morelli (PSC) #6 in 100 backstroke; Scott Goodrich (Arizona Swimming Gauchos – ASG) #6 as only a sophomore in the 100 backstroke.
The list of meet record holders in the Lost Dutchman
reads like a swimming Who's Who, including Olympic medalist and American record-holder Klete Keller; Japanese Olympic finalist Sachiko Yamada; World Championship medalist Ugur Tanner; World and NCAA Champion Francisco Sanchez, Olympic Gold Medalist Barbara Bedford; Olympic finalist Kyle Salyards; NCAA
Champion Marylyn Chiang; NCAA Champion Matt Ulrickson; USA Swimming national champions Ashley Chandler and Kalyn Keller; and, finally, Olympic Champion Misty Hyman, who isn't found in the list of record-holders in the Senior portion of the meet but has marks in the
Age group end!
The Lost Dutchman has been a place to see both today's
and tomorrow's stars together and it appears it will fulfill that destiny again this year.