TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 13. ARIZONA State's swimming and diving teams made their unofficial 2001-02 season debuts Saturday, facing-off in intrasquad meets at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in Tempe.
The women's meet was highlighted by the introduction of freshman Ágnes Kovács to ASU swimming. Kovács, the reigning Olympic and World Champion in the 200-meter breaststroke, won the 200-yard breast in 2:12.18, which is believed to be among the fastest times ever
recorded at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. Because the intrasquad meet is a non-official event, Kovács' time is not eligible for the ASU record books. Were it eligible, Kovács' debut effort would have ranked second all-time, just ahead of senior Riley Mants' 2:12.47, but well behind Beata Kaszuba's 1995 record of 2:09.71.
Kovács' Gold team defeated the Maroon team 71-58.
The Maroon team was led by, among others, freshman Florencia Szigeti, of Argentina, another accomplished international swimmer making her first ASU appearance. In the 200y freestyle, Szigeti touched the wall first in 1:50.07, ahead of second-place Kovács at 1:51.93.
Also looking impressive for the women was sophomore Brooke Townsend and junior Claire Hedenskog. Swimming for the Gold team, both swimmers picked up two wins each. Townsend first won the 1000y free in 10:07.89, before taking the 500y free in 4:59.47. With the distance free events covered, Hedenskog picked up wins in the sprints, clocking in at 23.99 in the 50y free and 52.11 in the 100y free.
In the men's meet, the Gold team again defeated the Maroon team, this time by a score of 127-109. Going into the final event, the Maroon team could have at least earned a tie with finishes of first and third in the 200y free relay. In the race, senior Simon MacDonald edged sophomore Nick Brunelli at the wall to secure the win for the Gold team, 1:22.48-1:22.64.
Brunelli was not without his share of victories, taking the 200y free in 1:39.71 before winning the 100y free in 45.35. Senior Gavin Meadows was a double-winner for the Gold, winning the 500y free in 4:36.72 and taking the 1000y free in 9:25.69.
Both Sun Devil teams begin official competition next week against the University of Hawaii, Friday, October 19, in Honolulu. The following week, ASU swimming returns to Mona Plummer Aquatic Center to compete in the intrasquad pentathlon, October 26, at 3:00 p.m.