TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 29. MATCHING their best start since the 1991-92 season, Arizona State's No. 8 women's swimming and diving team moved to 5-0 by defeating Washington 177-119 at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center Saturday, dropping the Huskies to 5-2.
Meanwhile, Arizona State's fifth-ranked men's swimming and diving team looked sharp despite the winter break, easily defeating Washington 208-80 Saturday at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center to move to 4-0 on the season and match their best dual start since the 1993-94
season, while handing the Huskies their first loss of the year (5-1).
Leading the way for the Sun Devil women was a trio of two-event winners in freshman Ágnes Kovács and seniors Sarah Baham and Amanda Stanford. In the first individual event of the afternoon, Stanford led the way for a one-two-three ASU finish in the 1000-yard freestyle, touching the wall first in 10:14.64. Junior Katie Titcomb and freshman Amy Pokora came in behind Stanford at 10:30.55 and 10:41.31 to get the Sun Devils off to a strong start.
Later, in the 500y free, it was again Stanford and Titcomb grabbing the top two spots with respective times of 5:03.02 and 5:08.17, while sophomore Melissa Bartlett placed third for ASU in 5:09.89.
Baham, the ASU record holder in the 100y and 200y butterfly, did her damage Saturday in the 200 fly with a first-place effort of 2:03.23 and in the 400y individual medley with a victorious time of 4:29.90.
In both cases Washington sophomore Anissa Hilyard was forced to settle for second place in 2:03.88 and 4:35.54, respectively.
Kovács, who has NCAA automatic qualifying times in three events this year, cruised to victories in the breaststroke events with times that still dipped below the NCAA 'B' consideration standard. In the 100y breast, Kovács came in at 1:02.58, well ahead of Washington's Brittany Reichardt who edged the Sun Devils' Riley Mants 1:05.46 to 1:05.68. Mants had her revenge in the 200y breast however, placing second behind Kovács' 2:15.16 in 2:20.82, while Reichardt settled for third in 2:23.24.
In the losing effort, Washington produced the only three-event winner of the day in junior Kim Harada, who capitalized on the absence of ASU sprinters Claire Hedenskog and Florencia Szigeti to win the 50y free (24.15), 100y free (52.62) and 200y free (1:51.54).
Over in the diving pool ASU athletes competed virtually uncontested by Washington, which does not field a regular diving team. The competition was no less intense however as sophomore Jessica Stenson
swept the springboard events with NCAA Zone qualifying marks of 287.10 for the 1-meter (6-dive optionals) and 281.55 for the 3-meter (6-dive).
Arizona State's fifth-ranked men's team had no trouble taming the University of Washington Huskies, 208-80.
Among the Sun Devils' leaders was sophomore Rich Jacobs, a native of Seattle, Wash., and graduate of Highline High, who won both the
200-yard butterfly (1:52.70) and the 400y individual medley (4:01.43) against his hometown university.
Sophomore Nick Brunelli, senior Gavin Meadows and junior Christian Harcsas were also two-event winners. In the 50y freestyle, Brunelli led junior Bobby Zaabadich (21.25) and junior Justin Mathias (21.33)
to a one-two-three sweep with a first-place time of 20.67. Then, in the 100y free Brunelli's 45.64 led senior Bo West (45.80) and Mathias (45.92) to a sweep of the top three spots.
Meadows set the pace in the distance free events, capturing the top spot in the 1000y free with an effort of 9:27.85, before swimming 4:34.13 to win the 500y free. Harcsas, ASU's backstroke specialist, won the 100y variety in 50.05, ahead of teammate Ahmed Hussein in 50.34, before swimming 1:48.59 to take the 200y back.
The Huskies were led by sophomore Luke Ekhoff, who outlasted ASU's breaststrokers. In the 100y breast, Ekhoff touched the wall in 56.87, ahead ASU swimmers Russell MacDonald (57.44), Simon MacDonald (58.96), Brian Spetman (59.22) and Joshua Gemmell (59.44), who
grabbed the next four spots. Ekhoff's margin of victory in the 200y breast was greater than four seconds, as Gemmell (2:06.15) and Adam Bugledich (2:06.73) could not handle his 2:02.05 pace.
Although uncontested by Washington, ASU's diving team carried on with competition, with Thomas McCrummen and Gordon Blukis each earning NCAA Zone qualifying scores with their respective totals of 349.65 and 312.30 in the 1-meter, 6-dive optionals.
Welcoming in the new year, the Sun Devils will be back in action at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center next weekend. Friday, January 4, ASU's men's and women's teams will meet the University of British Columbia
in dual competition at noon.
Saturday, January 5, the Sun Devil women will get things started when they compete against a handful of
teams wintering in the desert at the Sun Devil Invitational at 9:00 a.m. The men will follow with a dual meet against No. 12 Michigan at noon.