TEMPE, Ariz., Jan. 5. KNOCKING off the 12th-ranked Michigan Wolverines 132-111, Saturday at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, Arizona State's fifth-ranked men's swimming and diving team improved to 5-0 in the
official dual meet season, marking the first time since the 1990-91 season that the program has seen five consecutive dual victories.
While complete records are not available, it was also the first time in more than 10 years that the ASU men topped Michigan, although this is only the third such meeting between the schools in that span. With the loss, the Wolverines drop to 4-2 for the 2001-02 season.
The Sun Devils got things started early, sweeping the top three spots in the 400-yard medley relay, although only the first two teams were allowed to score. Just off an NCAA consideration time (3:18.21), ASU's team of Ahmed Hussein, Russell MacDonald, Simon MacDonald and Nick Brunelli set the pace in 3:18.79. The following ASU teams timed in at 3:21.51 and 3:29.29, all ahead of Michigan's top squad at 3:31.95.
However, Michigan retaliated in the next event, sweeping the first four spots in the 1000y freestyle. Freshman Andrew Hurd was the event winner in 9:21.82, followed by Brendan Neligan (9:22.03), Chuck Sayao (9:26.88) and Justin Drake (9:27.68).
Other events would see equal shifts in power. While junior Bobby Zaabadich led Mark Hill (20.80), Justin Mathias (20.86) and Wiley Wallace (21.16) to a Sun Devil sweep of the top-four spots in the 50y free with a time of 20.48, Michigan's Dan Ketchum clocked in at
1:49.88 in the 200y butterfly as the Wolverines finished one, two, three and four in that event.
Likewise, in the 200y backstroke, a trio of Christian Harcsas (1:46.30), Ahmed Hussein (1:46.98) and Bo West (1:49.37) grabbed the top three spots in that event for ASU, before Michigan's Jeff Hopwood (2:04.87) paced the Wolverines to a top-three sweep in the 200y
Over in the diving pool, Michigan's Jason Coben won the 1-meter optionals with a six-dive total of 306.52, but couldn't overcome ASU's Gordon Blukis in the 3-meter, as Blukis scored 306.52 to edge Coben's 305.55.
Ultimately the meet came down to the 400y free relay, with the Sun Devils needing to prevent Michigan from finishing one-three or better. They did just that, with a team of Simon MacDonald, Brunelli, Anders Lyrbring and Gavin Meadows placing first in 3:00.67,
before a Sun Devil team of Mathias, Hill, Zaabadich and West edged Michigan's top team for second-place, 3:03.24 to 3:03.99.
The Sun Devils take the next two weekends off from competition, but then are welcomed back by a challenging road trip at No. 7 California and No. 1 Stanford, January 25 and 26, respectively.