Arizona State Makes a Statement with Sweep of California

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Photo Courtesy: Arizona State University Athletics

Arizona State Makes a Statement with Sweep of California

The matchup of the No. 1 and No. 2 men’s teams in the nation turned out to provide plenty of excitement if little drama on Saturday. Instead, it proved a capstone for the opening phase of Arizona State’s arrival on the national scene.

Behind Leon Marchand’s NCAA record in the men’s 400 individual medley, Arizona State romped to a pair of wins, the Sun Devils downing the University of California men, 211-87, in an anti-climatic 1-vs.-2 clash. The Sun Devil women also upset the No. 11 Golden Bears, 191.5-96.5.

For the men’s team, it caps and outstanding week, on the heels of Friday’s win over Stanford.

It comes with caveats, as pointed out in the California press release: “The Sun Devils raced in technical suits while the Bears did not.” Cal also sacrificed some depth by sending part of its men’s team to the Triton Invitational at UC San Diego. Even so, what the Sun Devils accomplished serves as the opening salvo for what should be a pitched duel at NCAAs, where Arizona State finished sixth last year.

The obvious individual headliner was Marchand, who set the NCAA record in 3:31.84 in the 400 individual medley. That time is 6.5 seconds faster than anyone in the NCAA this season.

Marchand won the 100 breaststroke in 51.01, moving him into the No. 1 ranking in the NCAA this season. He also went 1:48.82 in the 200 breast, the top time in the nation and a half-second quicker than he did against Stanford.

Marchand joined Jack Dolan, Max McCusker and Grant House on a 200 medley relay that went 1:22.77, just .17 off their top time and the nation’s top time this season. Dolan, Jonny Kulow, McCusker and House clocked in at 2:48.25 in the 400 free relay.

But Marchand wasn’t alone. Zalan Sarkany clipped a quarter-second off his school record, set Friday, in the 1,000 free. He also won the 500 free. Teammates Daniel Matheson and Julian Hill finished second in those events, respectively.

House was outstanding again, winning the 200 free in 1:31.84 and the 100 free in 42.63. The latter edged Dolan by .01. Dolan went 19.21 in he 50 free to top Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger by two tenths. Seeliger was also third in the 100 free. McCusker was third in the 50.

Alexander Colson won the 200 butterfly, and McCusker won the 100 fly with Colson second.

It didn’t all go Arizona State’s way. Destin Lasco won the 100 back in 45.81, though Arizona State’s new arrival Hubert Kos finishing second is an encouraging sign for the Sun Devils. Lasco also outdueled the Polish Olympian in the 100 back by .24 seconds, in 1:41.24. Gabriel Jett was second to House in the 200 free. Reece Whitley placed second in both breaststroke events.

Lindsay Looney led the Arizona State women’s victory. She pulled off a mighty impressive triple, winning the 200 free, the 200 fly and 500 free.

Arizona State went 1-2-3 in the 100 free, led by Molly Batchelor (49.44), who was second to Cal’s McKenna Stone in the 50 free. Iza Adame won both breaststroke events. Batchelor also finished second to Looney in the 500 free. Ieva Maluka was second in the 200 free and third in the 100 free and 100 fly. Looney, Maluka, Batchelor and Erin Milligan won the 400 free relay in 3:17.42.

Jade Foelske, second in the 200 fly, tied for the 100 fly win. Charli Brown won the 400 IM after finishing second in the 200 back.

Cal’s resistance was led by Isabelle Stadden. She won the 100 back, the 200 back and led off the winning 200 medley relay. Stone anchored that relay. Swimming fly was Mia Kragh, who tied for the 100 fly win.

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