(Photo: Blake Benard/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devil swim team returned to the Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex for another week of practice. Both men and women focused their training on correcting little mistakes. In particular, junior Alysha Bush entered practice looking to get faster so she can achieve a B qualifying time for the NCAA championship meet.
Bush is having a remarkable start to the season. The sprinter from Newberg, Oregon, won both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle against Washington State and UNLV.
“I am feeling good,” Bush said. “It’s all about the training, and taking it day by day. As long as I put in the work every day and do exactly what the coaches tell me to do, faster times will come.”
Bush has been victorious in all her events. However, she is still yet to claim a NCAA B qualifying time. In NCAA swimming, B times are consideration times for a particular event. Once a swimmer obtains a time that qualifies under the B standards, they may be eligible to swim in the NCAA championship meet. Last week, Bush recorded a 50.11 in the 100-yard freestyle, which is 12 milliseconds off the consideration time of 49.99. Although it is early in the season, Bush would like to qualify as soon as possible.
“It would be nice to get it out of the way at a mid-season meet, and I definitely think I can do it,” Bush said. “It will be a good confidence booster because then I have another half-a-year to train and get faster.”
Bush mentioned that she is very content with the way her practices are going. Although the training varies day to day, she focuses her energy on how she wants to swim in the next meet.
“It’s a different mentality every day,” Bush said. “During practice, I just keep thinking to myself on how I want to race against this opponent or that opponent.”
“She is doing great,” ASU sprinter coach Ryan Mallem said. “She started off well, she started off focused, and she has been able to maintain her focus.”
This week in practice, Bush and the other sprinters participated in weighted resistance training. The swimmers tied belts around their wastes and dragged weights with them while they swam.
“When we do that type of training, it’s all about the power off the wall, power off the starts and power off with underwater kicks,” Bush said. “It’s about focusing all my energy on that one lap.”
“We start off on a more general focus with kicking and drilling with an aerobic base,” Mallem said. “Now we are starting to get a little more specific and she is doing a good job of adapting.”
If Alysha Bush can achieve the qualifying time early, she will have a better chance of going faster at the conference and national championship meets in the spring. Bush and the rest of the team will have their next swim meet against USC on November 6.