(Photo: Blake Benard/WCSN)
Over the weekend the ASU swim team participated in the annual Art Adamson invitational at Texas A&M. This invitational swim meet marks the halfway point of the 2015-2016 season. Since ASU won’t have a swim meet till January, Coach Bowman gave his team some rest and made them swim fast.
Throughout the weekend, the ASU men’s team showed everyone that they can compete among the best. They raced against some of the fastest schools in the country and grabbed 5th place overall. Many swimmers dropped significant amounts of time in their respected events, and the relays swam competitively. In particular, the ASU men’s 800-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay teams shocked everyone and swam the fastest times in the nation.
The winning 800-yd relay team of Patrick Park, Sean Kao, Thomaz Martins and Barkley Perry swam their hearts out. The four swimmers worked together and won with a time of 6:29.91. Then in 400-yd relay Park, Perry and Kao united with Tadas Duskinas. The four of them won with a time of 2:54.84.
“It was definitely a confidence booster,” Park said. “When we looked up at those times it was surreal.”
The 800-yd free relay is one of the longest in the circuit. Each swimmer is required to swim 200 yards (8 lengths of the pool) as fast as possible. The 400-yd relay is shorter and acts more like a sprinting event. Now that ASU is at the top in those events, they have the confidence to get better and swim at the highest level.
“The team performance was great,” Perry said. “In and out of the water we were excellent and we were together as a team.”
Perry had a successful weekend. In the 200 yard freestyle, Perry won the consolation final and took 9th place. However, his time of 1:37.09 was actually the third-fastest time in that event. Later in the meet, Perry made an Olympic trial qualifying time in the 200 yard backstroke. Since the prelims were long course, Perry took the advantage and got the time standard with 2:02.52. Perry now has a chance to compete for the a spot on the US Olympic team this summer
“It was a little surreal,” Perry said. “The goal right now is to train hard and execute in and outside the water.”
All season long, the men’s swim team said they want to swim with a chip on their shoulder. This weekend showed their progress.
“I believe we have already made a statement,” Perry said. “Now we just have to train and make sure we back it up when it comes down to January and February.”
If there is one takeaway it is this weekend- the men are fast, and they are only getting faster. It will be interesting to see where they take their moment from here
“We have more room for improvement, and we have time to improve,” Park said. “It was a great opportunity to race over the weekend and it’s back to work now.”