(Photo: Blake Benard/ Cronkite News)
Arizona State closed off the regular season with an away meet versus their territorial rival, the University of Arizona, and in the spirit of such a contention, the men tied by a score of 147-147, while ASU’s women fell to UOA 118-180.
“Well, I feel great because we raced as hard as we could,” Head Coach Bob Bowman said. I thought we approached this meet a lot differently than we did last year, and for them to do the times that they’ve done I’m very, very pleased going into PAC-12s.”
The Sun Devil women did not get off to the best start after the Wildcats were the only ones to place in the 1000-yard freestyle, and the ASU A-squad only took third place in the 200-yard medley relay.
However, co-captain Kat Simonovic managed to turn things around by placing first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:45.71. Later on, she was also the first to reach the wall in the 500-yard freestyle race with a time of 4:43.28, which comes as a major improvement from the 4:56.38 she had in the team’s previous meet against UC Berkley.
“I was very pleased with how our women performed today,” Bowman said. “That’s probably the best dual meet our women have had certainly since I’ve been here, and maybe in a few years.”
Sophomore Marlies stole first place in the 400 IM with a time of 4:14.11, and then it became a battle between teammates as Ross came in second to fellow devil Silja Kansakowski in the 200-yard breaststroke.
Kansakowski also contributed to the point tally by winning the 100-yard breast-stroke with a time of 1:00.47.
“Obviously Silja Kansakowski swam very well in the breaststroke; Marlies Ross in the IM and breaststrokes.” Bowman said
ASU’s men mirrored their female counterparts in the beginning of the meet as they also did not have an ideal start. The 200-yard medley team consisting of Richard Bohus, Christian Lorenz, Andrew Porter and Tadas Duskinas came in second with a time of 1:25.88.
Lorenz went on to take second in the 100-yard breaststroke and first in the 200-yard version of the race with times of 53.6 and 1:56.91, respectively.
Bohus started the team off in the lead as the first leg of 200-yard medley and continued to do well as he took first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 46.69. Additionally, Bohus was second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 43.97, only to be beaten by teammate Cameron Craig who had a 43.93.
Craig was also first in the 200-yard freestyle with an impressive time of 1:35.93. He went on to anchor the 400-yard medley relay and helped the A-team also composed of Bohus, Duskinas, and Patrick Park to achieve the winning time of 2:25.07.
However, it was freshman Joe Molinari who carried the team to tie with the points from a second place finish in the 400-yard IM. More importantly, this produced the energy the team needed to push through the end of the meet.
“It was like against USC- when we beat them for the first time in I don’t know how many years. It was awesome it was something like that. It was really, really powerful and we’re really happy with these results,” Bohus said.
Andrew Porter had a starring role in this meet as he transferred from the UOA swim team last year. He did not crack under pressure as he took first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 46.35, and second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.04.
“This was a huge dress rehearsal for PACs and NCAAs and I’ve been to both those meets twice. So, to do that and to keep your emotions under control, fire them up when you need to, time that all out with warm downs and stuff, this is what it’s about-these meets. It’s not necessarily going your best time, but making it hurt and fighting and I think we all did that.” Porter said.
Porter rewarded himself by shooting up the Sun Devil’s fork in his old pool after winning his race.
“It’s a confidence builder. I really held my race plan, hit my walls and that’s something I haven’t had the chance to do in a few meets now,” Porter said
Now, the team is on to preparing for PAC-12s and their focus as Bowman said, is now on the details.
“Finally we have the taper season,” Bohus said. We are going to get some speed and I can’t wait. This year we put a lot of work in. The team is doing really well compared to last year.”