(Photo: Alli Cline/WCSN)
The atmosphere at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center this past weekend was remarkable. The stands were so packed that fans were looking over the parking garage to see Arizona State take on Arizona.
“I don’t think that has ever been achieved in the history of Mona Plummer,” sophomore Chrisitan Lorenz said. “It definitely put a more competitive edge to it. You want to beat U of A and do it for your team, but you have so many people supporting you and supporting your school, it was nice.”
The sold-out crowd created a new competitive feeling in the air. The competitiveness was rich to the point where the swimmers felt a new spark to swim fast.
“Honestly we couldn’t have done what we did without that,” junior Alysha Bush said. “In my opinion if you ask anyone of the team, they would say the same thing. The energy was unreal.”
Fast swimming was the result of each race Saturday afternoon. Despite the women losing nearly every race on Saturday, the times produced from the team were personal bests for a lot of the swimmers.
Being a star sprinter, Bush has been trying to obtain her B-cuts for the NCAA Championships all season. She finally achieved her goal this weekend by clocking in at 22.76 in the 50-yard freestyle and 49.55 in the 100-yard freestyle.
“I have never gone beneath 23 (seconds) in the 50,” Bush said. “We all had the fire in us and we didn’t taper. The guys had been training differently, but for the girls we had just been grinding and grinding so it was like a mid-season meet.”
Another bright spot were the records broken by the men’s team. School records went down on Saturday in the 100-yard breastroke, 200-yard breastroke, 100-yard backtroke and 200-yard backstroke. The men who broke these individual records teamed up on the 200-yard medley relay and broke that school record also.
The two breastroke records set by Lorenz are remarkable times–especially in the 200-yard breast where Lorenz’s time of 1:54.10 is currently the seventh-fastest time in the nation
“I did think the record in the 100 was approachable, but the record in the 200 I was more skeptical about,” Lorenz said. “I knew that we had done the work before, we had been prepared that week, we had gotten what we needed to, for us to come into this meet and swim fast.”
In the 100-yard backstroke, junior Richard Bohus replaced his previous school record of 47.13 seconds with a time of 46.74. Bohus also bounced back with victories and best times in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle with times of 19.83 and 43.09 seconds. Bohus’s performance earned himself Swimmer of the Week honors by collegeswimming.com.
The next step for the swim team is to gear up for the championship season. The Pac-12 Conference Championships will take place at the end of February and beginning of March, and the NCAA Championships will be held at the end of March.
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