(Photo: Blake Benard/Blaze Sports)
The Arizona State Swim Team started off the new year with a match against the formidable Stanford Cardinals. Both of the Sun Devil squads fell to their opponents, but the men certainly did not let the meet fly away from them as they lost 141 to 159 while the ladies lost 113 to 178.
The defeat was not aided by a day stained with wet and dreary weather, but ASU was nonetheless satisfied with the performance it had considering the challenge Stanford presents as the leader of the PAC-12 division.
“I liked the way they raced. I thought we did some really good things; I think we handled really tough conditions pretty well,” Head Coach Bob Bowman said. “We made a couple mistakes on the men’s meet that would have made it even closer had we changed a couple things, but all and all, I am very pleased with their effort.”
In mention of the men, they started the meet off strong with a tie with the Cardinals for first in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:28.34. As usual, they later followed suit in the 400-yard freestyle relay as the team consisting of Richard Bohus, Patrick Park, Tadas Duskinas, and Cameron Craig grabbed first with a time of 2:55.78.
“The guys stepped up today. I don’t know when the men have ever won a relay against Stanford. We tied one and we won one so I think that’s a pretty good step for us,” Bowman said.
The anchor of the aforementioned race, Craig, had a very good meet from an individual standpoint as well. He took third in three of the freestyle disciplines including the 200-yard, 100-yard, and 50-yard races.
Duskinas beat Craig for the second spot in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.36, and continued to stand out in the meet as he managed the first slot on the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 47.2.
“Tadas Duskinas probably had the best day overall in terms of stepping up four times. I thought he did an amazing job on that,” Bowman said.
Christain Lorenz also put up a significant number of points for the Sun Devils as bested all his competitors to earn first in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke races with times of 55.42 and 2:00.46, respectively.
“We train all year for this and so it’s really just believing in what we’ve been doing and then hitting stroke counts,” Lorenz said.
As far as maintaining this level of success tomorrow against CAL, Lorenz knows it will require a similar process that led him to his wins today with only a few adjustments.
“In the 100 one of my goggles fell off so hopefully that doesn’t happen. I’ll tighten them up and maybe switch so that’ll be nice. That kind of almost got me in a panicky state so just staying in control is key,” Lorenz said
Senior Kat Simonovic demonstrated some of this control during the meet as she was second in the 500-yard freestyle. Simonovic was second again in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.90, but was beaten only by 2016 Olympic gold medalist and now Stanford Cardinal, Katie Ledecky.
Chloe Isleta also competed with Ledecky as she simultaneously stole the second spot from her in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:59.72 and reached one of her goals.
“Definitely swam my season best. I think I did that on the backstroke which I’m pretty proud of,” Isleta said.
The women gained more momentum to bring to tomorrow’s meet as the 400-yard freestyle relay team composed of Alysha Bush, Claire Fisch, Ingibjorg Jonsdottir, and Kat Simonovic swam a collective time of 3:24.9 for second place.
“Our mindset is that we want to compete with the best and we have to practice doing it coming from pretty far away. We’re a lot closer with the women than we were last year I guarantee it, and we’re way closer with the men,” Bowman said
Now, as the team prepares for another difficult meet tomorrow versus CAL, they know they are better equipped for that challenge as well as all the others to come.
“That’s what we want to do. Every time we step up against these guys we want to be a little bit closer,” Bowman said
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