(Photo: Blake Benard/Blaze Sports)
The Arizona State men’s and women’s swimming teams are both getting ready to face Denver tomorrow for the first home meet of the season at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. After both teams started the season at 2-0 in Utah this past weekend, the Sun Devils returned to practice this past week to put in work for the meet this weekend.
Last weekend saw the Sun Devils starting the season on a very high note. On women’s side, Kaya Philapil and Chloe Isleta won two events apiece last weekend. Philapil took the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke races in 1:04.62 and 2:21.19, while Isleta pulled away with the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard backstroke in times of 2:07.81 and 2:05.61.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side, freshmen Cameron Craig and Zachary Poti continued to excel, putting up times of 1:49.58 and 1:49.82 in the 200-yard backstroke and coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Both swimmers would win events later in the weekend, with Poti taking first in the 100-yard backstroke at 49.99, and Craig dominating the 200-yard individual medley, winning by nearly four seconds in a time of 1:51.96.
“The freshmen get here and they get the new experience with Bob [Bowman],” Senior captain Thibaut Capitaine said. “I’m really excited to teach them what I know and help them connect with the other seniors and just get better and enjoy the process.”
The team seems very excited about the freshman class, consisting of 24 very talented swimmers between the men’s and women’s teams. These are the swimmers that are going to help build this program into a top-tier competitor.
“We’re going to have to swim fast this weekend,” Capitaine said. “In a week we have USC and if we want to be up there with those guys and Cal and Stanford we’re going have to race hard.”
Before ASU dives deeper into Pac-12 competition, they will have to face a Denver squad that is looking to compete with Arizona State’s top talent. Despite the pressure, many of the team members are excited for the competition that lies ahead of them this season.
“I think the times that some of the younger girls are putting up are putting a lot of pressure on the younger girls,” Freshmen Chloe Isleta said. “But we don’t have enough girls to fit a travel team but we still push each other because we want to get first.”
The freshmen are under a lot of pressure right now, with people expecting them to perform very well at upcoming meets, such as this weekend’s meet at home against Denver.
“A lot of people have high expectations of the freshmen,” Isleta said. “We need to pick it up this weekend when we go against Denver.”
Isleta stated that she has no specific time goals this weekend, since the team has been working very hard in recent weeks. Instead, she and the rest of her teammates plan to focus on improving the technical aspects of their swimming, to make each race faster.
“I think the team is really ready for this weekend,” Isleta said. “We’ve been training really hard since the first day we got here and we trust Bob [Bowman], so I think we’ll do well.”
If you want to reach Sean, you can email him at Smmurp12@asu.edu