(Photo: Ali Cline/WCSN)
The Arizona State men’s swimming and diving team kicked off competition tonight at the NCAA Championship at Indiana University Purdue University of Indiana with the men’s 800 freestyle relay.
The Sun Devils put up a time of 6:17.57, just .13 seconds off of their school record relay earlier this month during the Pac-12 Championship and nearly 5 seconds faster than last year’s 18th place performance. The relay finished in 15th place, scoring 4 points for the Sun Devils and already surpassing last year’s point total for the NCAA Championship.
The relay consisted of Cameron Craig, Patrick Park, Thomaz Martins, and Barkley Perry. Phenom freshman Cameron Craig led off in a time of 1:32.67, nearly a second slower than the time he went in the 200 freestyle at the Pac-12 Championship. Park, Martins, and Perry went times of 1:35.23, 1:34.56, and 1:35.11, respectively.
This is the first of five relays for the Sun Devils that are all likely to put up points. They took four relays to NCAA’s last year, all of which unfortunately placed between 17th and 19th, for only the top 16 times in each event score. Their remaining four relays come into the meet seeded 13th, 5th, 13th, and 4th, all in place to put up significant points.
ASU brings 11 athletes to NCAA’s this year, two more than last year, with four of them in position to score major points in their individual events.
Cameron Craig is seeded in the top 8 in two of his events, the 100- and 200-yard freestyles, and in the top 16 in his other event, the 200-yard individual medley. Senior Richard Bohus is in position to do some major damage in his two individual events, the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes, as he is seeded 4th and 5th in those events, respectively. Senior Tadas Duskinas and junior Andrew Porter are also seeded 13th and 14th in the 100-yard butterfly.
The Sun Devil men have four top-8 swims in the psych sheet and an additional three top-16 teams, while two of their relays are seeded in the top 8 and their other three relays are all seeded in the top 16. This puts them in place to score around 150 points and be real contenders for a top-10 finish in the competition, compared to 2 total points and a 44th place finish at last year’s championship.