(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
The season is at the halfway point and ASU swim will travel to Mansfield, Texas to compete in Texas A&M’s Art Adamson Invitational.
The program has been preforming well this season. Last time out, on the men’s side, the Sun Devils defeated the USC Trojans for the first time in 13 years. Initially the scoring count indicated that the teams had tied but there was a miscount and ASU found out they won by a score of 156.50-142.50. After beating USC, the men’s program moved from No.24 to No.11 in the College Swimming Association of America coach’s poll.
Junior Patrick Park mentioned he believed all along this program could be as successful as they are now.
“I had a vision right about this right after NCAA’s,” Park Said. “I mean as soon as we got out of the meet, I said I can not wait for next season. I’ve had dreams about how successful we would be, so it’s no surprise. I’ve seen this in my head before.”
Along with early season success the team has landed some notable recruits, including Grant House, who is the No. 4 prospect in the nation.
The women’s team lost their last two games against USC and UCLA. Despite the lost the Sun Devils had solid individual performances. Sophomore Marlies Ross was impressive, as she individually won the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke, as well as the 200-yard IM. Senior Alysha Bush also remained in top form by winning the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events.
Today marks day one of a three-day competition. There will be a total of seven teams including ASU competing in this innovational: LSU, TCU, Texas A&M, Incarnate Word, Southern Methoist and Boise State’s women’s team.
The talent level will be high this weekend, as the men will go head-to-head with No.14 Texas A&M and No.17 LSU. The women will also faceoff against a top-20 opponent, No.10 Texas A&M.
This meet is the largest Arizona State has been too this season. It is also the last meet on the schedule until January, so the pressure is high to perform well at the end of the first-half of the season.
Since the men’s team has been undefeated, the mentality on the deck has been stay consistent.
“We have been undefeated all year,” Park said. “So we are going in this weekend with the mentality of not losing a race but also how many of us are going to punch are ticket in early. That A-cut is really tough
The junior mentioned how important the support of the women’s team will be at their first invitational.
“Once you get to Pac-12’s guys and girls are separate,” Park said. “So going to this invitational, these bigger meets as a whole team, I think we are going to bring a lot of fire power. What I mean by that is the amount of support behind the blocks has a huge influence.”
One the women’s side, senior team captain Kat Simonovic said she is pleased with her progress so far this season.
“If I take a look at last season vs. this season, I didn’t break 1:50 in the 200-yard freestyle until January,” Simonovic said.” “To know that I have already done that three times this season is a huge progressive step for me. I think my confidence is where it needs to be.”
As the team enters into this weekend the focus is trimming times down, tightening up their swimming mechanics and striving for their best season performances.
“I think when you get a mid-season meet it’s a bit different because you’re not always racing teams in your conference,” Simonovic said. I think as a team it would be awesome if we had some season bet times and set ourselves up so things go smoothly in the second half of the season.”