Photo: (Alli Cline/WCSN)
The crowd at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center was sold out Saturday afternoon to see five ASU school records go down in a rivalry showdown featuring Arizona State and Arizona.
At the start of the day many of the fans were peeking over the parking garage to watch Michael Phelps and other Olympians swim during the meet breaks, but the exciting swims came from the collegiate teams.
“For me being able to watch some of the guys and watch some of the challenges that Bob [Bowman] is giving them is great,” Phelps said. “Some of them have never really done some of the sets and gone through some of the pain that Bob is probably giving them that I have dealt with my whole life, so it’s fun watching them step up to a challenge.”
The highlight of the day was watching the ASU men dominate No. 17 Arizona for the first time in 14 years with a final score 168-132. Arizona State only lost three events. Among their many victories, four events were won with first and second place finishes.
“They have been training really well,” Bowman said. “This is a meet we decided where we focused on it, so we wanted to get some good times. I was pleased that they swam consistently well, but it didn’t surprise me much. They have been training great.”
One of the big highlights from the meet came from the five school record breaking performances. The first school record came from junior Richard Bohus. In the 100-yard backstroke Bohus’s winning time of 46.74 was by far faster than the previous time of 47.16 that he set his freshman year. Bohus had his best meet of the season winning his other two events in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. Plus, he swam the backstroke leg of the 200-yard medley relay team that broke the school record with a 1:25.65.
“Last time I was swimming well was in 2012 when I made the Olympics for my country,” Bohus said. “Since then I really haven’t found motivation and I got shoulder surgery year and a half ago, and I was just trying to come back. Finally, it all came and all the guys were back and I found myself again and I really have a lot of motivation that I didn’t have before.”
The other men’s records came from sophomore Christian Lorenz and junior Barkley Perry. Lorenz broke the record in both 100- and 200-yard breastroke with winning times of 53.18 and 1:54.10. In the 200-yard backstroke, Perry tied his school record that he set last year. However, last year’s record was set at a championship meet and this year’s record was during a dual meet, which is harder to accomplish mid-season, and there is not a better day to do it than against rival Arizona.
“Rivalries are what make college fun,” Bowman said. “To be a part of one that is so intense as this one and to come away with a win is something special because it has been a while.”
The women had a tough day against their rival. Despite most of the team getting season-best times in their events, ASU only won one event in the 400-yard individual medley by freshman Marlies Ross. However the ASU women recorded in season-best times. Junior Alysha Bush got her B-cuts for the NCAA Championships in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle which is a milsestone she had been trying to achieve all season.
The Sun Devils head into the final stretch of the season. The next meet will be the Pac-12 Championships at the end of February.