Swimming & Diving Post-Season Begins With Women's Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 21, 2001

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This Week --
With almost five months of regular-season swimming behind them, the men and women of Arizona State swimming and diving will make way into the post-season schedule, starting with the women's Pacific-10 Conference Championships Feb. 22-24, at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way, Wash. One week later, the men will follow suit, vying for the conference title at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif., March 1-3.

The Polls --
The College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) releases national rankings on a bi-weekly basis. Currently ranked 13th, the ASU men have been ranked as high as 11th (11/16), but no lower than 14th (2/1). The Sun Devil women are presently 17th, having begun the season ranked 19th, and moving up to as high as 16th (11/16, 11/30).

Pac-10 Excellence --
Those lucky enough to attend the men's or women's Pac-10 Championships will not only see the best the conference has to offer, but also some of the nation's best. Beginning with the women, six Pac-10 schools are present in the nation's top-25, including three in the top five: No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 California, No. 8 USC, No. 10 UCLA and No. 17 ASU. In the past ten years, Pac-10 women's teams have combined to win seven NCAA titles (six by Stanford), while earning five runner-up finishes. Overall, two Pac-10 women's schools (Stanford 8, USC 1) have combined to earn nine of 19 national crowns. On the men's side this year, six conference schools make the national top-25 list, including four in the top-10: No. 3 Stanford, No. 5 California, No. 7 Arizona, No. 8 USC, No. 14 ASU and No. 25 Washington. In the past ten years, Stanford has demonstrated the talent of the conference with four national titles and four runner-up finishes. Overall, four Pac-10 men's schools (USC 9, Stanford 8, California 2, UCLA 1) have combined to win 20 of 64 national crowns.


Sun Devils Battle North Of The Border --
The Sun Devils may have been `playing with fire,' but it was their intrastate rivals who displayed the fire-power in the annual desert dual meet vs. Arizona. After taking first-place points in four of the first five events the 14th-ranked Sun Devils went winless against the No. 7 Wildcats and lost 179-121. Gavin Meadows (1:38.66), Anders Lyrbring (1:39.94) and Scott VonSchoff (1:40.69) went one-two-three, respectively, in the 200 free. Meadows' time was a personal-best and an NCAA `B' qualifier. Meanwhile, ASU's No. 17 women garnered first-place points only four times to fall to the No. 2 Wildcats 182-113. Of the first five events, Lauren Morelli's second-place 57.88 effort in the 100 back marked the only time ASU finished better than third. Helping to put points on the ASU side of the scoreboard was the one-two finish of Sarah Baham (2:20.38) and Alicia Wheelock (2:04.27) in the 200 fly.


Sarah Baham --
Junior All-American Sarah Baham, ASU's Madame Butterfly with school records in both the 100 and 200, has been the Sun Devils' leader across the board this year, turning in ASU season-bests four events, the 100 fly (54.70), 200 fly (1:58.80), 200 IM (2:04.93) and 400 IM (4:25.46). Her 2001-best in the 200 fly (1:58.80 vs. USC) is ninth in the nation, while her 100 fly (54.70 vs. USC) ranks 19th. A model of versatility, Baham's only 100 free performance (52.03 vs. Washington, Northwestern) of the season is the second-fastest ASU time of the year, while her solo 500 free time (5:01.22 vs. Auburn, Florida) is fourth on ASU's season-bests list.

Claire Hedenskog --
Hedenskog, a sophomore with ASU's eighth all-time best 100 free performance (50.89), is the Sun Devils' 2001 leader in the 50 free (23.64), 100 free (51.22) and 200 free (1:52.53).

Josie Jedick --
Jedick's career best in the 100 breast (1:03.81) ranks ninth on ASU's all-time list. This season, Jedick's best is a 1:05.95 (third on the team) in the 100, with a 2:18.94 in the 200 breast (second on the team).

Riley Mants --
Second on ASU's all-time 100 (1:02.44) and 200 (2:12.47) breast lists, Mants is the Sun Devils' leader in both events this season with times of 1:04.13 and 2:15.95, respectively. Both times are just off the top-25 lists.

Lauren Morelli --
Senior All-American Lauren Morelli, who is ASU's record holder in the 100 back (55.59) and is second on the 200 back list (1:59.16), has a 200 season best of 2:01.23, slightly more than the 25th-best time in the nation this year: 2:00.19. Morelli's season-best in the 100 back (57.33) ranks second on the squad behind Miranda Shald's 57.14.


Marc Briggs --
Briggs, who earned a Pac-10 individual title in the 3-meter dive last year, and owns the ASU school records in the 1-meter/11-dive format (570.50), 3-meter/11-dive format (632.25) and the platform (483.40), is also ASU's current record holder in the new 1-meter/6-dive optionals format (392.48). Briggs has been dominant on the short springboard, picking up seven first-place finishes. He's also won three times at the 3-meter height.

Natalie Burgess --
Burgess, like Briggs, has put her name in the record books this season. Her 269.15 at the Georgia Invitational is the top mark of the year for ASU in the 1-meter optionals format. But most recently vs. Arizona, Burgess broke an 11-year school record (Janae Lautenschlager, 2/2/90) in the 3-meter by earning a second-place total of 341.40.

Trish Malatesta --
Improving upon her own school record of 432.57 on the platform dive, Malatesta performed to a 438.65 at the Georgia Invitational. Her season-high in the 3-meter (271.58) came in a first-place finish against Washington.


Otto Hinks --
Senior All-American Hinks, ASU's school record-holder in the 100 breast (54.46), swam 55.61 at the Texas Invitational, notching an NCAA `B' qualifying time and the 19th-fastest time in the nation this year.

Ahmed Hussein --
A mid-season arrival, Hussein -- who represented his Egypt at the 2000 Olympics -- has made an immediate impact on ASU swimming. Although his season-best in the 100 back (51.10) is only third on the ASU top-times list, Hussein's 1:46.59 in the 200 back is 16th in the nation this year, not to mention third on the ASU's all-time list.

Anders Lyrbring --
Often overshadowed by teammate Scott VonSchoff, junior All-American Lyrbring is among the nation's elite in the 200 free with a previously ranked season best 1:38.65.

Austin Paulsen --
Back competing since the semester break, Paulsen seems to be regaining the form that in 1999 put him second on ASU's all-time 400 IM list (3:50.65). Although yet to crack into the nation's top-times list this year, Paulsen's best of 3:56.44 is near the No. 25 time of 3:55.20. In addition to the 400 distance, Paulsen has ASU's fastest time of the year in the 200 IM (1:52.40).

Scott VonSchoff --
Scott VonSchoff's magical 2001 winning streak came to a close when the Bay Area schools visited Tempe, Jan. 19-20. In the six dual meets prior to facing Stanford and California, VonSchoff competed in a total of 12 individual races and six relays, and claimed first-place each and every time. However, in the opening relay vs. Stanford, VonSchoff anchored the 400 medley team to an NCAA `B' qualifying time of 3:18.74, but a third-place finish. The next day vs. Cal, the Sun Devils placed second in the 400 medley relay (3:19.73), and Eric Anthony (43.87) snapped VonSchoff's (44.59) individual streak with a win in the 100 free. VonSchoff did earn three wins over the weekend, meaning that in dual meets this season the freestyle specialist has placed first twice at 50 yards (20.97 vs. UCSB, 20.75 vs. UW), five times at 100 yards (45.26 vs. UNLV, 45.13 vs. USC, 45.19 vs. UT, 44.31 vs. AU, 45.00 vs. Stanford), four times at 200 yards (1:38.53 vs. UNLV, 1:39.20 vs. USC, 1:39.04 vs. UT, 1:37.98 vs. AU) and twice at 500 yards (4:37.90 vs. UCSB, 4:34.91 vs. UW). He's also paced one victorious 200 free (vs. UNLV) and seven victorious 400 free relay teams (vs. USC, UCSB, UW, UT, AU, Stanford, California), in addition to anchoring winning 200 (vs. UW) and 400 (vs. Arizona) medley relay teams. VonSchoff's winning ways have extended beyond the dual format this season. At the Texas Invitational, VonSchoff won the 200 free in a personal-record and NCAA `B' time of 1:36.75, the eighth-fastest collegiate time this year. His season best in the 100 (44.13) ranks 12th in the nation. At the UBC Colleges' Cup, VonSchoff established meet records in the 100-meter free (50.82), and 400m free relay (3:21.93, anchor), and the 400m medley relay (3:43.37, anchor).

UP NEXT --For those women who qualify, the women's NCAA Championships are slated for March 15-17 at Long Island, N.Y. The men's NCAA Championships will be held at College Station, Texas, March 22-24. Before those swimming competitions, the NCAA Zone diving championships will be competed March 9-10 at Federal Way, Wash.

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