Sun Devil Swimming & Diving Travels To Texas Invitational

Dec. 4, 2002

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This Week
The Arizona State Swimming and Diving team will compete at the annual Texas Invitational this weekend, one of the strongest pre-NCAA meets of the season. The #11-ranked ASU men's team will go up against such top squads as #3 Texas, #5 Cal, #6 USC, #13 Wisconsin and #15 Arizona. The #20-ranked ASU women will see #5 USC, #7 Texas, #8 Arizona, and #12 Wisconsin among others. The men's field features 10 total teams while there will be 13 women's teams. Competition is Thursday through Saturday.

The Polls
The CSCAA released its third poll of the season on November 27. The ASU men are back down to 11th after being ranked ninth in the last poll. The women fell to 20th. For the complete poll, visit

Women's Swimming Signs Seven Student-Athletes
The swimming & diving program signed seven women to letters of intent in the fall signing period. Six are slated to arrive in Tempe next fall while Sandra Steffensen, a Swedish National Team member, will join the team next semester, making an immediate impact. Steffensen is a sprint and middle distance freestyler and one of the best short course meters swimmers in the world.

Men, Last Year at Texas Invitational
The Sun Devil men managed an impressive second-place finish behind only Texas, the then two-time defending NCAA Champion. The meet brought out several good performances from ASU swimmers including Nick Brunelli (1st-100 free-43.73; 2nd-50 free-19.81) and Christian Harcsas (4th-200 back-1:45.54; 5th-100 back-48.94).

Women, Last Year at Texas Invitational
The ASU women shattered seven school records at last year's meet on their way to a fourth-place finish behind Texas, Stanford and Arizona. Five of those school records have since fallen, but Brooke Townsend's 500 free effort (4:45.09) and the 200 medley relay record (1:40.87) still stand. �gnes Kov�cs shone at last year's meet as a freshman, placing first in the 200 breast (2:07.98), third in the 100 breast (1:00.68), third in the 400 IM (4:11.68), and fifth in the 200 IM (2:01.27).

Diving Off To Strong Start
Freshman men's diver Joona Puhakka has won every event he's entered this year and leads a strong diving contingent for the Sun Devils. Both he and Thomas McCrummen have recorded NCAA qualifying standards in both the 1m and 3m diving events. On the women's side, Trisha Tumlinson has recorded NCAA standards in both the 1m and 3m events as well.

ASU, Last Time In The Pool
The men lost the battle against #6 USC 139-104 on November 22, in Los Angeles. Freshman diver Joona Puhakka swept the 1m and 3m diving events for the Sun Devils while Thomas McCrummen was second in the 1m. Nick Brunelli took first in the 100 free (45.08) and second in the 200 free (1:38.49), while Bobby Zaabadich saw his first action of the year and won the 50 free (20.55). Christian Harcsas won the 200 back for ASU (1:47.69) with his season-best time. The women lost to then #7 USC 174-125 on November 23. Claire Hedenskog doubled up for wins in the 50 free (23.54) and 100 free (50.95), both NCAA 'B' times. �gnes Kov�cs won the 200 breast (2:12.69) and 100 breast (1:02.07). Both times are NCAA 'A' automatic qualifying times and her 200 breast time is the fastest in the nation. She earned second in the 400 IM (4:17.31).

Up Next For The Sun Devils
The swimming and diving teams get a month off from competition, which will resume for the men on January 2, against Harvard at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center (time TBA). Two days later, the men and women will host Missouri and Wyoming at Mona Plummer at 12 p.m.

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