Swimming & Diving Travels Back To Texas

Jan. 29, 2003

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This Week
The Arizona State Swimming and Diving team (No. 13 men, No. 16 women) ventures to Austin, Texas for the second time this season after both the men's and women's squads took fifth in their respective divisions at the Texas Invitational in December. The teams will take on host Texas (No. 5 men, No. 7 women) and Southern Methodist (No. 6 women) this weekend. Competition at the Jamail Swim Center begins Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at noon local time.

The Polls
The CSCAA released its fifth poll of the season on January 16. The ASU men fell one spot to 13th while the women moved up to 16th. For the complete poll, visit www.cscaa.org, or see the complete version of this release.

ASU vs. Texas
The Sun Devil men have competed more regularly against the Longhorns in dual meet competition, with the women only going head-to-head with Texas twice since the 1980s. The Longhorns have come up with victories against the Sun Devils in the last two dual meetings, which were last season and the 1999-2000 season, both times in Tucson. Last year, Texas won over the ASU men 188.5-153.5 and the women 156-91, while in '99-'00, the advantages for the Longhorns were 206-147 on the men's side and 190.5-162.5 for the women. The men's teams have clashed six times in the last 16 seasons with the Sun Devils owning two wins in that period.

ASU vs. Southern Methodist
The Mustangs and the Sun Devils are not frequent opponents, although the Sun Devil men did compete in the Dallas Morning News Classic earlier this month--which is hosted by SMU-- where ASU finished fourth and SMU finished sixth. In the past 16 years, the Sun Devil men and women have only encountered the Mustangs in dual or tri-meet situations on two occasions apiece. The men went head-to-head with SMU last during the 1994-95 season, with SMU prevailing in a close meet, 131-112. ASU's women have not seen Southern Methodist in a head-to-head situation since the 1989-90 campaign, when the Mustangs outscored the Devils 162-148 in a tri-meet with Bowling Green, who finished third. You have to go back to the 1986-87 season for the last time the full squads competed against each other. That year the Sun Devils swept the proceedings, as the men won 136-94 and the women triumphed 128-112.

ASU, Last Time In The Pool
The Sun Devils are coming off of last weekend's competition against the northern California schools, all ranked in the national top ten. The women lost battles with the No. 9 Cal Bears (166-131) and the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal (159-141), while the men fell to No. 3 Cal (178.50-121.50) and No. 1 Stanford (156-119). The women won seven events in each meet and nearly knocked off one of the best teams in the nation on Saturday against Stanford. Against the Golden Bears, Trisha Tumlinson broke her own school record on the 1m springboard (296.70) and won two events. The meet against Stanford was not decided until the final event of the day, and the Sun Devils won all the freestyle events except the 200. ASU recorded a 1-2-3 sweep in the 50 free with Claire Hedenskog, Florence Mauro and Erin Baldinger taking the top three spots. The men had Joona Puhakka and Thomas McCrummen finish 1-2 in both diving events versus Cal, while Christian Harcsas and Ahmed Hussein grabbed the top two spots in the 200 back. Top-ranked Stanford controlled the men's meet on Saturday with the Sun Devils getting first place finishes from Nick Brunelli (100 free) and Joona Puhakka (1m & 3m diving).

Sun Devils Nationally
Several swimmers have recorded times that are among the nation's best. For the men, Nick Brunelli is eighth nationally in the 50 free (20.11), fifth in the 100 free (43.87), and second in the 200 free (1:36.55). Bobby Zaabadich is fifth in the 50 free (20.01), while Christian Harcsas is sixth in the 100 back (48.42) and third in the 200 back (1:43.82). The 200 free relay (1:20.03) is the second-fastest in the NCAA, along with the 400 free relay (2:58.27) in sixth and the 200 medley relay (1:29.52) in eighth . For the women, �gnes Kov�cs leads the way as she is second nationally in the 100 breast (59.92), second in the 200 breast (2:09.90), and third in the 200 IM (1:58.13). The 400 free relay (3:20.14) is fourth-fastest in the nation, along with the 800 free relay (7:23.50) in eighth, the 200 medley relay (1:42.38) in ninth and the 400 medley relay (3:42.47) in eighth.

Steffensen Joins Women
Sandra Steffensen (Trelleborg, Sweden) is a sprint and middle distance freestyler who joined the team at the semester break and has already had an impact for the Sun Devils. Steffensen placed fourth at the 2002 Swedish Senior Nationals in the 400m free, and at the 2000 Senior Swedish Nationals she was third in the 400m free and second in the 800m free. She has been a member of three Swedish record-setting relay teams, and her 2001 400m relay team recorded the second best club time in the world. She has won four races through her first three meets as a Sun Devil, including victories in the 500 free in each of those meets. 'Sandra is one of the best short-course meters swimmers in the world,' says Sun Devil head swimming coach Mike Chasson. 'She'll help us immediately at the NCAA level and help our freestyle relays across the board. She is a big addition to our team.'

Up Next For The Sun Devils
The team gets a weekend off from competition and then heads south to Tucson for a matchup with Arizona on Saturday, February 15 at noon.

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