ASU Begins the 2006-07 Regular Season Friday Against UNLV

Oct. 19, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. -

Led by three returning All-Americans and six NCAA qualifiers, Arizona State University's men's and women's swimming and diving teams are set to kick-start the 2006-07 regular season in dual meet action versus UNLV on Friday, Oct. 20 (5 p.m., Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex). 


The season-opening meet is the swimming and diving `Gold Game' meet for the season, taking place among ASU's campus-wide homecoming festivities. Also, the Sun Devils' showdown with the Rebels will be featured as's College Dual Meet of the Week.


The swimmers, led by ninth-year head coach Michael Chasson, and the divers, guided by 10th-year head coach Mark Bradshaw look to build upon last year's dual meet records of 2-7 for the men and 3-8 for the women.


ASU's men's and women's squads will each rely upon a steady mixture of established veterans and talented newcomers, highlighted by junior Caitlin Andrew (San Antonio, Texas) for the women and junior Lucas Azevedo (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) for the men. Both Andrew and Azevedo submitted impressive performances in ASU's Maroon and Gold Inter-squad and Pentathlon meets and also led their respective sides last season, as both earned All-America honors and competed at the NCAA Championships. Andrew finished as the national runner-up last season in the 100 butterfly and is the ASU record holder in the 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly.


Sophomore Amy Konowalik (Derby, England) returns after qualifying for the NCAA Championships as a freshman last season for the women's team, as does sophomore Jen Beckberger (Ajax, Ontario), joined by a talented group of incoming freshmen and transfers.


The Sun Devils' men's team also returns sophomore Gal Nevo (Kibbutz Hamadia, Israel)  and junior CJ Nuess (Medical Lake, Wash.), both of whom competed at the NCAA Championships last season. Nevo made an instant impact, joining the team midway through the season and set school records in the 1650 free and the 400 IM, en route to All-America honors in both events. Nuess finished fifth in the 400 IM at the Pac-10 Conference Championships, and holds ASU's third-fastest time in school history in that event.


Sophomore Erin Hobbs (Calgary, Alberta) returns after competing at last year's NCAA championships, as does experienced senior Cassidy Farwell (Glendale, Calif.), leading the way for ASU's women's diving squad.


Redshirt freshman Micky Benedetti (Rome, Italy) and sophomore Billy Sweeney (Tempe, Ariz.) combine to form the new face of ASU's men's diving team, following the departures of NCAA qualifier Brant Bingham (Mesa, Ariz.) and four-time NCAA Champion and 2005 NCAA Diver of the Year Joona Puhakka (Kerava, Finland).



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