No. 21 Men's Swimming and Diving Places Fifth at 2007 Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 25, 2007


After showcasing the conference 400 individual medley champion, recording 23 total NCAA consideration times and boasting seven finishes among the school's all-time top-10 in a variety of strokes, No. 21 Arizona State University closed out the four-day 2007 Pacific-10 Men's Swimming Championships Saturday, placing fifth overall with 372 points.


No. 21 Arizona State University began the four-day event Wednesday in Federal Way, Wash. with a pair of impressive, season-best relay performances in the championship rounds of the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays.


The relay consisting of sophomore Gal Nevo, junior Lucas Azevedo, sophomore Sean Boyle and sophomore Mohammed Madwa completed the 800 freestyle relay in an overall time of 6:37.69, a time merely .03 seconds from being worthy of NCAA Championship consideration. The time earned ASU a fifth-place Pac-10 finish in the event and it also stands as the fastest in the 800 freestyle relay finish of the 2006-07 season by the Sun Devils, improving upon the time set by the relay consisting of junior CJ Nuess, Azevedo, sophomore Sean Boyle and Nevo, which occurred at the University of Texas Invitational in December.    


Nevo opened the relay by swimming the first 200 yards in 1:39.88, while Azevedo followed by swimming the second leg in 1:39.08.  Boyle ignited the Sun Devils' effort by swimming the team's fastest leg of the relay, completing his 200 yards in 1:37.32.  Madwa anchored the relay, and capped off the event for ASU by touching in 1:41.31.


The Sun Devils also swam an ASU season-best time in the 200 medley relay, as the combination of freshman Ante Cvitkovic, junior John Dwelley, sophomore Magnus Kjellberg and junior Steve Neuwert finished the event in a total time of 1:29.82, only .71 seconds away from earning an NCAA qualifying standard for the relay. The performance placed the Sun Devils fifth overall in the conference and broke the previous season-best time set by the relay consisting of Cvitkovic, junior Will Weeks, Boyle and Neuwert, which the team swam against Stanford in ASU's final home meet of the season.


Cvitkovic began the medley relay with a time of 22.60 in his 50 backstroke yards, while Dwelley completed his breaststroke leg in 25.55.  Kjellberg surged ahead with a time of 21.48 swimming the butterfly leg, while Neuwert sped to the finish, swimming the final 50 freestyle of the relay in 20.19.


With day two of the 2007 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Swimming Championships in the books, ASU showcased seven total NCAA consideration times as well as a pair of top-10 school record finishes in the 50 freestyle and two strong individual and relay championship round performances.


ASU began its freestyle success when junior CJ Nuess recorded an NCAA consideration time in the finals round of the 500 freestyle, finishing fifth overall, touching in 4:24.38.  Earlier in the day, the Medical Lake, Wash. native earned his way into the event's finals round by recording an NCAA `B' time in the preliminary round, giving Nuess two such national marks for the day.


Junior Lucas Azevedo also impressed as a contributor in the `B' finals bracket of the 500 free, as did sophomore Brandon Pierson in the event's `C' finals round.


Junior Steve Neuwert led the way for ASU in the 50 freestyle `B' bracket finals round, with an excellent time of 19.81, which stands as the sixth-fastest time in the event in Sun Devil history, is the fastest 50 freestyle time by a Sun Devil this season and also earns Neuwert an NCAA consideration mark.  The Perth, Australia native also earned an NCAA `B' time in the 50 freestyle preliminary round, finishing in 20.17. Overall, Neuwert enjoyed as remarkable a finals round as any swimmer in the event, posting the third-fastest 50 freestyle time among all competitors in the `A', `B' and `C' brackets.


Magnus Kjellberg also enjoyed a phenomenal day, recording the 10th-fastest 50 freestyle time in Sun Devil history during the event's preliminary round, touching in an NCAA `B' time of 20.15.   The sophomore from Stockholm, Sweden also excelled in the finals round of the `B' bracket, completing the event in 20.36.


Sophomore Mohammed Madwa improved upon his preliminary round time as a competitor in the `C' final group, finishing the 50 freestyle in a personal ASU career-best time of 20.63.


Neuwert earned his third 50 freestyle NCAA consideration time of the day leading off ASU's 200 freestyle relay, which also earned a collective NCAA `B' time, finishing in 1:20.29, placing the Sun Devils fifth overall in the Pac-10 in the event.  


Neuwert kickstarted the relay by swimming the opening leg in 20.09, followed by Kjellberg, who scorched the lanes during the second leg, completing his portion in 19.78.  Madwa would follow, completing the third leg in 20.33, while freshman Ante Cvitkovic anchored the relay, touching in 20.09, wrapping up ASU's excellent relay performance.


The Sun Devils earned an additional NCAA consideration time from sophomore Gal Nevo, who recorded a `B' cut time in the `B' finals bracket of the 200 IM, finishing the event in 1:49.14.  Nevo, who ranks fifth all-time at ASU in the 200 IM, was joined Thursday evening in the event by junior John Dwelley and freshman Max Laney, both of whom competed in the 200 IM `C' finals bracket.


As day three of the 2007 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Swimming Championships concluded, sophomore Gal Nevo led the way for the No. 21 Sun Devils, winning the Pac-10 Championship in the 400 individual medley, achieving two of eight NCAA consideration times the team showcased during the day.


Nevo, ASU's all-time record holder in the 400 IM, won the Pac-10 Championship by completing the finals round in 3:47.50, an NCAA `B' qualifying time. By capturing the 400 IM crown, Nevo becomes the first Sun Devil to do so since Cameron Reid was the Pac-10 400 IM champion in 1983.  Nevo also recorded an NCAA `B' mark in the event's preliminary round, finishing in a time of 3:50.07.


Following Nevo and helping ASU dominate the finals round of the 400 IM was junior CJ Nuess, who placed second overall, touching in 3:48.43, a career-best time for Nuess in the event and the second-fastest 400 IM in Sun Devil history behind Nevo's record which was set last season. The Medical Lake, Wash. native earned NCAA consideration times for his excellent performances in both the 400 IM preliminary and finals rounds.


After swimming the third-fastest 100 backstroke in ASU history in the event's preliminary round, freshman Ante Cvitkovic returned Friday night for a second impressive performance, placing fourth overall in the Pac-10 in the 100 backstroke finals, touching in 48.17.  Similar to Nevo and Nuess, Cvitkovic earned NCAA `B' marks for his time in the preliminary and finals rounds. Also, Cvitkovic swam the third-fastest 100 backstroke in ASU history during the event's preliminary round, finishing in 47.95.


Cvitkovic and Nuess would later join sophomore Magnus Kjellberg and junior Steve Neuwert in comprising ASU's top 400 medley relay, which recorded an NCAA consideration time of 3:17.28, which placed the Sun Devils fourth overall in the event's final standings. Cvitkovic began the relay in excellent fashion for the Sun Devils, recording an NCAA consideration time during the first 100 backstroke yards of the relay, concluding his leg in 48.39.


Also adding to ASU's overall scoring were the consolation bonus round performances  by junior Jacob Fischer (400 IM), Kjellberg (100 fly), Sean Boyle (200 free), freshman Max Laney (100 backstroke), as well as `C' finals round contributions from junior Lucas Azevedo and sophomore Mohammed Madwa (200 free) and junior John Dwelley (100 fly).


As the fourth and final day of the 2007 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Swimming Championships concluded Saturday, No. 21 Arizona State University closed out the annual event by collecting eight NCAA consideration times while three swimmers found their way into the Sun Devil record books.


The most impressive series of performances of the day belonged to the Sun Devils' overall effort in the 1650 freestyle, with junior CJ Nuess leading the way.  Nuess recorded a career-best finish of 15:09.34, placing him seventh-all time at ASU in the event. The Medical Lake, Wash. native placed third overall in the conference and also earned an NCAA consideration mark for his finish.

Junior Lucas Azevedo and sophomore Gal Nevo followed soon behind Nuess, enabling ASU to showcase three of the top-10 finishers in the 1650 freestyle.

Continuing ASU's impressive freestyle performances was sophomore Magnus Kjellberg, who recorded an NCAA consideration time while competing in the consolation bonus round of the 100 free, touching in 43.80. For the second time during the week, Kjellberg entered the Sun Devil record books, as his time ranks as the seventh-fastest in school history. The Stockholm, Sweden native also entered ASU's top-10 in the 50 free earlier in the week. Kjellberg's impressive finals round capped-off an excellent day, as he attained two total NCAA `B' marks during the 100 freestyle preliminary and finals rounds.

Junior Steve Neuwert joined Kjellberg as recipients of NCAA consideration times in the 100 free, doing so in the event's preliminary round.


Kjellberg and Neuwert were later joined by freshman Ante Cvitkovic and sophomore Sean Boyle, comprising ASU's 400 freestyle relay which finished fourth overall and posted an NCAA consideration time, touching in 2:57.21.  Neuwert also achieved an NCAA `B' cut for his leadoff time, completing his 100 yard freestyle in 43.99, which is the fastest 100 freestyle time of his young ASU career and the tenth-fastest time in the event in Sun Devil history.


After a remarkable day swimming backstroke on Friday, Cvitkovic returned Saturday to provide a pair of impressive performances in the 200 backstroke.  Cvitkovic achieved a pair of NCAA `B' times during the event's preliminary and finals rounds, touching in 1:46.88 in the consolation finals and 1:47.06 in the preliminary round.


Also returning for finals round action Saturday evening were freshman Max Laney (200 back), sophomore Brandon Pierson (200 back), junior Will Weeks (200 breast) and junior John Dwelley (200 fly).


Saturday wraps up the 2007 Pac-10 Conference Men's Swimming Championships, and ASU swimming and diving will next look to the 2007 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, to be held from March 15-17 in Minneapolis, Minn.


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