No. 15/20 Sun Devil Swim Sets Four New Records, Finishes in Top-Five at NC State Invite
GREENSBORO, NC -- For the third consecutive day, the Sun Devils broke multiple school records and packed the top of the leaderboards in various races at the NC State Invitational. On Saturday, both Sun Devil squads closed out the three-day competition with top-five finishes in the team rankings, serving as the exclamation point to a historic week.
The No. 15 men's team finished second amongst seven schools competing in just swimming. Host NC State led all weekend, and staved off the Sun Devils, 2,207-1,654.
The No. 20 women's squad closed out the week with a fifth-place finish after earning 980 points.
The theme of the week in Greensboro was the rewriting of the record books, as the Sun Devils would end up setting 10 total records over the span of the three days of competition.
Léon Marchand will leave Greensboro as the new owner of program-best times in three separate events. He set records this week in the 200 IM, the 400 IM and the 200 fly. He captured the record in the latter event on Saturday evening when he won the event at 1:40.86.
Had it not been for Marchand's first-place finish in the 200 fly, the record would've been set by fellow Sun Devil Alex Colson, who added a second-place finish with his time of 1:41.38. Both Marchand and Colson's times in the 200 fly bested Patrick Park's record of 1:42.83, which was set in 2016.
Marchand was also a member of the 800 free relay team on Friday that broke the school record in that event, along with Grant House, Carter Swift and Julian Hill.
Emma Nordin, who won the 200, 500 and 1650 free races this week, set a new program record for the 1000 and 1650 free on Saturday.
In the 1650 free, Nordin touched the wall at 15:47.15, good for the fastest time in school history. In the same race, she had a 9:30 split at the 1000 yard mark, which also broke the 1000 free record by five seconds.
HOW IT HAPPENED SATURDAY
The heroics of Marchand, Nordin and Colson helped the Sun Devils reach top-five finishes for both the men and women's team, but it was the supporting cast that proved how deep Bob Bowman's program runs.
Freestyler Gordon Mason finished second in the 1650 free at 14:53.88, which qualified for an invitation to the 2022 NCAA Championships.
The Sun Devils also got a big boost from its 400 free relay squad of Jack Dolan, Swift, Cody Bybee and House, as the foursome teamed up to finish at 2:47.43.
Steady as ever, House and Swift consistently packed the top of the leaderboards all week in Greensboro. That remained true on Saturday night, when the two added second-and third-place finishes in the 100 free, respectively.
DIFFERENT DAY, SAME SCHLICHT
Leading up to the beginning of the regular season, head coach Bob Bowman had praised the addition of David Schlicht -- the savvy, multi-faceted swimmer who had a fourth-place finish at last spring's NCAA Championships -- and the immediate impact he'd have on the program upon his arrival.
Schlicht was solid all week long in Greensboro, earning podium finishes each day of competition. He finished third in the 200 IM on Thursday, second in the 400 IM on Friday and second in the 200 breast on Saturday.
The Sun Devils had 10 swimmers qualify for an A-cut final on Saturday evening.
Swift and House had podium finishes in the 100 free, Colson won the 200 fly and Schlicht and Jarod Arroyo finished second and sixth, respectively, in the 200 breast.
Erin Milligan and Nora Deleske added top finishes in the 100 free and 200 breast, respectively, to qualify for the evening A-cut finals. Linday Looney also qualified for the A-cut final of the 200 fly.
Head coach Bob Bowman: "We capped off a great meet with some very fast swimming tonight. Emma Nordin broke team records in both the 1000 and 1650 distances. Gordon Mason swam a sensational mile turn, which will earn an invitation to NCAAs.
"Leon won the 200 fly in a team record and Alex Colson also broke the record in finishing second. Our 400 free relays were fantastic and set us up well for the championship meets in the spring. Now we need to get back to work so we can build on this very good performance and continue our forward momentum."