Sun Devil Swim & Dive Welcomes Utah For Final Home Meet of Season
TEMPE, Ariz. — The last time Bob Bowman's Sun Devils were in action, they were lighting up the NC State Invite, rewriting the program record books and slamming the door on the first half of the 2021-22 season with a historic outing in Greensboro.
Nearly two months later, the Sun Devils are set to resume competition on Friday, January 14, at 3:00 p.m., when they welcome the Utah Utes to town for the final home meet of the regular season. The meet will serve as the team's Senior Day, in which 18 seniors will be recognized beginning at 2:20 p.m.
Fans can tune into the meet via the ASU Live Stream broadcast here.
RECAPPING THE FIRST HALF
Prior to the start of the season, both Sun Devil swimming squads were ranked inside the CSCAA's Top 25 preseason polls. Bowman, the program's seventh-year head coach, hinted in the offseason that the Sun Devils boasted the kind of talent, depth and leadership that's required in a deep postseason run. They wasted little time in proving just that.
The women's squad (2-1), ranked No. 16 in the country per SwimSwam, jumped out to an early 2-0 start with comfortable wins over Pac-12 foes Washington State and USC. Both ASU teams were defeated by the USC Trojans in early November, the season opener for the men's team.
Both the men's and women's teams made a late-November push at the NC State Invite that skyrocketed the program up national rankings. In a three-day stretch, 10 school records were shattered. Several Sun Devils posted times that are currently the fastest in the nation – Grant House (200 free), Léon Marchand (200 & 400 IM), Emma Nordin (1000 & 1650 free).
The men's team (0-1) was rewarded with a No. 6 ranking by the CSCAA in its December polls, marking the highest in program history.
The Sun Devils will end the regular season with a three-week stretch that consists of four meets, the final three all on the road (at Stanford, California and Arizona). But first, a date with the Utes on Friday in Tempe.
PREVIEWING THE UTES
Utah is coming off a terrific showing at the Big Al Invitational, hosted by Princeton University in early December, in which both its men's (1-3) and women's team (1-2) took home first place.
The Utes, guided by ninth-year head coach Joe Dykstra, have displayed a potent attack in long distance free events this season. At the Big Al Invitational, they placed three in the top-10 in the 1650 free event (Jackson Cunningham and Nick and Dylan Becker). On the women's side, freshmen Marlene Sandberg and Taylor Kabacy finished first and second, respectively, in the 1650 free.
At last year's NCAA Championships, Andrew Britton, Cooper DeRyk, Andrei Ungur and Finn O'Haimhirgin teamed up for a second-team All-American performance in the 200 medley relay. Their time of 1:24.15 earned a new school record en route to a top-15 finish nationally. All four returned this season.
Last spring, Utah's women's squad rolled to its highest finish at the conference championship since joining the Pac-12, placing fifth.
Like the Sun Devils, the Utes have an abundance of young talent, boasting 22 underclassmen on the women's roster.
The Utes returned Luke McDivitt this season, an All-American a year ago after he was the school's first Pac-12 platform diving champion.
UTAH-KIN' TO ME?
The Sun Devils are perfect in three tries against the Utes since head coach Bob Bowman's arrival in 2015 (wins in 2019, 2017 and 2016).
The schools haven't met since 2019, and the Utes haven't visited Tempe since October 27, 2017.