Sun Devil Men's Swim Places Third at Pac-12 Championships For Best Finish in 27 Years
SEATTLE – For the first time since 1995, the Sun Devils are walking away from the Pac-12 Men's Swimming Championships with a top-three finish.
From the start, the Sun Devils seemed poised for their finest showing at the conference championships in the Bob Bowman era. They kicked off the meet with an 800 free relay win on Day 1 – the first time winning that event in 31 years – and, over the next three nights, would go on to win four more races while setting 17 new school records.
1. California University,Berkeley 853.5
2. Stanford University 760
3. Arizona State University 652
4. Southern California, University 449
5. University of Arizona 423.5
6. Utah, University of 264
On the fourth and final day of competition, freshman Léon Marchand stole the show once again. He won the 200 breast on Saturday night, dethroning Cal's reigning two-time Pac-12 Champion Reece Whitley, with a time of 1:50.39. It's the fourth-fastest time in the nation and the best time in ASU history.
Marchand initially broke the school's 200 breast record of 1:53.54, set by Christian Lorenz in 2017 in the morning preliminary session when he clocked in at 1:52.97. Hours later, he upped the ante once more in the evening finals session, setting a new program-best.
Because of his efforts this week in Seattle, racking up three individual titles plus the relay win, Marchand was named the Men's Swimmer of the Meet.
Head coach Bob Bowman: "I couldn't be prouder of our guys! They are fully invested in our system and culture and we are just beginning to see what they can do.
"Congrats to Léon for his Swimmer of the Meet honor and to our 400 free relay for posting the 5th fastest time in history. We are now fully focussed on preparations for the NCAA Championships in 17 days."
1? Relay Win ??
3? Individual Titles ??
The 2022 Men's Swimmer of the Meet: Léon Marchand, @ASUSwimDive ??#ForksUp | #Pac12Swim pic.twitter.com/WAkJ9i7UXg
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) March 6, 2022
On Saturday night, the Sun Devils got after it early and often. It began with Gordon Mason going a program-best 14:50.70 in the 1650 free to place third. A trio of Mason's teammates – Jack Little (6th), Dylan Gravley (11th) and Lleyton Plattel (12th) – weren't far behind.
Grant House, another piece of the puzzle to the Sun Devils' success this week, placed second in the 100 free at 41.82, then a school record. He'd go on to set a new mark, 41.77, when he led off the 400 free relay. House, Carter Swift and Cody Bybee finished within the top-five of the 100 free, with Swift and Bybee placing fourth-and-fifth, respectively.
The Sun Devils would add another pair of top-five finishes in the 200 fly. Alex Colson placed second (1:40.28), setting another ASU record, a night after breaking the school's 100 fly mark. Andrew Gray tied for fifth, touching the wall at 1:41.70.
They'd conclude the night, and the meet as a whole, with a thrilling 400 free relay, racing to one of the top times in history in which they were bested by the Golden Bears by one-hundredth of a second.
Only fitting that the final event of the meet is a thriller.
Sun Devils' 400 free relay team of House-Swift-Dolan-Marchand set a new school record at 2:45.95 ?? pic.twitter.com/D7XmS3n3rC
— Sun Devil Swim/Dive (@ASUSwimDive) March 6, 2022
The Sun Devils' finish ahead of in-state rival Arizona also earns them a point in the Territorial Cup series, extending their lead to 5.5-4.5. To view updated standings for the 2021-22 series, visit here.
NEW SCHOOL RECORDS ON DAY 4
1650 free, Gordon Mason (14:50.70)
100 free, Grant House (41.77 in leadoff of 400 free relay)
200 breast, Léon Marchand (1:50.39)
200 fly, Alex Colson (1:40.28)
400 free relay, House-Swift-Dolan-Marchand
Entering this week, the Sun Devils had two individual Pac-12 Champions of the Bowman era (Zach Poti, 2020, and Cameron Craig, 2017 & 2018). They've doubled that this week alone, with the trio of Marchand wins and another by House.
The No. 7 ranked Men's swim team will spend the next 17 days grinding away for the NCAA Championships, held March 23-26 in Atlanta.
The Men's Diving team, composed of Zachory Lundgren and Thomas Wesche, will participate in the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships at the Wall Aquatic Center in Flagstaff from March 7-9.
TOP-THREE SUN DEVIL MEN'S SWIMMING PAC-12 FINISHES