Sun Devil Swim & Dive Splits With No. 20/16 Wisconsin in Home Opener
TEMPE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Swim and Dive split the home opener against No. 20/16 Wisconsin on Saturday at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, as nine different swimmers tallied individual victories.
The No. 5 Men, propelled by an opening stretch in which they won the first nine swimming events, thumped the No. 20 Badgers, 183-112.
Sophomore sensation Léon Marchand went a perfect 3-for-3 in individual events – the second consecutive meet he's done so – by winning the 100 breast, 200 back and 400 IM. He also was a member of the Sun Devils' winning 400 medley relay team, alongside Jack Dolan, Grant House and Patrick Sammon.
Marchand's best work came in the 400 IM – his final race of the contest – in which he won by more than 17 seconds. He touched the wall at 3:41.59 before the Wisconsin runner-up finished next at 3:58.94.
Grant House added a pair of individual victories in the 100 and 200 free, and Max McCusker – one of 26 Sun Devils competing at home for the first time – took both the 50 free and 100 fly.
The Sun Devil Women were bested by the No. 16 Badgers, 187-111, but were powered by a handful of strong individual performances. Jade Foelske won the 200 fly and nearly took the 100 fly. She was runner-up in the latter event, edged out by less than a half-second, and ended the afternoon with a third-place effort in the 400 IM.
Sophomores Emma Gehlert and Charli Brown added victories in the 200 breast and 400 IM, respectively. Gehlert was also second in the 100 breast; Brown took second in the 100 back.
Foelske and Lindsay Looney – a tag-team of sorts for the Sun Devil Women – were at it again on Saturday. When Foelske took the 200 fly at 1:59.09, Looney was right behind, taking second at 1:59.82.
Amayah Wiley turned in a pair of solid efforts that netted her two second-place finishes.
She scored a 215.55 in the 1-meter and a 233.5 in the 3-meter.
Junior walk-on Ashlyn Kirsch made both her Sun Devil and collegiate debut on Saturday, also competing in the 1-meter (171.60) and 3-meter (214.65).
Zachory Lundgren led the way for Sun Devil Men's Dive, tallying two second-place efforts in the 1-meter (276.83) and 3-meter (303.30). Thomas Wesche rounded out the top-three in the 3-meter, as he scored 303.30.
Freshmen Lane Stallworth and Caleb Liban also made their collegiate debuts, competing in both the 1-meter and 3-meter.
- The school's record-holder in the 200 fly, Alex Colson won the event on Saturday by a near three-second margin.
- Natalia Fryckowska took second in the 50 free and was just .14 removed from Wisconsin's eventual winner.
- Freshman Owen McDonald netted the first win of his Sun Devil career, as he was triumphant in the 100 back. Head coach Bob Bowman made it his mission to shore up the team's backstroke efforts this season, and the arrival of the rookie McDonald has done just that in the early going.
- Freshman Indigo Armon finished right behind Fryckowska in the 50 free, earning her first top-three finish of her collegiate career.
- Ieva Maluka and Erin Milligan went two-and-three, respectively, in the 100 free. After two top-three finishes in the opening weekend against Georgia and Missouri, Maluka was impressive once more on Saturday.
- Sun Devil alum Mikael Orn served as today's honorary captain, and was recognized prior to the meet in the team's Stomp The Bus tradition. Orn was a four-year All-American and is a member of the Sun Devils' Hall of Fame. He also helped save the team in 2009.
Today's honorary captain Mikael Orn led the pre-meet Stomp The Bus ??
A member of the Sun Devils Hall of Fame, Orn was a four-year All-American and helped save the team in 2009. pic.twitter.com/oAnK6m3U8z
— Sun Devil Swim/Dive (@ASUSwimDive) October 22, 2022
The Sun Devils are in action next when they head to California to kick off conference play on November 4 (at USC) and 5 (Women's only at UCLA).
They won't return to the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center until early 2023, when they host a trio of Pac-12 foes beginning with January 14 (Women's only vs. Washington State).