March 29, 2002
ATHENS, Ga. - For the second straight day Arizona State's men's swimming and diving team was led by the performances of two relay squads and one individual as the Sun Devils dropped from 12th to 14th-place at the NCAA Championships at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga., Friday.
With 62 points and one day remaining, the Sun Devils are in good position to claim ASU's eighth top-15 finish in nine years. The Sun Devils trail 13th-place Miami (64 points) by only two points, but have more than a 20-point advantage on 15th-place Wisconsin (41.5 points). Texas is leading the team competition with 376 points.
ASU's top finish of the day came in the final event, where sophomore Nick Brunelli, senior Gavin Meadows, senior Bo West and junior Anders Lyrbring combined to swim 6:29.55 and place 11th in the 800-yard freestyle relay, one spot ahead of intrastate rival Arizona, in at 6:30.87. ASU finished directly behind meet host Georgia, which swam 6:29.42 to place 10th. USC earned the NCAA event title, setting NCAA, U.S. Open and pool records in 6:17.35.
The 200y medley relay had similar results for ASU. A team of sophomore Ahmed Hussein, freshman Russell MacDonald, senior Simon MacDonald and Brunelli placed 13th in 1:28.75, one spot behind Georgia (1:28.70). Stanford won that event, setting a pool record in 1:25.47.
Meadows, who placed 13th in an unusual 200y freestyle, was ASU's only individual to make finals. Florida's Stephen Sioui won the championship final heat in 1:34.67 to claim the NCAA title, but it was Texas' Chris Kemp, who had missed qualifying for the championship final by two-hundredths of a second, who set a pool record. Swimming 1:34.41, Kemp swam the fastest time of the night in the consolation final, but was forced to endure a ninth-place overall finish.
In Meadows' 200y free prelim, the native of Leeds, England, dropped his personal best to 1:36.28, moving him past Christiano Michelena (1:36.30, 1993) into sixth on ASU's all-time list.
A powerful one-two punch in both backstroke events this season, junior Christian Harcsas and Hussein failed to make finals of the 100y back. Harcsas completed the prelim in 48.93 for 27th, while Hussein was four spots back with a 31st-place time of 49.40.
In the 100y butterfly, Simon MacDonald neared his season best in 48.47, but placed 33rd in prelims and did not advance. While in the 100y breaststroke, Russell MacDonald (no relation) swam 56.70 to finish in 41st place.
The NCAA Championships will conclude tomorrow with prelims and finals of the 1650y freestyle, 200y backstroke, 100y freestyle, 200y breaststroke, 200y butterfly, platform diving and 400y freestyle relay. ASU has entrants in the 200y back, 100y free and 400y free relay.
Day Two ASU FINALS:
200y Medley Relay: 13. ASU (Hussein, R. MacDonald, S. MacDonald, Brunelli), 1:28.75
200y Freestyle: 13. Meadows, 1:36.90
800y Freestyle Relay: 11. ASU (Brunelli, Meadows, West, Lyrbring), 6:29.55.
Day Two ASU PRELIMS:
200y Medley Relay: 13. ASU (Hussein, R. MacDonald, S. MacDonald, Brunelli), 1:29.08
100y Butterfly: 33. S. MacDonald, 48.47
200y Freestyle: 11. Meadows, 1:36.28, 31. Lyrbring, 1:38.56, 32. West, 1:38.66
100y Breaststroke: 41. R. MacDonald, 56.70
100y Backstroke: 27. Harcsas, 48.93, 31. Hussein, 49.40