Oct. 26, 1999
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State men's and women's swimming and diving teams jump into the pool for their first dual meets of the season Saturday, Oct. 30 at 2:00 p.m. at UNLV's Buchanan Natatorium. In addition to a showdown between the Sun Devils and Rebels, UNLV will compete against the University of Arizona. ASU will not have its times scored against the Wildcats.
Arizona State and UNLV squared off on Oct. 31, 1998 at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in Tempe, with the ASU men's and women's teams both emerging as victors. The Sun Devil men prevailed 161-76 as Francisco Sanchez and Matt Carter each won two events. On the women's side, Casey Murphy's victories in the 100 and 1000 freestyle helped propell her squad past the Rebels 161-80.
The 1999-2000 Sun Devils
Talent abounds for the Arizona State swimming and diving teams in 1999-2000. Six All-Americans return from last year's men's squad which placed 16th at the NCAA Championships, including versatile senior Pablo Abal. Add in a crop of recruits featuring 1996 Olympic silver medalist Anders Lyrbring, and the Devils appear poised to join collegiate swimming's elite. Sophomore Riley Mants, who finished fourth at the NCAA's in the 200 breaststroke, is among four returning All-American women. Mark Bradshaw guides much deeper diving teams this year which features NCAA participants Allan Sonkin and Trish Malatesta, who garnered an All-American selection last year.
Practice Makes Perfect
The Devils had two tune-ups for Saturday's inaugural meet of the 1999-2000 season. An intersquad pentathalon was held at Mona Plummer on Oct. 8 which saw junior Otto Hinks and senior Carolyn Adel, a bronze medalist at the 1999 Pan American Games, post the highest cumulative scores. On Oct. 15, a number of impressive times were recorded during an intersquad dual meet, including Mants' 200 breast time of 2:17.73 which was just above the NCAA Championship consideration standard.
Head Coach Michael Chasson
For the first time in program history, Arizona State swimming enters a season with its men's and women's teams united under one coaching staff. Michael Chasson, who was hired in May of 1998 to mentor the Sun Devil men, took control of the women's program midway through last season and guided ASU to a 23rd place national finish. Chasson came to Tempe with impressive credentials, having led the Harvard men's team to six Eastern Seaboard Championships.
Nevada-Las Vegas, under the direction of Head Coach Jim Reitz, is in its first year as a member of the newly-formed Mountain West Conference after spending the past three seasons in the Western Athletic Conference. At the 1999 WAC Championships, UNLV's men's team placed sixth while the Rebel women finished fifth. The women's squad appears much-improved this season with the likes of former WAC Freshman of the Year Dana Penn and redshirt freshman Lorena Diaconescu, who won two gold medals at last summer's World University Games.