Nov. 17, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State's 13th-ranked men's swimming and diving team took first-place points in nine events Saturday to upset No. 3 USC (0-3) by the score of 162-138 at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, earning their first dual meet win over the Trojans since 1992.
Nick Brunelli, a sophomore All-American out of Mansfield, Mass., led the way for ASU with first-place finishes in the 50-yard (20.46) and 100y (44.78) freestyle events. Brunelli also played a hand in both of the Sun Devils' victorious relays, anchoring the 200y medley team to a 1:30.65, before swimming the opening leg for the 400y free relay team that touched the wall in 2:59.39.
The Sun Devils got a healthy boost from their diving contingent, which capitalized on Trojan injuries to gain a 26-point edge in the springboard events. Sophomore Gordon Blukis was the leader in both the 1-meter (303.97) and 3-meter (288.90) dives.
Another area of success for ASU was the backstroke events. In the 100y back, sophomore Ahmed Hussein touched the wall in a season-best of 50.08, to edge USC's Jeff Lee in 50.16, while junior Christian Harcsas took third for ASU in 50.35.
Then in the 200y back, Harcsas, who used his redshirt season last year, had a coming out party with a first-place 1:47.10, becoming the sixth-fastest swimmer in ASU history in that event. With Hussein just behind him in 1:47.20, the Sun Devils picked up 13 points plus two NCAA 'B' qualifying times.
Although suffering its second loss in two days, USC was not without its moments of glory Saturday. In the 1000y free, junior Erik Vendt lapped the entire field to finish in 8:53.66, which is believed to be a Mona Plummer Aquatic Center pool record and the fastest collegiate time in that event this year. Vendt later grabbed first-place honors in the 400y individual medley, in 3:53.55.
ASU's other individual event winner was senior Simon MacDonald, who clocked in at 56.98 for the 100y breaststroke.
The Sun Devils are off from competition next week as they look ahead to the prestigious Texas Invitational, which run November 30 through December 2, from Austin, Texas.
Complete results available in PDF format.