March 29, 2003
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Arizona State Men's Swimming & Diving team finished in 11th place with 116.5 points as the 2003 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships wrapped up this evening at the Jamail Texas Swim Center. Junior Nick Brunelli led the Sun Devils on the final day with a fifth-place finish and a career best in the 100 freestyle.
This is the highest finish for the men since they finished 10th in 2000. This season, with the Sun Devil women finishing 10th at their championships last week, marks the first time since 1987 that both the men's and women's team have finished in the top-12 nationally.
Brunelli clocked a 43.34 in the 100 free preliminaries this morning to notch a then season best time and qualify for the championship final Saturday night. There he recorded a lifetime best 42.93 to finish in fifth place and become only the second Sun Devil in history to swim under 43 seconds in this event. He bettered his previous best time by over three-tenths of a second and now stands just under a tenth of a second shy of Francisco Sanchez's school record. Brunelli set personal best times this weekend in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle races.
In the 200 backstroke, senior Christian Harcsas swam a 1:43.81 in the prelims, a season-best, to place ninth in the trial session. He came back in tonight's round to win the consolation final in 1:44.17 and finish ninth overall. His trial time is faster than anyone else in Sun Devil history, but short of his own school record of 1:43.11.
Freshman David Kolozar followed Brunelli's lead and set a personal best in the 200 butterfly. His prelim time of 1:45.46 was a then career best that would not hold up for long. Swimming in tonight's consolation final, Kolozar touched in 1:45.16 to earn 11th place and put himself number two all-time in the Sun Devil record books for the 200 fly, trailing only Attila Czene at 1:44.49. Coming into the meet Kolozar's personal best was a 1:45.68 that he set three weeks ago at the Pac-10 Invitational; a time he bettered this evening by over a half a second.
In the final event of this year's championships, the 400 free relay took home 13th-place with a 2:57.30. The foursome of Brunelli, Bobby Zaabadich, Wiley Wallace and Ahmed Hussein set a season best of 2:56.45 in the prelims.
In the diving pool, Joona Puhakka took home 16th place in the platform competition today with a 413.05 in the preliminary session. Between his national title on the 1-meter, his third place finish on the 3-meter, and his finish on the platform, Puhakka tallied 37 points for the meet to tie for the 12th-highest scoring individual. Jayme Cramer and Randall Bal of Stanford also earned 37 points.
This ends the season for Arizona State. Select Sun Devil athletes-including Nick Brunelli, Christian Harcsas, Ahmed Hussein, and David Kolozar-will compete next week in the 2003 ConocoPhillips Spring National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.
The final top-20 team standing and top-12 individual finishes at the 2003 NCAAs are as follows:
1) AUBURN 609.5
2) TEXAS 413
3) STANFORD 374
4) CALIFORNIA 329
5) SOUTHERN CAL. 268
6) FLORIDA 232
7) MINNESOTA 228
8) ARIZONA 205
9) MICHIGAN 173.5
10) VIRGINIA 125
11) ARIZONA STATE 116.5
12) ALABAMA 115
13) WISCONSIN 105
14) GEORGIA 104
15) TEXAS A&M 90
16) TENNESSEE 86
17) KENTUCKY 70
18) LOUISIANA STATE 58
19) PRINCETON 43
20) SOUTH CAROLINA 31
1) VENDT, ERIK SR SOUTHERN CAL. 57
2) BOUSQUET, FRED SO AUBURN 48
2) MOSS, CLAYTON SR KENTUCKY 48
4) MELLOULI, OUS FR SOUTHERN CAL. 45
4) HANSEN, BRENDAN JR TEXAS 45
6) PEIRSOL, AARON FR TEXAS 44
7) LOCHTE, RYAN FR FLORIDA 42
7) KEMP, CHRIS SR TEXAS 42
9) GARCIA, CAESAR JR AUBURN 41.5
10) MARGALIS, ROBERT SO GEORGIA 39
11) VANDERKAAY, PETER FR MICHIGAN 38
12) PUHAKKA, JOONA FR ARIZONA STATE 37
12) CRAMER, JAYME SO STANFORD 37
12) BAL, RANDALL SR STANFORD 37