October 27, 1998
Arizona State vs New Mexico State * Oct. 30 * 3 p.m. *Women
Arizona State vs UNLV * Oct 31 * 2 p.m. * Men and Women
TEMPE, Ariz - The Arizona State women's swimming and diving team kicks off its season with a dual meet against New Mexico State this Friday (Oct. 30) at 3 p.m. at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center on the campus of Arizona State University. The following day (Oct. 31) the men's team, ranked No. 10 in the country last year and led by new head coach Michael Chasson, join the women for a 3 p.m. dual meet against UNLV, also at Mona Plummer.
ASU Men's Head Coach Michael Chasson on this week's meet: "I think the main thing we want to get out of this meeting is to see where we are in terms of training. We've been training really hard for two months and we want to swim against someone besides ourselves.
"I'm really excited about the first meet and I am really looking forward to it. I think UNLV will be a good first opponent because they beat ASU last year. I think there will be a bit of a revenge factor for the guys who were on the team last year because of that. I am really excited to get my career started at ASU."
This Saturday's meet marks the first meet for Michael Chasson as head coach of the ASU men's swimming team. Chasson comes to ASU from Harvard University where he led the Crimson to six Eastern Seaboard Championships and four NCAA appearances in his seven seasons at the Cambridge School. Chasson's best run came last year when Harvard qualified nine swimmers for the NCAA Championships and finished 11th, one spot behind the Sun Devils.
This year's men's squad is paced by senior and former 50 free national champion Francisco Sanchez, who also earned all-America recognition last year in the 50 free and senior Robert Delgado, the Devils' top returning butterfly swimmer. Delgado and Sanchez are co-captains of this year's squad. Other individuals who the Devils will be looking for contributions from in 1998 will be junior Pablo Abal (50 free and 100 back), senior Guillermo Diaz de Leon (butterfly and 200 I.M.), sophomore Adam Guzauskas (breastroke), and senior Greg Plank (100 free). Chasson also expects incoming freshmen Bo West (freestyle events), Mike Dowling (distance free) and Simon MacDonald (sprint free/fly) to have an immediate impact this season. On the diving side, junior Allan Sonkin and sophomore Brandon Bunting return from last year's team.
ASU Women's Head Coach Tim Hill on this week's meet: "I think there are a couple of things to look for in this week's meets. One is the girls are looking forward to swimming other competition besides themselves and the other is to evaluate the improvement we have made on little things in terms of turns and finishes. I also think this week's meets will be important for evaluating how the team will react to real racing conditions and how they handle competition. This is important because we are in the process of selecting our traveling squad for the UCLA/USC weekend coming up.
"Obviously winning the meet is always what you want to do. Hopefully the win will come as a result of doing things well. I have seen a lot off the two intra-squad meets we have had. We've got a couple of spots in our lineup that we are trying to settle. The distance freestyle events will be really key. I think we need to see who some of the backstrokers are going to be."
The Sun Devils have many positives to look forward to this season. Some of the best highlights have yet to be uncovered in the form of the recruiting class Hill signed this year as well as the returning squad members from last year's team, which includes two all-Americas in the form of Carolyn Adel and Camilla Johansson. Accentuating this year's recruiting class is former Olympian Riley Mants who swam for the Canadian national team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Another recruit who Hill says will have a big impact is Sarah Baham who Hill says may be the fastest breastroker ever to come into the ASU program. Hill feels the Devils biggest improvements need to come in the relay events, in order for them to score more points at the NCAA Championships.
Other swimmers who will be instrumental in what the Devils do this season are Sarah Adams, the Devils top sprint freestyler who they will be without this week, Amanda Clegg (Fly/IM), co-captains Casey Murphy (free/IM) and Tiffany Houser (fly/back/IM) and Lauren Morelli (back/IM) who had a big impact as a freshman last year. In diving, ASU coach Mark Bradshaw returns senior Katrina Pfeuffer, who was an all-American two years ago.