March 3, 2003
The No. 15 Arizona State men's swimming team travels to Long Beach, Calif., March 6-8 for the 2003 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. Preliminaries begin each day at 11 a.m. while the finals are at 6 p.m. On Sunday, March 9, the Pac-10 Invitational will be held at the same venue. This is an approved NCAA "Last Chance" meet to give the swimmers one final opportunity to record NCAA qualification times.
The CSCAA released its eighth poll of the season on February 27. The ASU men and women are both ranked 15th. This is the first time since the initial poll of the season that the teams have the same ranking. For the complete poll, visit www.cscaa.org, or see the full version of this release.
Swimming At Pac-10 Championships
The Sun Devil men have finished in fifth place for four consecutive years at the Pac-10s and six years out of the last seven. The team's 400 total points last year was the highest tally for ASU since a 420 point effort in 2000. Highlights from the 2002 meet included Nick Brunelli's third place in the 100 free, Christian Harcsas' fifth place in the 200 back and Ahmed Hussein's sixth place in the 100 back. The last time the men have finished higher than fourth place overall was a second place finish in 1995.
Diving Coming Off Exceptional Pac-10 Meet
The Sun Devil divers registered outstanding performances at the Pac-10 Diving Championships last weekend where they were led by freshman men's diver Joona Puhakka. Puhakka claimed Pac-10 titles on both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard to become the first diver in Arizona State history to win two Pac-10 championships in the same year. The Finnish Olympian rewrote the ASU record in the 3-meter, 11-dive event by recording a 650.70 in the prelims. Puhakka's subsequent win on the 1-meter (385.75) was paired with sophomore Thomas McCrummen's second place finish (314.85) to give the Sun Devils a dominating 1-2 punch. They were the only participants to break the 300-point barrier in the 1-meter finals. The points earned by the men's divers are figured into the overall team score at the 2003 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships. For the women, sophomore Trisha Tumlinson set a new Arizona State record on platform (454.05) and finished second in that event.
ASU, Last Time In The Pool
The men closed out their dual meet season in Tucson on February 15, with a loss to Arizona. The Sun Devils were beaten by the narrowest of margins by the Wildcats, 150-149, as each school won eight of the 16 events on the afternoon. Joona Puhakka recorded first place in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events to join Ahmed Hussein as a two-event winner on the afternoon for the Sun Devils. Hussein and Christian Harcsas finished 1-2 in both the 100 and 200 back. Nick Brunelli won the 200 free, while Leonardo Martins won the 200 breast and Derek Miller grabbed first in the 1000 free for ASU. The 150-149 scoreline represented the closest meet the Sun Devil men have been a part of since the 1988-89 season when they were edged by California 57-56 in Tempe. During the 1990s, the men's team was involved in only two meets that were comparably close: a 151-149 win against Arizona in '93-'94 and a 124-122 loss to California in the '97-'98 season. The women's squad is coming off of a sixth place finish at the Pac-10 Championships last weekend. New school records were set by Claire Hedenskog (50 free - 22.97), Petra Banovic (200 free - 1:47.85), and Trisha Tumlinson (platform - 454.05). ?gnes Kov?cs finished runner-up in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM.
Men's Swimming Notes
The men's swimmers go into the Pac-10s with several athletes ranked among the nation's best. Nick Brunelli leads the way and is ranked in the national top ten in three events: the 50 free (8th - 20.11), the 100 free (5th - 43.87) and the 200 free (3rd - 1:36.55). Brunelli has six dual meet wins in the 100 free this campaign. Bobby Zaabadich is fifth nationally in the 50 free (20.01) while Christian Harcsas is tenth in the 100 back (48.42) and fourth in the 200 back (1:43.82). Harcsas' 200 back time is the lone NCAA "A" automatic qualifying time that the Sun Devils have logged this season. His 1:43.11 that he recorded at last year's NCAAs stands as the school record. The Sun Devil relays fit into the national picture as follows: 200 medley (10th - 1:29.52); 200 free (3rd - 1:20.03); and 400 free (6th - 2:58.27). Two newcomers have already put their names on the ASU all-time top-ten list this year: Leonardo Martins in the 200 breast (3rd - 2:00.23) and David Kolozar in the 200 fly (5th - 1:46.76).
Follow The Action Online
The meet in Long Beach this weekend is being hosted by Arizona State. ASU's Pac-10 Championships webpage can be accessed through www.TheSunDevils.com or the webpage's direct address (http://thesundevils.ocsn.com/sports/c-swim/spec-rel/2003-pac10-championships2.html). The site contains updated information on all competing teams, a brief preview, and will have updated event results as soon as they are available for posting on the web.
Up Next For The Sun Devils
The men's squad will send qualified swimmers to the NCAA Championships Mar. 27-29 in Austin, Texas. Both sets of divers will vie for spots in their respective national championships when they travel to Okalahoma City, Okla., for the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships Mar. 13-14. The women's swimmers will compete at the NCAA Championships Mar. 20-22 in Auburn, Ala.