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Swimming/Diving
Ten Men's Swimmers To NCAA Championships, March 28-30
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 03/25/2002
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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March 25, 2002

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This Week
With 10 athletes qualified to compete, Arizona State's men's swimming team seeks its fourth top-10 finish since 1991 when the Sun Devils take to the pool at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga., for the 2002 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships, March 28-30. The Sun Devils are coming off their sixth fifth-place finish in seven years at the Pac-10 Championships. Among its 10-man field, junior Christian Harcsas and senior Simon MacDonald are qualified in the most individual events at three apiece. Half of ASU's qualified athletes are competing in their first NCAA Championships. No Sun Devil divers qualified for the national championship meet.

The Qualifiers -- Events In Order Of Competition (seed time)
Nick Brunelli: 50 free (19.81), 100 free (43.24)
Christian Harcsas: 200 IM (1:49.70), 100 back (48.77), 200 back (1:43.96)
Ahmed Hussein: 100 back (47.62), 200 back (1:44.45)
Anders Lyrbring: 200 free (1:37.10)
Russell MacDonald: 100 breast (55.89)
Simon MacDonald: 50 free (20.25), 100 fly (48.32), 100 free (44.45)
Justin Mathias: 50 free (4:22.55)
Gavin Meadows: 500 free (4:22.55), 200 free (1:37.31)
Bo West: 200 free (1:37.98)
Bobby Zaabadich: 50 free (20.05)
Sun Devil Relays: 200 free (1:19.21), 400 medley (3:13.78), 200 medley (1:28.15), 800 free (6:29.68)

NCAA Championship Notes
While the women did not compete in the NCAA Championships until 1982, Arizona State's men made their first NCAA appearance in 1965, placing 15th. ASU's best overall finish was sixth in 1982. The following two seasons ASU placed seventh, but since 1986 the best the Sun Devils have done are three ninth-place finishes, most recently in 1996. Since 1980 however, ASU has finished out of the top-15 only six times and out of the top-20 only once. In the Mike Chasson era, ASU has earned respective finishes of 16th, 10th and 14th.
Over the years ASU has tallied only six individual event titles. The last time ASU earned a national crown was at the conclusion of the 1999-00 season, when Hungarian great Attila Czene finished off his only Sun Devil season tying the short-course world record in the 200 IM and winning ASU's first NCAA title since Francisco Sanchez won the 50 free in 1996.

ASU, Last Time In The Pool
While placing fifth for the sixth time in seven years, the ASU men turned in a number of strong performances at the Pac-10 Championships. Sophomore sprinter Nick Brunelli placed third in the 100 free and 11th in the 50 free. Senior middle-distance freestyler Gavin Meadows placed fifth in the 200 free, sixth in the 500 free and 17th in the 50 free. In the backstroke events, Christian Harcsas and Ahmed Hussein provided a solid one-two punch. Hussein tied for sixth in the 100 back with Harcsas in ninth, while Harcsas led the way in the 200 back, placing fifth while Hussein took seventh. Harsas also contributed in the 200 IM, taking 10th in 1:49.70. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the meet was freshman Russell MacDonald, who qualified for NCAAs with a 56.16 in the prelims of the 100 breast before placing seventh in 56.43.

Sun Devil NCAA Qualifiers

Nick Brunelli (All-American -- Sophomore) --
Ranked fourth all-time at ASU in the 50 free, third in the 100 free and seventh in the 100 back ... picked up 12 first-place finishes on the season ... earned five wins in the 50 free and dipped below the NCAA 'B' standard (20.33) five times including a career-best 19.81 that placed him runner-up at the Texas Invitational ... placed 11th at the Pac-10 Championships in 20.09 after swimming 20.01 in prelims ... earned six wins in the 100 free, swimming under the NCAA 'B' consideration standard (44.94) six times including a career-best and NCAA automatic time of 43.24 that placed him third at the Pac-10 Championships ... placed first at the Texas Invitational in 43.73 ... in the 200 free, swam below the 'B' standard (1:39.28) twice at the Texas Invite, swimming a career-best 1:37.47 in finals to place fifth ... swept the 50 and 100 free vs. Texas, USC, Washington and Hawaii.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * Placed third in the 100 free in 43.24, becoming the third-fastest swimmer in school history in that event ... placed 11th in the 50 free (20.09).
NCAA History * 2001: All-America: 200 free relay (11th), 400 free relay (8th), 100 free qualifier.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 free 19.81 (4th), 100 free 43.24 (3rd), 200 free 1:37.47, 100 back 49.27 (7th), 200 back 1:49.82, 200 IM 1:52.91.

Christian Harcsas (Junior) --
Ranked fifth all-time at ASU in the 100 back, second in the 200 back and eighth in the 200 IM ... picked up six dual wins this season ... in the 100 back, won twice ... swam under the NCAA 'B' consideration standard (49.17) three times including season-best 48.77 that placed him ninth at the Pac-10 Championships ... placed fifth at the Texas Invitational in 48.94 ... in the 200 back earned four wins and swam under the NCAA 'B' standard (1:47.42) seven times including two automatic qualifying efforts at the Pac-10 Championships ... became second-fastest 200 back swimmer in school history with fifth-place 1:43.96 at Pac-10s ... placed fourth at the Texas Invitational in 1:45.54 ... although he hadn't swam below 1:53.10 in the event in five regular season races, dipped under 1:50.00 in the 200 IM twice at the conference championships ... placed 10th in 1:49.70 to move to No. 8 in school history.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * In his inaugural Pac-10 Championship meet placed fifth in the 200 back in 1:43.96, the second-fastest time in school history behind only David Holderbach's 1993 time of 1:43.86 ... placed ninth in the 100 back in 48.77, his ASU best ... placed 10th in the 200 IM in 1:49.70 which put him at No. 8 in school history.
NCAA History * None.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 100 back 48.94 (5th), 200 back 1:43.96 (2nd), 200 IM 1:49.70 (8th).

Ahmed Hussein (Sophomore) --
Ranked second all-time at ASU in the 100 back and third in the 200 back ... earned nine first-place finishes this season ... in the 100 back, won four times ... raced under the NCAA 'B' standard (49.17) four times ... season best was a 48.03 that finished runner-up at the Texas Invitational ... tied for sixth at the Pac-10 Championships in 48.16 ... in the 200 back won five times and dipped underneath the 'B' standard (1:47.42) seven times ... career-best was a 1:44.45 that placed seventh at Pac-10s ... placed eighth at the Texas Invitational in 1:48.44 after swimming 1:45.07 in prelims ... swept the backstroke events vs. Arizona, Hawaii and Wisconsin ... other 2001-02 bests: 100 fly 50.87, 500 free 4:38.57.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * Tied for sixth in the 100 back in 48.16 ... placed seventh in the 200 back (1:44.45) after improving his ASU best of 1:44.26.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 100 back 48.03 (2nd), 200 back 1:44.26 (3rd), 100 fly 50.87, 200 IM 2:01.22.

Anders Lyrbring (All-American -- Junior) --
Ranked fourth all-time at ASU in the 200 free ... earned two first-place finishes this season ... in the 200 free dipped below the NCAA 'B' standard (1:39.28) three times ... season best was a 1:37.10 that placed third at the Texas Invitational ... placed 10th at the Pac-10 Championships in 1:38.96 ... only 200 free win came vs. Arizona in 46.50 ... in the 100 free swam a season-best 45.13 in Texas Invite prelims before placing 12th in 45.26 ... placed 18th at Pac-10s in 45.58 ... other 2001-02 bests: 50 free 20.99, 500 free 4:34.78.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * Placed 10th in the 200 free in 1:38.96 ... placed 18th in the 100 free in 45.58.
NCAA History * 2001: All-America: 200 free relay (11th) 400 free relay (8th), 800 free relay (4th), 100 free and 200 free qualifier. 2000: All-America: 200 free (16th), 200 free relay (9th), 800 free relay (2nd), 100 free and 400 free qualifier.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 free 20.53, 100 free 44.23, 200 free 1:35.89 (4th), 500 free 4:23.96.

Russell MacDonald (Freshman) --
Ranked eighth all-time at ASU in the 100 breast after 56.16 prelim time at Pac-10 Championships ... swam sub-57 seconds in the event five times ... placed 14th in 56.58 at the Texas Invitational after swimming 56.42 in prelims ... earned only win of the season vs. British Columbia in 57.62 ... personal best in the 200 breast of 2:07.51 was prelim effort at Texas Invitational ... at Pac-10 Championships swam 2:07.54, failing to advance out of prelims ... not related to teammate Simon MacDonald.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * In his first Pac-10 Championship meet, placed seventh in the 100 breast with a finals time of 56.43 ... swam a personal best 56.16 in prelims, becoming the eighth-fastest swimmer in school history.
NCAA History * None.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 100 breast 56.16 (8th), 200 breast 2:07.51, 200 IM 1:57.44.

Simon MacDonald (All-American -- Senior) --
Ranked sixth all-time at ASU in the 50 free, eighth in the 100 breast and ninth in the 100 fly ... earned a total of six wins in three different events this season ... in the 50 free swam under the NCAA 'B' standard (20.33) three times with season best of 20.25 coming in the prelims of the Texas Invitational before placing sixth in finals (20.30) ... placed 17th at the Pac-10 Championships in 20.43 ... in the 100 free raced under the 'B' standard (44.94) twice at the Texas Invite, with a season best 44.84 taking sixth ... in the 100 fly tallied four provisional qualifying times, his career best a 48.32 that placed 12th at Pac-10s and made him the eighth fastest swimmer in school history ... placed seventh in at the Texas Invite with a finals time of 48.56 ... became eighth-fastest Sun Devil all-time in 100 breast with 55.87 prelim time at the Texas Invite.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * Placed 12 in the 100 fly in career best time of 48.32, becoming the ninth fastest swimmer in school history in that event ... placed 17th in the 50 free (20.43).
NCAA History * 2001: All-America: 200 free relay (11th), 400 free relay (8th). 2000: All-America: 200 free relay (9th), 200 medley relay (place), 50 free and 100 free qualifier. 1999: All-America: 200 free relay (8th), 400 free relay (11th), 800 free relay (13th), 200 medley relay (11th), 400 medley relay.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 free 19.94 (6th), 100 free 44.55, 100 fly 48.32 (9th), 100 breast 55.87 (8th).

Justin Mathias (Junior) --
Transferred to ASU before the season after Nebraska swim program was disbanded ... swam sub-21 seconds in the 50 free 11 times ... placed 13th at the Texas Invitational in 20.66 after swimming 20.52 in prelims ... season best of 20.43 vs. Arizona ... in 100 free swam sub-46 seconds seven times ... placed 13th at Texas Invitational in 45.28 after swimming season-best 45.15 in prelims.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * Placed 21st in the 50 free in 20.67 ... placed 23rd in 100 free in 46.09 ... in both events swam faster prelim times.
NCAA History * None.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 free 20.43, 100 free 45.15.

Gavin Meadows (All-American -- Senior) --
Ranked seventh all-time at ASU in the 200 and 500 free ... earned a combined 11 first-place finishes in four events ... in the 100 free swam a season-best 45.06 in the prelims of the Texas Invitational before placing 16th in finals (45.45) ... placed 17th at Pac-10s in 45.39 ... in the 200 free swam under the NCAA 'B' consideration standard (1:39.28) five times ... season-best was a 1:37.31 that placed him fourth at the Texas Invitational ... placed fifth at the Pac-10 Championships in 1:37.36 ... picked up five wins in the 500 free and swam under the NCAA 'B' standard (4:27.51) four times, placing sixth at the Texas Invite (4:24.08) and sixth at Pac-10s (4:22.55, season best) ... in the 1000 free won all four races including a career best 9:21.28 vs. California ... swept the 500 and 1000 free vs. California, Arizona and Washington.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * Placed fifth in the 200 free in 1:37.36 ... placed sixth in the 500 free in 4:22.55 ... placed 17th in the 100 free in season-best time of 45.39.
NCAA History * 2001: All-America: 200 free (12th), 800 free relay (4th), 500 free qualifier.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 100 free 44.99, 200 free 1:36.31 (7th), 500 free 4:21.85 (7th), 1000 free 9:21.28.

Bo West (All-American -- Senior) --
Ranked seventh all-time at ASU in the 200 back, ninth in the 100 back ... picked up three first-place finishes this season ... in the 200 free placed seventh at the Texas Invitational (1:38.06) after swimming 1:37.98 in prelims ... took 15th at Pac-10 Championships in 1:40.19 ... in the 200 back picked up a win vs. USC ... season-best time was a 1:47.69 in the prelims of the Texas Invite, before placing seventh in finals at 1:48.26 ... placed 24th in the 100 free at Pac-10s in 46.12 after prelim time of 45.71 ... other 2001-02 bests: 50 free 21.00, 500 free 4:37.86.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * Placed 15th in the 200 free in 1:40.19 ... placed 24th in the 100 free (46.12) after swimming season best 45.71 in prelims ... placed 25th in 50 free in season-best time of 20.89.
NCAA History * 2001: All-America: 800 free relay (4th), 200 free qualifier. 2000: All-America: 800 free relay (2nd), 100 free, 200 free and 400 free qualifier. 1999: All-America: 200 free (11th), 200 free relay (8th), 400 free relay (11th).
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 free 20.70, 100 free 44.75, 200 free 1:36.52, 500 free 4:24.64, 100 back ~49.86 (9th), 200 back 1:47.69 (7th).

Bobby Zaabadich (Junior) --
Ranked seventh all-time at ASU in the 50 free ... transferred from Northern Arizona in summer, competed after winter break ... earned first NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 50 free vs. Arizona (20.29) ... season best was Pac-10 Championships prelim 20.05 ... tied for 13th in finals in 20.31 ... picked up a win vs. Michigan in 20.48 ... in the 100 free, placed 16th at Pac-10s in career best 45.17.
2002 Pac-10 Championship Notes * Tied for 13th in the 50 free in 20.31 after becoming the seventh-fastest swimmer in ASU history with a prelim effort of 20.05 ... placed 16th in 100 free in 45.17 after swimming career best 45.14 in prelims.
NCAA History * None.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 free 20.05 (7th), 100 free 45.14.

ASU Men's Relays --
The Sun Devils have qualified teams in the following relays: 200 free (1:19.21), 400 medley (3:13.78), 200 medley (1:28.15), 800 free (6:29.68)
Pac-10 Championship Notes * Placed fourth in the 200 free relay (1:19.21) ... placed third in the 400 medley relay (3:14.23) ... placed fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:28.14) ... placed fourth in the 800 free relay (6:32.45).
NCAA Notes * At the 2001 Championships, ASU placed 11th in the 200 free relay, eighth in the 400 free relay and fourth in the 800 free relay.

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