Dec. 29, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State's fifth-ranked men's swimming and diving team looked sharp despite the winter break, easily defeating Washington 208-80 Saturday at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center to move to 4-0 on the season and match their best dual start since the 1993-94 season, while handing the Huskies their first loss of the year (5-1).
Among the Sun Devils' leaders was sophomore Rich Jacobs, a native of Seattle, Wash., and graduate of Highline High, who won both the 200-yard butterfly (1:52.70) and the 400y individual medley (4:01.43) against his hometown university.
Sophomore Nick Brunelli, senior Gavin Meadows and junior Christian Harcsas were also two-event winners. In the 50y freestyle, Brunelli led junior Bobby Zaabadich (21.25) and junior Justin Mathias (21.33) to a one-two-three sweep with a first-place time of 20.67. Then, in the 100y free Brunelli's 45.64 led senior Bo West (45.80) and Mathias (45.92) to a sweep of the top three spots.
Meadows set the pace in the distance free events, capturing the top spot in the 1000y free with an effort of 9:27.85, before swimming 4:34.13 to win the 500y free. Harcsas, ASU's backstroke specialist, won the 100y variety in 50.05, ahead of teammate Ahmed Hussein in 50.34, before swimming 1:48.59 to take the 200y back.
The Huskies were led by sophomore Luke Ekhoff, who outlasted ASU's breaststrokers. In the 100y breast, Ekhoff touched the wall in 56.87, ahead ASU swimmers Russell MacDonald (57.44), Simon MacDonald (58.96), Brian Spetman (59.22) and Joshua Gemmell (59.44), who grabbed the next four spots. Ekhoff's margin of victory in the 200y breast was greater than four seconds, as Gemmell (2:06.15) and Adam Bugledich (2:06.73) could not handle his 2:02.05 pace.
Although uncontested by Washington, ASU's diving team carried on with competition, with Thomas McCrummen and Gordon Blukis each earning NCAA Zone qualifying scores with their respective totals of 349.65 and 312.30 in the 1-meter, 6-dive optionals.
Welcoming in the new year, the Sun Devils will be back in action at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center next weekend. Friday, January 4, ASU's men's and women's teams will meet the University of British Columbia in dual competition at noon. Saturday, January 5, the Sun Devil women will get things started when they compete against a handful of teams wintering in the desert at the Sun Devil Invitational at 9:00 a.m. The men will follow with a dual meet against No. 12 Michigan at noon.