Aug. 20, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The schedule for the 2002-2003 Arizona State Swimming & Diving program has been released with the Sun Devils again lining up to prove themselves against some of the best competition in the country.
The Intrasquad meet on October 4 is the first date on a schedule that runs until the end of March with the women's NCAA Championships (Mar. 20-22) in Auburn, Ala., and the men's NCAA Championships (Mar. 27-29) in Austin, Texas.
"We try to have one of the most demanding schedules possible," says Sun Devils coach Mike Chasson. "We try to swim against eight or nine of the top 15 teams in the country, and this year is no exception."
The men's squad, 14th-place finishers in last season's NCAAs, returns 18 letterwinners, including five All-Americans. The women's team, led by All-American and Olympic gold medalist ?gnes Kov?cs, returns 16 letterwinners from last season's top-ten NCAA finish, including six All-Americans. The diving squad, coached by former Olympian Mark Bradshaw (6th year), return 2002 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year Thomas McCrummen on the men's side and two-year contributor Jessica Stenson for the women.
After the ASU Intrasquad meet the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center will host six events, with the diving team officially beginning the home slate on Oct. 12 against New Mexico. The home schedule is highlighted by visits from California on Jan. 24 and Stanford on Jan. 25, schools that both recorded top-10 finishes in last spring's NCAA championships on both the men's and women's sides. The men add additional home meets against Auburn, third-place finishers in last spring's NCAA Championships, and Harvard, the school Chasson led to seven NCAA appearances in seven seasons in the early 1990's.
The away schedule does not get any easier, as the Sun Devils travel to USC, Texas and Arizona to have dual meets, while the women's squad has an extra away dual against UCLA. Additionally, the Texas Invitational in Austin in early December will offer ASU the opportunity to go up against the best teams in the country. "Pretty much every team in the top ten will be there, so that's always tough competition," says Chasson.
Chasson is pleased with the way the scheduling worked out and is looking forward to this season. "Our schedule is pretty brutal, but I think that we need to swim against the best people in the country if we want to get better so that's why we do it."