March 30, 2002
ATHENS, Ga. - Led on the final day by junior Christian Harcsas, who set a school record in the 200-yard backstroke and earned the team's highest individual finish of the meet, Arizona State's men's swimming and diving team stood in 14th-place as the NCAA Championships concluded Saturday from Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga. The Sun Devils' team finish is their eighth top-15 national finish in nine years.
ASU finished the meet with 84 points, well behind 13th-place Miami's 106 points, but well ahead of 15th-place Penn State's 54 points. Texas won the national team title with 512 points, just ahead of Stanford's runner-up total of 501. Auburn placed third with 365.5 points.
It took until the final day of the meet for ASU to place an individual into a championship final heat. In the prelims of the 200y back, Harcsas swam 1:43.11, breaking David Holderbach's school record time of 1:43.86, which had stood atop ASU's all-time list since 1993. In finals, Harcsas slowed to 1:44.07 but placed seventh, two-tenths ahead of California's Alex Lim (1:44.27).
Rogan Markus of Stanford earned the NCAA title in that event after his pool record time of 1:41.14. Cardinal teammate Peter Marshall placed second in 1:41.85. Sun Devil sophomore Ahmed Hussein had designs on making finals in the 200y back, but his 1:46.38 performance in prelims left him in 25th place.
In the consolation final of the 400y free relay, an ASU team of sophomore Nick Brunelli, senior Simon MacDonald, junior Bobby Zaabadich and senior Gavin Meadows placed 12th in 2:56.87. The same foursome swam 2:55.54 in prelims, just one-hundredth of a second short of tying for fifth on ASU's all-time list.
The Sun Devils' only other action Saturday was in the 100y free, where Brunelli finished less than two-tenths of a second out of the consolation final. Placing 20th in prelims, Brunelli swam 43.80. Ian Crocker of Texas earned the last spot in the consolation final with a 16th-place prelim time of 43.64.
With the ASU women's team having placed 10th at their NCAA Championships, this concludes the 2001-02 ASU swimming and diving season.
Day Three FINALS:
200y Backstroke: 7. Harcsas, 1:44.07
400y Freestyle Relay: 12. ASU (Brunelli, Meadows, Zaabadich, S. MacDonald), 2:56.87
Day Three PRELIMS:
200y Backstroke: 8. Harcsas, 1:43.11 **school record**, 25. Hussein, 1:46.38
100y Freestyle: 20. Brunelli, 43.80
400y Freestyle Relay: 11. ASU (Brunelli, S. MacDonald, Zaabadich, Meadows), 2:55.54