March 26, 2003
The No. 15 Arizona State men's swimming and diving team travels to Austin, Texas, for the 2003 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships this Thursday through Saturday. Seven swimmers and one diver have qualified to represent the Sun Devils at the national meet. Swimming preliminaries begin each day at 11 a.m. with diving prelims at 1 p.m. All finals start at 7 p.m.
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. The order of finish from the NCAA women's swimming championships is listed on the last page of this release.
Men's Swimming At NCAAs
The Sun Devil men have finished in 14th place at the past two NCAA Championships. 2000 was their last top-10 finish when they finished in 10th. ASU sent ten competitors to last year's meet where Christian Harcsas earned the highest individual finish for the Sun Devils with his seventh-place effort in the 200 back, garnering first-team All-American honors. In the 50 free, Bobby Zaabadich finished 13th after setting a career best of 19.90 in the prelims to notch ASU's second-highest individual finish and honorable mention All-American honors. The top relay finish was a seventh place showing in the 200 free relay which included present team members Nick Brunelli and Zaabadich who were named first-team All-Americans for that event. Altogether the team recorded 23 All-American honors at the 2002 meet.
Diving Qualifies One From Zone E Meet
After not sending a diver to last year's NCAA meet, the Sun Devils will have the No. 1 diver out of Zone E on the squad this time around in freshman Joona Puhakka. The Finnish Olympian, who only a month ago became the first diver in school history to win two Pac-10 titles in the same year (1m & 3m), won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the Zone E Championships two weeks ago in Oklahoma City to earn a berth at this season's national meet. At the Zone meet, Puhakka defeated his nearest opponent on the 1-meter by over 65 points and bested his nearest competitor on the 3-meter by over 70 points. He has set school records this year in the 3m, 6-dive (387.90) and the 3m, 11-dive (650.70).
ASU, Last Time In The Pool
The men's swimming team was last in action March 6-8, at the Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships, where they finished fourth with 439 points, their highest finish since they also finished fourth in 1998. Ahmed Hussein tied his own school record in the 100 back (47.62) during the opening leg of the 400 medley relay to lead the contingent of several swimmers to move up the ASU all-time top-ten list. Nick Brunelli clocked a 1:36.19 in the 200 free to better his previous career-best by over three-tenths of a second and move himself into fourth all-time at ASU in that event. Russell MacDonald's 100 breast prelim of 54.81 slides him into fourth in the Sun Devil record books while David Kolozar is now third all-time in the 200 fly after his 1:45.68 time at the Pac-10 Invitational on March 9. Evan Rahaeuser put himself 10th all-time at ASU in the 200 back with a 1:48.68 in Saturday's finals. The 200 medley relay foursome of Hussein, Emerson Ward, Ace Tate, and Bobby Zaabadich registered the fourth-fastest time in school history with a 1:28.26.
Brunelli To Compete At Pan American Games
Sun Devil junior Nick Brunelli is slated to compete for the United States Pan American Games Team at this summer's Pan American Games, August 1-17, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He will compete in the 100m freestyle and the 4x100m freestyle relay. He earned a spot on the US Team by virtue of his seventh place finish in the 100 free at the US Summer Nationals in 2002. Teammates of Brunelli on the American team include Olympic gold medalist Gary Hall Jr. and Peter Marshall, the defending NCAA 100 back champion and World Championships silver medalist. The 4x100 free relay squad also includes Olympic gold medalist Tommy Hannan, and World Championships gold medalist Bryan Jones.
Follow The Action Online
The meet in Austin is being hosted by the University of Texas. The championship's official website can be accessed through www.TexasSports.com. Heat sheets, results, etc. will be available via this web page.
Up Next For The Sun Devils
This meet ends the regular season for Arizona State.
Sun Devil Swimmers & Divers Qualified For NCAAs
Nick Brunelli (All-American -- Junior) --
Ranked in the top-15 nationally in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle events...finished fourth at the Pac-10 Championships in the 200 free with a 1:36.19, an NCAA 'A' time and the sixth-fastest swim in ASU history...finished fifth at the Pac-10s in both the 50 free (19.97) and the 100 free (43.71)...that 100 free time was a season-best...recorded season-best in the 50 free (19.82) during the opening leg of the 200 free relay at the Pac-10s...that was two-hundredths of a second shy of a career-best...twelve dual meet victories on the year, including seven in the 100 free.
NCAA History * 2002: All-America: 200 free relay 1st-team; 400 free relay HM; 800 free relay HM; 200 medley relay HM; 400 medley relay HM; 50 free & 100 free qualifier. 2001: All-America: 200 free relay (11th), 400 free relay (8th), 100 free qualifier.
International * Will represent the United States at the 2003 Pan American Games.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 free 19.80 (4th); 100 free 43.24 (3rd); 200 free 1:36.19 (6th); 100 back 49.27 (7th).
Christian Harcsas (All-American -- Senior) --
Ranks 11th nationally in the 200 backstroke with a 1:43.82 recorded at the Texas Invitational in December, an NCAA 'A' time...finished eighth at the Pac-10 Championships in the 200 back (1:45.87)...10th at the Pac-10s in the 100 back (49.18)...season-best in the 100 back was a 48.42 at the Texas Invitational...11 dual meet victories on the year including seven in the 200 back...season-best in the 200 IM (1:50.30) set at the Texas Invitational.
NCAA History * 2002: All-America: 200 back 1st-team (7th)
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 100 back 48.20 (4th); 200 back 1:43.11 (1st); 200 IM 1:49.70 (8th).
Tom Hickman (Freshman) --
Set career-bests at the Pac-10 Championships in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle events...finished 16th at the Pac-10s in the 200 free (1:40.97) after a 1:40.36 prelim...placed 22nd at conference championships in the 100 free (45.99) after a 45.77 prelim...clocked a 21.01 in 50 free prelims at the Pac-10s.
NCAA History * None.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 Free 21.01; 100 free 45.77; 200 free 1:40.36.
Ahmed Hussein (All-American -- Junior) --
Tied his own school record in the 100 back (47.62) during the opening leg of the 400 medley relay at the Pac-10 Championships, good for an NCAA automatic time...placed eighth at the Pac-10s in the 100 back with a 48.63...placed sixth at the Pac-10s in the 200 back with a 1:45.46...sat out of competition last fall and rejoined the team at semester...four dual meet victories in shortened season.
NCAA History * 2002: All-America: 200 medley relay HM; 400 medley relay HM.
International * Competed for Egypt in 200 Olympic Games.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 100 back 47.62 (1st); 200 back 1:44.26 (3rd).
David Kolozar (Freshman) --
Busy freshman year saw him compete in several mid-free and butterfly events...finished eighth at the Pac-10 Championships inthe 200 fly (1:46.24) in a race where only 1.2 seconds separated first place from eighth...the next day at the Pac-10 Invitational, Kolozar clocked a 1:45.68 in the 200 fly to qualify for the NCAAs and move himself into third-place in the ASU record books for this event...eight dual meet victories on the year.
NCAA History * None.
International * Fifth at last summer's European Championship in the 200m fly; 1999 Junior European Champion in 200m fly.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 100 fly 49.70; 200 fly 1:45.68 (3rd); 200 free 1:40.65; 500 free 4:32.65; 1000 free 9:27.05.
Joona Puhakka (Freshman) --
Has had one of the best diving seasons in Arizona State history...became first diver ever at ASU to record two Pac-10 titles in the same year, as he won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the Pac-10 Championships...won both the 1m and 3m competitions at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships...set school records in the 3m, 6-dive (387.90) and the 3m, 11-dive (650.70) this year...is undefeated on the 1m optionals as a Sun Devil in 12 meets...career best on 1m optionals is a 391.50, less than a point shy of the school record...set the meet record at the Dallas Morning News Classic in the 1m with that performance...finished third at the Pac-10s on platform (456.40).
NCAA History * None.
International * Competed at 2000 Olympics for Finland...finished 3rd on 1m at 2000 European Championships...3rd at Junior World Championships in 2000...finished 2nd on 3m at 2000 Junior European Championships.
Top Collegiate Scores (ASU rank) * 1m 391.50; 3m, 6-dive 387.90 (1st); 3m, 11-dive 650.70 (1st); platform 456.40).
Wiley Wallace (Junior) --
Placed 18th at the Pac-10 meet in the 50 free (20.70) after a career-best 20.31 in the prelims...finished in 21st place at the Pac-10s in the 100 free (45.94) after a career-best in the prelims of 45.21...swam the 200 free, 500 free, and 100 fly minimal times.
NCAA History * None.
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 free 20.31; 100 free 45.21; 200 free 1:45.48.
Bobby Zaabadich (All-American -- Senior) --
Placed sixth at the Pac-10 Championships in the 50 freestyle (20.14) after a season-best in the prelims of 19.93...finished in 11th at the conference meet in the 100 free (44.70) after a career-best 44.36 in the prelims...three dual meet victories on the year in the 50 free.
NCAA History * 2002: All-America: 50 free HM (13th); 200 free relay 1st-team; 400 free relay HM
Top Collegiate Times (ASU rank) * 50 free 19.90 (5th); 100 free 44.36.