The University of Arizona swimmers aren’t sure what to think now.
Which men’s team will they face this weekend – the Sun Devil squad that was dealing with four straight losses, or the one that just knocked off the reigning national champion?
Arizona State will host the UofA swim & dive team on Saturday and, prior to that meet, just sent a strong message to the Wildcats: Fear the fork!
ASU beat the Texas Longhorns, the 13-time national champion and No. 2-ranked team in the nation at the time, 162-138, in a home meet over the weekend.
The ASU men’s “A” team in the 200 medley relay got the Sun Devils off to a quick start against Texas by winning that event, and the 200 free relay team closed the door on the victory by scoring big in that event, the last of the day.
After the opening victory, the Sun Devil men went on to win the next four individual events, but going into the final event of the meet the squad was just 15 points ahead of the Longhorns. The “A” team of Cameron Craig, Andrew Porter, Evan Carlson, and Patrick Park scored 11 points in the 200 free relay, and the “B” team added a couple more points to provide more than enough for the upset victory.
In total, the men’s team captured wins in seven of the 12 individual events, including double wins by Christian Lorenz and Zach Poti. Lorenz won the 100 breast and 200 breast, while Poti notched wins in the 100 back and 200 back. Ben Olszewski also won the 1000 free, Grant House topped the field in the 200 free, and Craig added a victory in the 100 free.
The men’s team started the season ranked No. 8 by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) and won its first two dual meets of the season. But prior to the meet with Texas, the Devils had fallen into four straight losses to drop them to a 2-4 record overall and 1-3 in conference.
While the Texas win doesn’t help their struggle to move up in the Pac-12 rankings, it does give them a shot of confidence going into the meeting with Arizona. They likely would have been favored anyhow over the Wildcats, who have just one win on the season and will come into Tempe riding a skid of three straight losses.
The women’s squads for both schools are also struggling to add wins. Against Texas, the ASU women won a pair of individual swimming events and added a victory in diving, but lost the duel, 122-177.
Silja Kansakoski won the 100 meters for the ASU women and Marlies Ross claimed the win in the 200 meters, while Frida Kaellgren won the 1-meter springboard competition.
At least on paper, the Sun Devil women appear to be evenly matched with the Wildcats. Both teams are 4-4 overall and 3-3 in conference and both are suffering through losing streaks, each coming off three consecutive losses.
(Photo: ASU Athletics)