In a field filled with several of the nation’s elite teams, the ASU men’s swim team’s focus coming into the Pac-12 championships last week was to put as many swimmers as they could in a position to qualify for the NCAAs, rather than placing over their opponents.
In the eyes of swim coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker, the conference meet was positive for the Sun Devils.
“We competed consistently,” Tierney-Walker said. “We had some guys that far exceeded their lifetime bests. We had some real bright spots and a lot of surprises. Everyone feels we have a long way to go, and we have tremendous growth potential.”
The meet began Wednesday with the ASU 200 medley relay team of sophomores Daniel Adalsteinsson, Herbie Behm, senior Jesper Akesson and freshman Zac Dalby finishing in sixth place in 1:28.75, good enough for an NCAA consideration time. The 800 free relay featuring Adalsteinsson, senior Yutaro Yamashita, sophomore Daniel Jurgs and junior Caleb Veazey placed seventh in 6:36.90, also earning an NCAA “B” cut.
On the second day, Behm finished in 13th place in the 50 free in 20.20 seconds. The ASU 200 free relay team of Behm, freshman Ore Wahnishe, Akesson and Jurgs also took seventh and another consideration time of 1:20.82.
Friday saw juniors JH Vivadelli and Derek Knittle placing 13th and 20th in the 400 IM finals, and Akesson taking 12th in the 100 breast finals.
The Sun Devils wrapped up the meet Saturday with Vivadelli (200 fly) and Veazy (1650 free) both placing 11th in their events.
“Caleb Veazey just kept getting better as the week went on,” Tierney-Walker said. “He had a really good mile.”
The 400 free relay team of Jurgs, Yamashita, Akesson and sophomore Ryan Dignan posted ASU’s last consideration time with a seventh place finish of 3:00.64.
Overall, the Sun Devils finished seventh with a score of 221.5, beating out only Cal Poly.
No. 3 Stanford took home the Pac-12 championship, earning their 31st consecutive conference title.
While the men posted seven NCAA “B” cuts during the meet, Tierney-Walker doesn’t believe any of her male swimmers will represent ASU in nationals and will rely on the divers for the men’s competitions for the rest of the season.
Although the men have finished competing for ASU, Tierney-Walker is leaving practices open for the swimmers for other upcoming events.
“At this point, the guys are thinking about making their Olympic cuts,” Tierney-Walker said. “We have several who are going to a long-course meet next weekend, and we have a lot of international guys looking to make their (country’s) teams.
“Our focus, from at least now until the end of school, is Olympic trial qualifying.”
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