ASU swim opens season in Flagstaff at NAU

Swim coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker talks strategy with her swimmer before a race during the Sun Devils’ meet against UA on Feb. 11. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

The ASU swim and dive team commences its five-month season this weekend when it travels to Flagstaff to take on NAU in its first meet on Saturday.

The last time the Sun Devils and Lumberjacks met was in 2010 in Tempe for a women’s only meet, with ASU winning the matchup.

This meet, like the one two years ago, will not feature diving. Swim coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker says the way the meet is set up is a little unconventional.

“We are doing crescendo relays, which means 50, 100 and 150 meters,” Tierney-Walker said. “Just normal events that you wouldn’t do in a dual meet.”

Along with the 50, 100, and 150-meter relays, the two schools will also swim the 200-medley relay and the 400-free relay.

The ASU and NAU women will compete against each other, while the ASU men will hold inter-squad races.

A swimmer to look out for on the Lumberjacks is junior Jordan Burnes. She holds school records in the 100-meter backstroke and was a CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major All-American in her sophomore campaign last year.

The racing should last for about an hour. Afterwards, both teams will hold a clinic for local swim clubs in the area.

Coach Tierney-Walker also said that the team is going to stay in Flagstaff for three days to train, since it is fall break for ASU.

“It’s a great opportunity for some team bonding and some altitude work,” Tierney-Walker said. “It should be a good trip.”

While this should be a good benchmark of the Sun Devils’ strengths, this meet is not a true test of their talents or skill.

“Our first real major dual meet is UCLA and USC in the beginning of November,” Tierney-Walker said.

The Pac-12 is a very competitive conference, so having everyone healthy once those competitions come around is a must.

Tierney-Walker stressed the fact that keeping everyone healthy at the moment is the team’s main goal as well, as did dive coach Mark Bradshaw.

 

Reach the reporter at ross.dunham@asu.edu