The ASU swim and dive team travels to UA this weekend with hopes to beat the Wildcats in their own pool in what is the final dual-meet of the season for both squads.
ASU swim coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker likes the excitement that surrounds the Territorial Cup rivalry but hopes her team can keep their emotions in check.
“For us, it’s awesome to be a part of such a great rivalry; it really is,” Tierney-Walker said. “It brings out the best in our men and women. Obviously, from an emotions standpoint we have to sort of maintain that balance; I think (the athletes) can definitely get a little overboard sometimes. I try not to talk about it until Thursday, so we’re not getting overly energetic, but they are ready to go.”
The Wildcats are loaded with talent on both the men’s and the women’s side. More than five swimmers have automatic qualifying bids for the NCAA championships.
The Sun Devils are still striving to record season-best times so they can compete later on in the championships. Tierney-Walker said that achieving fast times like that to qualify for the NCAAs is the ultimate goal during these dual-meets.
Tierney-Walker can see the improvement in her team as the season goes along.
“Last week they competed against Cal and Stanford, who are two of the best teams in the country, effectively and with confidence and executed in the race,” Tierney-Walker said. “It’s one thing to do that against the lower ranked teams, but it’s much more challenging to do it against the best teams.”
The divers have been a solid rock for the program to lean on all year long.
Coach Mark Bradshaw has his team firing on all cylinders going into this meet against the Wildcats.
With another Pac-12 Diver of the Month under his belt for the month of January, Harrison Jones will look to continue his stellar senior campaign in Tucson on Saturday. Jones has yet to be defeated this season.
The meet on Saturday starts at 1 p.m. at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center in Tucson.
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