Saturday is the last dual meet of the season for the ASU swim and dive team, and the last dual meet ever for the team’s seniors.
The men’s and women’s seniors will face their rival UA for the last time.
“It’s such a tremendous group of seniors,” coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker said. “This class has really helped this program go to another level in the last five years.”
Tierney-Walker praised each male senior as being fantastic students and fantastic individuals. She said she believes they have each made an impact on the ASU swim and dive program since they arrived.
The male seniors this year are swimmers David Adalsteinsson, Alex Coci, Alex Palumbo and diver Riley McCormick.
On the women’s side, the team may not be losing all of their seniors just yet.
“We did have three, but it looks like we’re only going to have two now, because one’s going to redshirt,” Tierney-Walker said. “So we’ll hopefully get Alex (Popa) back next year, which will be great.”
Although there are only a couple of senior women, they have made a huge impact throughout their time at ASU.
Tierney-Walker said both seniors Tristin Baxter and Jaclyn Chavez have had very different experiences on the team, but both have been positive.
Baxter has performed admirably throughout her years as a Sun Devil swimmer. She holds several school records, including the top times in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle.
Baxter is also a member of the Open Water National Team.
“She can pretty much swim any event we ask her to and willingly does,” Tierney-Walker said. “She takes care of business every day.”
Chavez made a big commitment coming to ASU and has thrived since her arrival.
Not only has she thrived swimming-wise, but she has thrived academically as well. Chavez is a “scholar baller” at ASU, according to Tierney-Walker.
“She comes to the pool every day with a positive attitude and a work ethic,” Tierney-Walker said. “She extends that to everyone around her.”
Tierney-Walker said she expects the meet to be competitive against UA and sees it being led by the seniors. She said it has been an honor to coach the seniors, both male and female, and an honor to have them as part of the ASU swim and dive program.
The Sun Devils had a couple of rough meets in California two weekends ago, but are optimistic toward the end of their season.
The upcoming Pac-12 and NCAA Championships are ultimately the most important part of the season for the team. Everything they’ve done so far this year has been to work toward competing strongly in the Pac-12 and NCAAs.
For now, the team is ready for the swim and dive edition of the Territorial Cup.
Meet action begins Saturday in Tempe at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center at 1 p.m.
“Hopefully it’ll be a beautiful day, we’ll have a great crowd and see some good racing.” Tierney-Walker said. “It’ll be fun.”
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