Tristin Baxter and Alex Coci stand out among seniors at final ASU swim and dive dual meet

UA sophomore diver Karolyn Loftus competes in the three meter springboard. Both the ASU men's and women's teams fell to Arizona on Feb. 8. (Photo by Benjamin Margiott)

UA sophomore diver Karolyn Loftus competes in the three meter springboard. Both the ASU men’s and women’s teams fell to Arizona on Feb. 8. (Photo by Benjamin Margiott)

The ASU swim and dive seniors didn’t go out how they would have liked to, with the men losing 158.5-116.5 and the women 171.5-105.5.

Although both sides lost, some of the Sun Devil seniors proved that the team would miss them after this season.

Senior Tristin Baxter once again stood out as one of the top competitors at the meet. She said it’s exciting to have swum the final dual meet of her career but is in awe of how fast time has flown by.

download-022114

“It feels like it was just yesterday that me and all the other seniors now were freshmen,” Baxter said. “We were all excited for the seniors at the time and it’s strange that it’s actually here for us.”

Baxter placed second in the 1000 freestyle. She finished with a time of 10:00.02, which was five seconds behind the first place finisher, freshman Tjasa Oder of UA.

Baxter didn’t let that second place finish stop her from dominating the competition in her other individual events.

Baxter had an exciting finish to the 200 butterfly, which came down to the wire between her and UA junior Elizabeth Pepper.

“I was thinking this is probably the last time I’ll ever swim this,” Baxter said. “I just wanted to see what I could do and maybe try to go for a best time.”

She said she was excited about the outcome of the race. Her time was 1:57.55, which is an NCAA “B”-cut time.

Baxter also finished the 500 freestyle in a similar fashion. She finished with a time of 4:51.15 and just out-touched Oder, who finished with a time of 4:51.28.

“It was just a race and I wanted to out-touch her if I could,” Baxter said.

On the men’s side, senior Alex Coci had his best meet this season.

“I did my best times in a dual meet this year,” Coci said.

Coci outswam the competition in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:46.98, which is also an NCAA “B”-cut time. UA sophomore Alan Winder almost crept up on Coci at the end of the race but Coci was confident in the result of the race prior to the event.

“I was just swimming my race,” he said. “I didn’t see the guy in lane seven (Winder) until the last 50 meters.”

Coci also claimed first place in the 100 butterfly with a time of 48.15, another NCAA “B”-cut time.

Coci said he is not only confident in himself for the Pac-12 championships, but confident in the team as well.

“We have a lot of newcomers and a lot of potential so I really believe in this team for the next couple meets,” he said.

Freshman Alex Sabau proved he was a valuable asset to the team when he led the men’s 500-freestyle the entire race until UA senior Matt Barber came from behind in the last lap.

Freshman Barkley Perry also had an excellent meet. He placed first in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:39.48 and the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:45.81.

The Sun Devils will miss their seniors next year, but as Coci said, they have a lot of great talent and potential for years to come.

Reach the reporter at Megan.Kavy@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @meggiekavy