ASU swim and dive hopes to qualify several athletes for national tournament at Pac-12s
The most important part of the season for the ASU swim and dive team begins Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Pac-12 Championships in Federal Way, Wash.
The women's swim and dive team competes Feb. 26 to March 2, as does the men's diving team, but the men's swim competition runs from March 5 to March 9.
Assistant swim coach Dan Kesler said the team is ready for the Pac-12s.
“We’re really excited,” Kesler said. “The entire year has been leading up to being our best right now.”
He said the women have been on fire recently and the men are looking solid as well. Both sides are "pumped" for the upcoming competition, Kesler said.
Kesler said the men’s team is completely injury free, which is a rare thing going into the end of the season. Everyone is healthy and ready to compete.
“We’re right on track where we need to be,” Kesler said.
The team’s ultimate goal is to qualify as many athletes as they can for the NCAA Championships. Kesler said the goal for the Pac-12s is always to make sure there are a number of swimmers making it to the NCAAs.
Kesler said he believes there are a few outsiders on the women’s side who have a shot at qualifying. However, the men's side is up in the air.
“Hopefully we’ll have several individuals on both the men’s and women’s sides qualify,” Kesler said.
He also said the team already has two swimmers who have qualified, one from the men's team and one from the women's. Seniors Tristin Baxter and Alex Coci have already swum fast enough times to qualify for NCAAs.
Apart from Baxter and Coci, Kesler said he hopes the team will have a couple more individuals qualify, which then allows the team to add additional swimmers to compete in the relays.
Last year, the Sun Devil women qualified five individual swimmers and were able to add four relay swimmers as well. The men only qualified two swimmers.
The dive team qualified two men and two women last year.
Senior Riley McCormick was one of those divers who qualified for Pac-12s last year.
McCormick underwent surgery on his thumb last year but still managed to place fifth in the 1-meter event and third in the 3-meter event.
McCormick has done well throughout his senior season. He placed first in a majority of his events and had some close second-place finishes.
The Pac-12 Championships take place all day beginning Feb. 26 and will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Networks.
Reach the reporter at Megan.Kavy@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @meggiekavy