ASU swim and dive prepares for a brutal schedule

ASU swim and dive will have dual meets against Indiana (4) and Texas (2)

While last season was about testing the waters and building a foundation, this year's head coach Bob Bowman and the ASU swim and dive team will leap head first into a demanding schedule.

Besides a Pac-12 schedule that will feature matchups against University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, the Sun Devils' dual meet schedule will include meets against prominent programs like Florida State University, Indiana University, Harvard University and University of Texas. 

Indiana (4) and Texas (2) are ranked in the top 5 of the NCAA for men's swim and dive. 

“I made the whole schedule, I made it all," Bowman said. “One of the things we really need to do is to elevate our daily level of expectation, and by having these other teams come in for the dual meets I think that really helps."

A tougher meet schedule means a more meticulous offseason. Individual medley and backstroke specialist Chloe Isleta compared last year's approach to the details being rigorously stressed this year.  

“Compared to last year, we just kind of went into it, and he said, 'These are the dates we are going to swim and we're not going to taper,'" Isleta said. "This year he had a paper with graphs and numbers, but he broke it down for us, and he said that this time we are going to start hard, and he said it is going to be a tough schedule."

Senior breaststroke specialist Christian Lorenz discussed how a brutal dual meet schedule could benefit the Sun Devils in the rankings. 

“The preparation for this year, even in the first week, has been intense and I think that is indicative of the tough meet schedule we have coming up,” Lorenz said. 

“We had huge increases in our points at our National Championships last year, and I think as we go up in ranking or in points scored, we have to build up our dual meet schedule as well just to kind of stay up to par with those high level teams we are striving to be.”

In some cases, when these out-of-conference programs travel to Tempe, they will not just compete against the Sun Devils but train with them. 

“One of the best things about the Indiana time is they are going to be here for a whole week," Bowman said. "Then we will have a meet some time during that."

The meets against Texas could prove to be the most demanding of the season. The Texas Longhorns men's swim team won their third straight NCAA Championship last year.

“And Texas of course is the gold standard of swimming, particularly on the men's side," Bowman said. "We are very anxious to have them come in, so our guys just get a better feel for what that level of competition is.” 

Lorenz also emphasized that the meet against Texas is a chance to see where the Sun Devils are at competitively compared to the nation's top swim programs. 

“I think, if anything, the measuring stick would be the invite that we go to December at the University of Texas,” Lorenz said. “All those top teams will be there; Cal will be there, Texas will be there, and you know they are going to be guns blazing, ready to go..."

The Sun Devils are poised to compete with the nation's best and build their reputation as an elite swim program. 

“What is important is how we progress each time we swim (against) one of those schools,” Bowman said. “Our goals is to move up in the NCAA rankings."

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