ASU swim and dive sports a talented freshman class

With holes to fill, expect the youth of this team to be making heavy contributions in the upcoming season

Of the 56 students-athletes on the ASU swim and dive team, 22 of them are freshmen. Head coach Bob Bowman and staff had a productive offseason, signing some of the best recruits in the nation. 

The headliner from this years freshman class is freshman Grant House. Individually, House is a six-time state champion, a two-time NSCA champion, and he was a 2016 Olympic trials qualifier. 

“Last year, we had an incredibly drastic improvement, and it was huge for the team overall for success,” House said. “Watching from afar, it was neat to see, and this year I’m excited to be a more intricate part of it.”

His versatility will benefit the Sun Devils as he is likely to swim sprint and middle-distance freestyles, along with individual medley. 

House was ranked the seventh best recruit in the nation, according to swimswam.com. 

“My individual goals for this season are to become the first swimmer, first American to go under 1:30 seconds in the 200 yard freestyle, and I feel like with Bob's training and his help along with everyone else on the coaching staff, that will be possible," House said. "That's one of my big goals, and I would like to go top eight in all my individual events at NCAAs.”

Any college freshman has to make adjustments to the new change of scenery. Freshman distance swimmers Emma Nordin and Erica Laning said they had to adapt to coach Bowman's training methods.

Nordin was a freestyle swimmer at Carmel High School in Indiana where she was a state champion, and broke multiple records. 

“The difference is his high expectations for everything here,” Nordin said. “Bob knows we could do it, so he puts high expectations on everything we do.”  

Laning won a national high school championship in the 500 yd freestyle, a Tennessee state championship in the 200 and 500 yd freestyle. She also competed in the 2016 Olympic trials. 

“It’s different – it's a lot more intense and with Bob, he knows what he wants out of you, and if you don’t do that, he’s going to let you know,” Laning said.

With the loss of Olympian Anna Olasz last year, Nordin and Laning are expected to have an immediate impact. They will be competing in the distance freestyle events. 

“I’m excited especially to see where our women's team goes this year compared to last because our freshman class is pretty good," Laning said. "And I think we bring a really good depth to the women's team, so I’m really excited to see where that takes us.” 

This year's freshman class feels like they are poised to make the most out of this great opportunity.

“One of the reasons I came here was because it was a building program, and I thought it would be super cool to be apart of that," Laning said. "So I guess in four years, I want to look back on where we started this year and be able to think about all the change that has happened.” 

This massive freshman class has high aspirations as they hope to put this program on a pedestal. 

“Ultimately I want to leave my mark on the program beyond just records. This freshman class has the capability to help create this program into something that is on the national contention,” House said. “I believe by the time the freshman class here kind of sends off to their graduation, we will be known as one of the swimming powers of the NCAA.”

While no freshman will be present, ASU is sending four swimmers to the USA Swimming College Challenge in Los Angeles on Oct. 21-22.


Reach the reporter at nsheehy@asu.edu or follow @nsheehy_nick on Twitter.

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