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ASU swim and dive ends dual season with loss to UA

The ASU swimming and diving teams lost their matches against rival UA on Saturday at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in their final dual meet of the season.

The women’s team fell 196-102 to the No. 2 Wildcats and is now 6-6 (2-5 Pac-10), while the men’s team lost 212-87 to the No. 3 Wildcats and is 2-7 (0-4 Pac-10).

Despite the team loss, several Sun Devils had good finishes, and ASU swimming coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker said she was satisfied with the improvements the team has been making.

“The team as a whole raced tough and was aggressive on some of the details we’ve been emphasizing,” she said. “We faced one of the best teams in the country, and I think it’s a continual reminder to what we’re striving for.”

Max Laney was the only ASU senior to come out of the meet with a win.

“I thought Max Laney did an outstanding job,” Tierney-Walker said. “It was the best dual meet of his career here, which was appropriate on Senior Day.”

Laney clocked in at 1:46.79 in the 200-yard backstroke. UA sophomore Austen Thompson narrowly beat Laney in the 200-yard IM, as Laney clocked in 0.16 seconds after Thompson to earn second place with a time of 1:52.32.

“I was a little nervous on the first race I had, the relay,” Laney said. “I messed it up pretty bad, but the other three swims I had today were all best swimming times for my career.”

ASU sophomore Shoshanna Rutemiller earned nine points for the Sun Devils when she placed first in the 200-yard butterfly with a career-best time of 2:01.95.

Teammate Caroline Kuczynski followed Rutemiller with a second-place finish. Kuczynski clocked in at 2:08.03 and earned four points for the Sun Devils.

Freshmen Caleb Veazey won first place in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:23.81.

The women’s diving team excelled against the Wildcats as it swept both events.

Sophomore Elina Eggers placed first in both the 3-meter (323.78) and the 1-meter (323.78). Teammate Brittany Jumer followed Eggers in second in both events.

Freshman Constantine Blaha placed first in the men’s 1-meter competition with a score of 385.13 and placed third on the 3-meter.

Freshman Riley McCormick took second on the 3-meter and third on the 1-meter.

The next step for the Sun Devils is the Pac-10 Championships.

Tierney-Walker said the Sun Devils’ plan for doing well at the conference meet is to stay focused.

“We need to work on mental preparation,” she said. “We need to continue focusing on the race plan and execution.”

The women’s team will head to Long Beach, Calif., to compete in the Pac-10 Championships from Feb. 24-27, while the diving team will head to Federal Way, Wash., from Feb. 25-27.

The men’s team won’t head to the conference meet until March 3-6, which will also take place in Long Beach.

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