When the ASU swimming and diving teams opened their seasons with intrasquad scrimmages on Friday, head coach Bob Bowman emphasized that the energy from members was not entirely competitive.
“It’s more of an ‘everybody do your best, let’s work together’ (thing),” Bowman said. “See how they are in a racing environment. For a lot of the freshmen, this is the first time they’re in a dual meet.”
“We had good energy, which I liked. They raced pretty strongly,” Bowden said. “Some of the freshman were very good.”
Some of Bowman’s swimmers embraced the competitive angle.
“We definitely turned it into more of a competition between one another,” freshman Carter Swift, who was on the winning team for the 400 freestyle relay said. “There’s definitely a bit of a rivalry. It’s friendly, but when we get up to the pool deck, we get into a bit of banter.”
It was certainly a competitive showdown between the maroon and gold squads, with maroon barely coming out on top in a 260-254 victory across 28 events.
“It’s definitely a good jumping off point,” senior Zach Poti said after winning the 100 backstroke and the 200 backstroke. “Coming off last year, everybody was probably a little bit worse. So just to see where we are right now, where we are going forward, it’s gonna be a good season, hopefully.”
“I think this meet showed a testament to how hard everyone trained over the summer. A lot of us had really really good swims,” junior Nora Deleske, who won the 200 breaststroke and 200 IM said. “I think a big portion of this is how good shape we are in right now.”
A promising start indeed for a program that qualified 10 athletes for the national championship last season, and had 18 athletes selected to the Pac-12 all-academic squad.
“We don’t really make our goals public, but we clearly want to move up in the rankings in the NCAAs,” Bowman said. “We want to be more competitive with the other teams in our conference, which are the best teams in the NCAA.”
Underclassmen and upperclassmen alike put up big performances at the scrimmage Friday
“Since this is an Olympic year, the energy is a lot higher,” Deleske said. “Everyone’s trying to do their best because there’s so much on the line this year. It’s just a big year for us, so we’re really excited to see who can do well.”
The first meet for ASU is on Oct. 25 against Utah.