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Olympic sports roundup: Léon Marchand breaks NCAA record for 400 individual medley

Hockey continues its four-game slide, swimming breaks records as it stays No.1, and gymnastics and wrestling collide

230121 S&D v Stanford.jpg

ASU sophomore Léon Marchand celebrates after his record-breaking 400 meters individual medley against the Stanford Cardinal at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center Friday, Jan. 22, 2023. ASU beat Stanford 186-144.


Swim and dive

The ASU swim and dive team had a record-breaking weekend in one of the year's most anticipated college swim meets. The No. 1 Sun Devil men's team beat No. 2 Cal 211-87, and the women beat the No. 11 Golden Bears 191.5-96.5 at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center on Saturday.

An electric crowd was in attendance to watch the Sun Devils win 22 events during the meet. However, the most exciting moment came when sophomore Léon Marchand broke the NCAA record for a 400 IM, posting a time of 3:31.84. Cal's Hugo Gonzalez previously held the record.

The standout for the women was ASU redshirt junior Lindsay Looney, who won all three of her individual events. She was 1st in the 200 free, 200 fly and 500 free. She also was a part of the team that won the 400 free relay.

But it wasn't smooth sailing all weekend. Twenty-four hours earlier, the women's squad was beaten by No.3 Stanford Cardinal 175-122. The men had a better day on Friday against Stanford, beating the Cardinal for the first time this century 186-114.

The next time both teams will be in action will be on Feb. 4, when they host Arizona in the swimming Territorial Cup at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center.

Hockey

The struggle for ASU hockey continued this past weekend as they extended their losing streak to four games, falling to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) 5-1 on Friday and 5-3 on Saturday at Mullett Arena.

In game one, ASU was dominated. The Tigers got off to a flaming start as they scored five unanswered goals to start the game, with the Sun Devil’s lone goal coming with just over two minutes left. The Devils had five power play opportunities in game one, but they only scored once, resulting in a 5-1 loss.

Game two was much more competitive as the Devils gave themselves a two-goal lead early in the second period, but the Tigers' offense remained hot as they tied the game with two goals of their own in the same period. Christopher Grando scored 27 seconds into the third period to give ASU a lead, but it was ultimately short-lived after RIT put up three straight goals to close the door, with the dagger coming from Cody Laskosky to give the Devils a 5-3 loss. 

ASU has lost four straight and five out of six in January. They haven’t scored more than three goals since an OT loss at New Hampshire on Dec. 10, 2022, a big-time issue for Greg Powers and his staff to fix.

ASU stays in Tempe for a weekend series versus St. Thomas, starting on Friday, Jan. 27.

Tennis

The women's team started their 2023 campaign with five straight wins, their first 5-0 start since 2020, sweeping all five opponents 7-0. The men's team has gotten off to a fast start, handling both Bryant University and Wichita State by a combined score of 8 to 1.

So far, not one player from the women's team has lost a singles or doubles match this season. Freshman Chelsea Fontenel is making her presence felt already on the court, winning all five of her singles matches.

Junior Jacob Bullard was the weekend highlight for the men's team, defeating Wichita State's Alex Richards in straight sets (6-2, 6-4), then taking down Bulldog Diego Trejo (6-0, 6-2) two days later. Bullard, along with freshman Roi Ginat went two for two in doubles.

"There was great focus today," head coach Matt Hill said in a video posted to Twitter. "I thought we did a very nice job of what we were asking for. It was a great day."

The men's team takes on Baylor next weekend away from home in Waco, Texas, for the ITA kickoff, then they'll take on Florida State or the University of San Diego, depending on the result. 

The women's team heads to Alabama for their ITA kickoff weekend as they take on UCF in their first match, followed by either Auburn or UCSB. 



Wrestling/Gymnastics: Beauty and the Beast

On Friday, the ASU gymnastics squad and wrestling team competed side-by-side in Desert Financial Arena. However, both teams couldn't win as the gymnasts fell to No. 19 Stanford 196.225-196.050, and the wrestlers were defeated by No. 28 Cal Poly 19-18.

This was the Gym Devil's third score of 196 or above this season. In the first two events, junior Anaya Smith led the team on vault with a score of 9.825, and junior Sarah Clark closed the bars with a 9.875. Clark also had a strong performance on the beam, earning her second 9.875 of the meet. On the floor, Jada Mangahas led the women with a 9.875. Despite the Gym Devils' performance, their strong scores fell to a close second behind the Cardinals. 

On the wrestling side, ASU and Cal Poly split the matches with five wins apiece but couldn't get the points necessary to come out with a win. Richard Figueroa improved to 13-0 on the season, winning 6-5 over Anthony Lorenzo. 

ASU wrestling traveled to the No. 23 Stanford to snap their four-game losing streak on Sunday with a 25-14 win in Palo Alto, California. The win was highlighted by redshirt senior Michael McGee’s 25th career tech fall victory, winning 16-1 in the process. 

The Maroon and Gold will travel to Lehigh on Saturday while gymnastics' next outing will be when they host Arizona on Saturday.

Track and field

The Sun Devil Track and Field team competed against Texas Tech in the Red Raider Open on Friday. They finished the meet with three gold medals and eight top-five finishes. 

Junior Justin Robinson came out on top in the 400m, sophomore Dayton Carlson was victorious in the 800m, and senior Lena Lebrun won the mile. After only the second meet of the year, the Sun Devils now have 11 national top-50 marks. With seven of them being men and the women putting four.

ASU returns to the track Jan. 27-28 for Arkansas' Razorback Invitational.

Edited by Walker Smith, Reagan Priest and Luke Chatham.


Reach the reporters at whsmith8@asu.edu, harrish.hicks@gmail.com, roza1@asu.edu, vdeange1@asu.edu and katrinamic03@gmail.com and follow @vdeangelis2024, @walkerrTR, @RishOza_ and @kat_m67 on Twitter. 

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.


Vinny DeangelisSports Reporter

Vincent Deangelis is a full-time reporter for the sports department at The State Press. He has previously worked for Arizona PBS and AZPreps365.com. 


Walker SmithSports Editor

Walker Smith is a sports editor in the digital department of the State Press. He has previously worked as a reporter on the sports desk and works for Blaze Radio and interned at Big Slate Media in broadcast productions.


Rishi Oza

Sports writer


Harris Hicks

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