The morning started off rainy, but the sky in Tallahassee cleared up by noon, as the Sun Devils travelled to their first men’s and women’s swim and dive meet against the Seminoles of Florida State.
Coach Bob Bowman changed the lineup for the women since they cruised by Oregon State earlier this month, to fight a breastroker and sprinter heavy Seminole squad. In the 200 medley relay, junior Chloe Isleta gave the Devils a lead on her always strong backstroke leg, although it was not enough to cushion against FSU’s ACC Swimmer of the Week, freshman Ida Hulkko. With a 27.18 split, Hulkko battled her way past junior Silja Kansakoski. Despite ASU sophomore Camryn Curry’s 22.80 freestyle leg to close out the race, the Seminoles took the event a full second ahead of the Devils.
On the men’s side, junior Zach Poti provided a half-second lead with his backstroke leg, and freshman Elijah Warren grew that lead to over a full second on his breastroke. However, FSU’s top sprinter, senior Kanoa Kaleoaloha put the pressure on sophomore Evan Carlson as his commanding butterfly shortened the Devil’s lead from over a second to just three one-hundredths of a second. Luckily for the Devils, Carlson thrives under pressure. He grinded out the 50 yards in 19.28 seconds, winning the event for ASU.
The women had ground to make up for, and they did just that in the 1000 freestyle. Sophomores Caitlyn Wilson, Emma Nordin and Cam Smith finished the event in first, second and third, respectively. The next finisher touched nearly seven seconds after Smith, and over 15 seconds after Wilson. The women’s strength in distance and mid-distance freestyle continued to show in the next event, the 200 freestyle. Sophomore Erica Laning won the event with a time two seconds faster than the one she swam in Corvallis earlier this month.
After watching those displays of dominance from the women, the men either grew with envy, or were inspired, either way, they took note. In the 1000 freestyle, juniors Ben Olszewski and Matthew Kint touched first and second, freshman Jack Little in third, and junior Sidney Kao was not far behind with the fourth-place finish. They followed suit in the 200 freestyle, as sophomore Grant House won the event, and freshman Liam Bresette came in second. This momentum carried into the 100 backstroke for both the men and women, with wins for each side in the event.
However, the 100 breaststroke marked an end of this quick streak: FSU is especially strong in the breastroke category, as shown in the earlier medley relay. Through the event, FSU expanded on their lead to one they would not give up, 77-54 over the Devils.
Evan Carlson set himself up for a successful day of swims after his run in the medley relay. In the 50 freestyle, he out touched Kaleoaloha of FSU by just one one-hundredth of a second to notch a lifetime best at 19.94, his first time swimming the 50 in under 20 seconds. In the 100 freestyle, Carlson won his second individual event of the day, as freshman Ethan Luc finished in second.
Isleta continued her reign as an unbeaten backstroker in individual events this year, winning the 100 and 200 backstroke. Junior Zach Poti held it down for the Devils with a win in the same two events.
This was also the first opportunity for ASU diving to show out, as the dual meet at Oregon State did not have diving. In the 1-meter content, sophomore Ashley McCool finished in second place, just three points behind junior Ayla Bonniwell of FSU. On the men’s side, reigning PAC-12 champion, junior Youssef Selim won both the 1- and 3-meter contests by decisive scores. In the 3-meter dive, senior David Hoffer took second-place. Hoffer did not compete for ASU last season as a redshirt, although it is clear after the meet in Tallahassee that he will score valuable points for the men.
After the 100 butterfly, with only two events remaining, the women were trailing FSU by 30 points. The meet may have been out of reach, although that did not stop the women from holding their own. In the following event, the 200 individual medley, senior Marlies Ross, Chloe Isleta, and sophomore Nora Deleske finished first, second and third to slice FSU’s lead nearly in half, the Seminoles now ahead by just 17. The comeback was in the works, although cut short in the final event: the 400 freestyle relay. In the relay, the likes of Camryn Curry, Erica Laning, junior Kendall Dawson, and Emma Nordin were not enough to hold off the speedsters from FSU, and the women fell short at the end of the day, 161-139.
On the other side, the men, highlighted by assertive performances from Zach Poti and Evan Carlson, cruised past FSU, 184-116.
The men and women will have an opportunity to improve to their records on Friday, November 2nd, as they make the quick trip to USC.