Both the men and women fell to the Trojans in heavy losses, although to say the Devils swam poorly would be outright wrong.
USC, a perennially strong PAC-12 program, hosted the Devils this Friday morning in the start of a Sun Devil weekend on Friday in the City of Angels. ASU’s women fell to USC, 168-121, and the men of ASU fell by a 173-129 margin. Again–this should not be a disappointing loss.
The Trojan men placed third in the conference last year, and fourth in the women’s meet. As ASU is without swimmers they relied on last season, the underclassmen in the program are required to step up. The challenge was presented, and the Devils excelled.
Sophomore Caitlyn Wilson touched second in the 1000 freestyle, while juniors Bentley Hulshof and Kendall Dawson swam season bests, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively. Freshman Ruby Martin received the memo on season best swims and achieved hers in a fourth-place finish in the 200 butterfly.
Sophomore Camryn Curry was another underclassman who shined, Curry finished second in the 50 freestyle, and third in the 100 freestyle. Finally, sophomores and distance stars Emma Nordin and Erica Laning finished first and second in the 500 freestyle, where Nordin swam a season best. Fellow sophomore Caitlyn Wilson was not far behind in fourth place.
Sophomore Evan Carlson built on a personal record performance in Tallahassee last week by setting another personal record in the 50 freestyle, this time in LA. He touched the wall in a speedy 19.89 seconds, a 0.3% improvement from the PR he set last week. After winning that event by a third-of-a-second margin, he also won the 100 freestyle in 44.06 seconds, nearly a half-second ahead of USC’s freshman Alexei Sancov. Freshman Khalil Fonder also notched times to highlight ASU’s trip to Los Angeles, specifically his third-place finish in the 100 backstroke, followed by a first place finish in the 100 butterfly.
Sometimes scores tell a different story than a game’s players, or in this case, a meet’s swimmers. The Sun Devils woke up early Friday morning to fly into LAX, and underclassmen stepped up to the trial. Of course, this is the first of many trials and tribulations this Sun Devil squad will face: the schedule does not get any easier for the Devils as they’ll see powerhouse teams at the IU Hoosier Invitational, followed by dual meets against Cal, Stanford, and a certain university in southern Arizona.
For now, the men will sit and watch as the women take on UCLA, Saturday morning in the latter half of the trip to Los Angeles.