As if the records set earlier in the meet weren’t enough, the Sun Devils set three more school records on the final day of the women’s conference meet in Federal Way Saturday evening. Just for good measure.
Junior Cierra Runge continued a dominant meet performance in the 1650 freestyle, also known as the mile. Runge swam the fourth fastest time in the nation at the time of her swim, which took her to second place on the podium. She notched an NCAA ‘A’ cut, and set two school records in one swim.
Yes, two school records. In one swim.
Because why break 1⃣ record when you can break 2⃣ with a single swim?— Sun Devil Swim/Dive (@ASUSwimDive) March 3, 2019
Not only did @CierraRunge break the mile record, but she also topped the 1000 free record in the same swim by going 9:35.26 in her first 1000! pic.twitter.com/BdeBGPWeAq
On her way to beating the school record in the 1650 by 11 seconds, Runge broke ASU’s 1000 freestyle record as well.
ASU scored nearly 100 team points in the 1650 freestyle event: sophomore Emma Nordin finished fourth, followed by junior Kendall Dawson in 11th, sophomore Caitlyn Wilson in 14th. All three swimmers earned NCAA ‘B’ cuts, while junior Bentley Hulshof finished 15th.
In an incredibly tight heat of the 200 breastroke–places one through six were decided by a two-second margin–junior Silja Kansakoski finished third. Kansakoski led the heat after 100 yards, although Stanford sophomore Grace Zhao and USC senior Riley Scott combined to best the Sun Devil by a few tenths of a second.
Among the highlights from Saturday was the platform diving. Sophomore Ashley McCool was the sole finalist for the Sun Devils, although her fourth-place finish was memorable. Across all heights McCool competed in throughout the meet, fourth place was her best finish.
The judges give Ashley a couple 6.5s and 7s for this 403B, and she now heads to her final dive in fourth place with 188.45 points! pic.twitter.com/j5l7Ql921Q— Sun Devil Swim/Dive (@ASUSwimDive) March 3, 2019
Even with an array of personal bests, high places and Cierra Runge breaking two records in one swim, the most impressive finish of the night. The 400 freestyle relay broke an 11 year-standing school record, a 3:14.57 fourth-place finish. Sophomore Camryn Curry started, followed by senior Fanny Teijonsalo, sophomore Emma Nordin, and anchored by Cierra Runge to secure an NCAA ‘A’ cut.
The Sun Devil women finished fourth in the Pac-12, although the final team place wasn’t everything for this meet.
“We swim lifetime bests, that’s always my exception,” Coach Bob Bowman said over the phone before the meet.
With a wide array of personal bests notched, the record boards in Tempe will need to be rewritten before next season starts. But not too quickly– several women qualified for the NCAA meet in Austin, Texas, starting March 20.
In the meantime, the men will swim in Federal Way starting Wednesday.