Last year in Columbus, the Sun Devil women finished 23rd in the nation, where they tallied 34 team points.
This week, they finished 20th in a far more competitive field, with 61 team points coming from three swimmers in individual events, and relay points coming from four more.
With lifetime best improvements as the theme of the week, sophomore Emma Nordin continued the trend in the 1650 freestyle, dropping nearly six seconds from her previous best to finish ninth in 15:54.83. In front of her was the high-point scorer from ASU for the meet, junior Cierra Runge in eighth place.
The 15:53.72 mark for Runge earned her another first team All-American spot, her second of the week.
ASU did not qualify any swimmers for individual events for the Saturday night session, with junior Silja Kansakoski finishing 18th in the 200 breastroke prelims in 2:08.95. Senior Fanny Teijonsalo false started in the prelims of the 100 freestyle.
Teijonsalo found her chance for redemption in the 400 freestyle relay; the traditional final event of meets. Teijonsalo swam the fastest split on the relay in prelims, a 48.20 in the on-deck spot.
In the finals of the event, the relay from Tempe dropped nearly a half second to move up to 14th place. In the final race of her collegiate career, Teijonsalo led off the relay in 48.74, off the flash start. After touching the wall, she symbolically handed the team’s lead sprinter title to sophomore Camryn Curry. Curry to Nordin, to Runge, to finish in a school record-time of 13:14.38.
Last year in Columbus, there was no Sun Devil 400 freestyle relay. They didn’t qualify one. At the Pac-12 Championships, the team of the now transferred Claire Fisch and Katherine Wagner, senior Marlies Ross, and Fanny Teijonsalo finished sixth in the Pac-12.
Five Sun Devil seniors on the women’s squad will graduate this semester: Sam Fazio, Krista Kolkebeck, Kaya Philapil, Marlies Ross, and Fanny Teijonsalo. Next year will be Head Coach Bob Bowman’s fourth season with the Sun Devils, having signed on five top-100 recruits so far.
The men’s NCAA Championships will begin Wednesday, with five men qualifying.