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ASU Swim/Dive: Men’s NCAA Championships Day 4 Recap

Last one, fast one

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

After four days of school records, All-Americans and personal bests in Austin, Texas, the Sun Devil men finished 21st in the nation, ahead of the University of Miami and behind USC. The combined 75.5 team points marked the most since ASU’s 14th-place finish in 2017.

On Saturday, junior Zach Poti qualified for the championship final of the 200 backstroke after setting a school record to take the eighth seed in prelims. Friday afternoon, he added 1.29 seconds to his prelim time of 1:39.09, for an 8th-place finish. Poti secured 11 points in the event, bringing his meet total to 17 team points through individual events.

The Sun Devil 400 freestyle relay also snuck in to the championship final, with a time of 2:49.67 to edge out the probable-fifth seed Alabama (2:49.91). The relay marked a time drop of .84 seconds from the entry time. Sophomore Carter Swift led off for the Devils, going 42.48 in his signature event. Sophomore sprinter Evan Carlson followed, with Zach Poti and sophomore Grant House anchoring the relay. Although the group added time in finals, the Sun Devils still recorded 22 team points by finishing 8th.

Of course, the unsung hero yet again brought more success: diving. On the platform competition, junior Youssef Selim continued his weekend by placing 11th, with a score of 322.35. Selim scored six more team points for ASU.

Worth mentioning is the age of the Sun Devil men’s team. Only one NCAA qualifier, graduate student David Hoffer, will not be with the team next year. All NCAA-qualifing swimmers will return next year, including five-tool swimmer Grant House, sprinters Carter Swift and Evan Carlson, and possibly the best backstroker in school history in Zach Poti. The team will only graduate Hoffer’s five team points, so a top-15 finish may not be out of reach for next season.

The Cal Golden Bears brought home the team trophy, the Pac-12’s first national championship win since the same team won in 2014. For the past four years, Cal has finished runner-up to Texas, but reversed roles by scoring a convincing 560 team points. Texas finished with 475.

The long-course season this summer is next for both men and women, with short-course season to start in September.