Saturday evening marked the final swims of the Pac-12 conference meet, sending the Sun Devils home with a fourth-place finish behind Cal, Stanford and Arizona.
Missing a T-Cup point isn’t the crux of this story, however. The past four days, the Sun Devils made long-term investments in the bigger picture, the NCAA Championships at the University of Texas.
Saturday’s significant finishes were numerous: a spread of distance events, sprints and a mix of all four strokes.
In the 200 backstroke, junior Zach Poti swam neck-and-neck with Cal sophomore Byrce Mefford for the entirety of the race, eventually falling to the Golden Bear. Poti’s silver is also a personal best and the second fastest 200 backstroke time in school history. The NCAA ‘B’ cut is good enough to send him to Austin.
Another one to the collection— Sun Devil Swim/Dive (@ASUSwimDive) March 10, 2019
Zach Poti adds a to his from last night in the 200 back! pic.twitter.com/LCWa3u7lwk
The 400 freestyle relay has been a heavy-duty one for ASU. Sophomore Carter Swift started the relay with a 42.70 flash start, a one-tenth of a second improvement from the 100 freestyle he swam (a sixth-place finish) moments before. Sophomore Evan Carlson followed by cracking the 42-second mark for the first time in his career. Junior Zach Poti and sophomore Grant House also posted personal bests to finish the third-place relay.
Outside— Sun Devil Swim/Dive (@ASUSwimDive) March 10, 2019
Our A relay takes third in the final event of the week, racing to a 2:50.51 from lane two to finish to secure an NCAA A-Cut in the 400 free relay! pic.twitter.com/lF8SYVPmdl
That relay snagged an ‘A’ cut, joining the list of relays the ASU men will have in Austin.
In the 200 breaststroke, Grant House and senior Danny Comforti finished back-to-back in tenth and eleventh, both grabbing NCAA ‘B’ cuts, while House set a personal best.
The event so long it has its own time slot–the 1650 freestyle–yielded two more ‘B’ cuts for ASU swimmers. Junior Ben Olszewski finished seventh, dropping three seconds from his personal best set at the 2017 Pac-12s. Freshman Jack Little finished 17th, dropping just under two seconds from his best set at the IU Invite in November.
Qualifiers for Austin will be released once all conference meets are completed, but ASU solidified a heavy Sun Devil presence with Saturday’s finishes.