Alabama football, Penn State wrestling and Duke basketball all come to mind; but none of those programs have won 40-straight conference championships, nor 14 NCAA Championships under the same coach.
It’s hard to express the magnitude of the University of Texas’ strength in swimming.
“Just the way they race,” Coach Bob Bowman said. “It’s just a very good thing for our guys to set their sights higher.”
As if the Sun Devil men’s team didn’t already have their sights set on Pac-12 golds, now they can see championship-winning swimmers.
Daniel Krueger, a sophomore from Texas, swam the 50 freestyle in 19.93. This is the first time ASU has seen a sprinter go sub-20 in a dual meet: unshaved, untapered, in a practice suit.
The Longhorn men defeated the Sun Devils 184-109; the Sun Devil women fell 177-177. To come within even 100 points of the team unanimously predicted to win the national championship is a feat of its own.
“It’s honestly pretty surreal seeing how far we’ve come already in the past two years that I’ve been here,” junior transfer Carter Swift said. “It’s pretty cool to be able to see Texas and hopefully one day beat them.”
The women were headlined by Emma Nordin’s back-to-back wins in the 1000, then 200 freestyles. The junior continued her tear this season of both distance and mid-distance events.
“She’s just really fit right now and she’s ready to go.” Bowman confidently said of Nordin. “She just needs to keep sharpening up some things and she’ll have a really good end of the season.”
Among the additions to the “pros” column of today’s meet for ASU was freshman sprint freestyler Jack Dolan. The Missouri native scored in the 100 and 200 freestyles, while also swimming the backstroke leg of the ‘B’ 200 medley relay and anchoring the ‘A’ 200 freestyle relay.
Dolan has anchored freestyle relays at the NC State invite, then against Cal, and now splitting 19.65 against Texas.
“He’s stepped up against the big guys,” Bowman pointed out of the freshman.
Scheduling a team like Texas can be a controversial pick. On one hand, it’s a great opportunity to see the speed the team will need to match at NCAAs. On the other hand, triple-digit losses can be demoralizing to a team.
“It built up our confidence because we can be with them,” junior Cam Curry said in praise of Bowman’s scheduling. “We are an NCAA division one school that can compete with those type of schools.”
U of A UArizona Wildcats will travel to Tempe next Saturday for the Sun Devils’ final dual meet before the postseason begins.