TEMPE, Arizona. The last time Bob BowmanThe Sun Devils were in action, lighting up the NC State Invite, rewriting the program record books and slamming the door into the first half of the 2021-22 season with a historic outing in Greensboro.
Nearly two months later, the Sun Devils resumed competition on Friday, January 14, when they welcome the Utah Utes into town for the final home game of the regular season. The game will serve as the team’s Senior Day, recognizing 18 seniors prior to the 3:00 PM game.
Fans can tune in to the meet here via the ASU Live Stream broadcast.
PLAY BACK THE FIRST HALF
Prior to the start of the season, both Sun Devil swim teams were ranked in the CSCAA’s Top 25 preseason polls. Bowman, the program’s seventh-year head coach, hinted in the off-season that the Sun Devils boast the kind of talent, depth and leadership needed in a deep run after the season. They wasted little time proving it.
The women’s squad (2-1), ranked No. 16 in the country by SwimSwam, jumped out to an early 2-0 start with comfortable wins over Pac-12 foes Washington State and USC. Both ASU teams were defeated by the USC Trojans in early November, the season opener for the men’s team.
Both the men’s and women’s teams gave their best at the NC State Invite in late November, sending the program skyrocketing in the national rankings. In three days, 10 school records were shattered. Several Sun Devils have set times that are currently the fastest in the country – Grant House (200 free), Léon Marchand (200 & 400 IM), Emma Nordin (1000 & 1650 free).
The men’s team (0-1) was awarded a top-5 ranking by the CSCAA in the December polls, the highest in the program’s history.
The Sun Devils will conclude the regular season with a three-week trajectory consisting of four encounters, with the last three all en route (in Stanford, California and Arizona). But first a date with the Utes on Friday in Tempe.
EXAMPLE OF THE UTES
Utah put on a great show at the Big Al Invitational hosted by Princeton University in early December, where both the men’s (1-3) and women’s (1-2) teams took first place.
The Utes, led by ninth-year head coach Joe Dykstra, have shown a powerful attack in free-range games this season. At the Big Al Invitational, they placed three in the top-10 in the 1650 free event (Jackson Cunningham and Nick and Dylan Becker). In the women’s competition, freshmen Marlene Sandberg and Taylor Kabacy finished first and second respectively in the 1650 free.
At last year’s NCAA Championships, Andrew Britton, Cooper DeRyk, Andrei Ungur and Finn O’Haimhirgin teamed up for a second-team All-American performance in the 200 medley relay. Their time of 1:24.15 set a new school record en route to a top-15 finish nationally. All four returned this season.
Last spring, the Utah women’s team rolled to the highest conference championship finish since entering the Pac-12, finishing fifth.
Like the Sun Devils, the Utes have an abundance of young talent, with 22 underclassmen on the women’s roster.
The Utes returned this season to Luke McDivitt, an All-American a year ago after becoming the school’s first Pac-12 platform diving champion.
UTAH-KIN’ FOR ME?
The Sun Devils are perfect in three tries against the Utes since head coach Bob Bowmanarrival in 2015 (wins in 2019, 2017 and 2016).
The schools have not met since 2019 and the Utes have not visited Tempe since October 27, 2017.