ASU swimmers in search of an upset
published on Friday, January 25, 2008
/ THE STATE PRESS |
FREE FALLING: Junior All-American Mickey Benedetti dives into his training at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center Wednesday.
The men's and women's swim and dive teams will trek north to the Bay Area this weekend to compete in their final road meets of the year.
ASU's unranked men and No. 17 women will face Stanford's second-ranked men and third-ranked women Friday before heading to Berkeley, Calif., to take on California Saturday.
"It's a challenge of facing two very good teams," ASU coach Michael Chasson said. "We're dealing with elements. It's always cold, it's outdoors, and that's always a mental challenge for teams that go there."
The Bay Area is also experiencing a storm that's bringing heavy rains, something ASU hasn't had much practice with. Chasson said his team has competed in only two home meets in the rain in his 10 years as coach.
With the Pac-10 Championship meets about a month away, this meet will serve as a great indicator of how good ASU's swimmers and divers really are. Senior All-Americans Caitlin Andrew and CJ Nuess are usually mortal locks for at least one individual victory, but it won't be that easy this weekend.
"Caitlin could go there and she might swim great and could possibly get beat," Chasson said. "It's hard to say because there are girls there that are just as good as her that she's going to have to compete with in the NCAA [national meet]."
The ASU women's loss to Minnesota last week was their first since early November, but a victory over Cal or Stanford would be a significant upset. The same could be said about the chances of ASU's men. By Chasson's estimations, Cal and Stanford's women's sides are no worse than the second or third best teams in the nation, while their men's programs are both top-five caliber.
"We're just trying to compete well," Chasson said. "Our best athletes hopefully win some races, and we'll see where we stack up and handle the elements."
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