The Paw Print
The ASU women’s swim team kicked off the regular season with a crushing win over rivals Western State Friday night and then went on to win again at Saturday’s double dual meet against both Mesa State and again over Western.
Friday night the lady grizzlies set the pace of the meet from the beginning with the 200 medley relay composed of Jessica Palacio, April Cunningham, Jennell Higgs and Elena Burr. The relay won with a solid time of 1:55.33.
Four of the grizzlies had double wins against Western; Allison Bischoff, Aspen Hale, Maggie Morris, and Higgs. There was no question that the grizzlies had come not just to win but to make a statement.
As the evening progressed the Grizzlies went on to win 13 of the 16 events competed. Additionally there were at least two grizzlies in the top three finishers for every race. The Grizzlies won a decisive team victory with a score of 153 to Westerns 106.
That night after the meet the Grizzlies loaded up and headed off to Grand Junction for the women’s second meet of the weekend and the season opener for the men’s squad.
Saturday morning started off no different than Friday for the women as again they again won the opening event of the meet, the 400 medley relay. This relay of Palacio, Hale, Higgs and Morris wend a time of 4:10.84 to defeat both Mesa State and Western State’s relays. This first race was an important win in that it allowed the women to set the tone of the meet with an early victory.
This momentum continued as the first individual event of the day, the 1650 yard freestyle was won by Michelle Hutchens, with Jordan Shomaker finishing one minute and eighteen seconds behind Hutchens for third.
The individual wins continued throughout the morning as the women’s squad proved their depth with strong finish in all of the events. Even without individual wins in every event, the again proved their strength by having swimmers finishing in the top three of every event and pulled a decisive victory of well over 50 points against both Mesa and Western.
This is the first time in the woman’s programs four year history that they have defeated Mesa.
When asked about her feelings about Saturday’s meet Junior Jennell Higgs commented, “Beating Mesa was a great accomplishment but we have to keep up the momentum and move forward; continuing to train and race hard.”
The ASU men had their season opener Saturday against Mesa state and while unable to claim a team victory, there were several standout individual performances.
Nick Mankus claimed two victories for the grizzlies in the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke, and Clay Meschke took first in the 100 backstroke.
The two squads will be back in action in on Nov. 2 and 3 in a two day dual meet against Oklahoma Baptist.