Arizona State NCAA ‘A’ Finalists Zalan Sarkany, Owen McDonald Enter Transfer Portal

NCAA Champion in the 1650 freestyle Zalan Sarkany and NCAA runner-up in the 200 IM Owen McDonald have entered the transfer portal. Both helped Arizona State to a program-first NCAA title less than two weeks ago.

Sarkany arrived on campus in the middle of the 2022-2023 season and went on to win the Pac-12 title in the 1650 free before finishing 8th in the event at 2023 NCAAs. In his sophomore season, Sarkany won the 1650 free again at Pac-12s, finished 2nd in the 500 free behind Leon Marchand, and was 4th in the 400 IM.

At 2024 NCAAs, he went on to win the 1650 free, winning by over five seconds. He also made the B final of the 500 free, finishing 12th, and he was just off of making the NCAA B final of the 400 IM as he was 17th in prelims. He scored 25 individual points at 2024 NCAAs.

Sarkany’s SCY best times are:

  • 500 free: 4:09.19 (2024 Pac-12s)
  • 1650 free: 14:23.01 (2024 Pac-12s)
  • 400 IM: 3:40.50 (2024 Pac-12s)

Like Sarkany, McDonald also just finished up his sophomore season with the Sun Devils. As a freshman, McDonald made the Pac-12 A final in the 100 back, 200 back, and 200 IM, scoring 46.5 individual points. At 2023 NCAAs, he made the A final of the 100 and 200 backstrokes, finishing 5th in the 200 and 6th in the 100.

As a sophomore, McDonald switched his Pac-12 lineup and finished 3rd in the 200 free, 2nd in the 200 back, and 2nd in the 200 IM. He scored 50 individual points.

McDonald was the 3rd highest scorer at 2024 NCAAs with 46 points, only behind Leon Marchand and Hubert Kos. McDonald finished 2nd in the 200 IM, 3rd in the 200 back, and 6th in the 100 back.

Time Progression:

HS Best Freshman Sophomore
100 back 47.21 44.85 44.25
200 back 1:42.63 1:39.01 1:36.63
200 IM 1:46.18 1:41.60 1:39.23

Sarkany is originally from Hungary while McDonald is originally from Atlanta, Georgia.

Former ASU head coach Bob Bowman departed the program on Monday, April 1st to become the new Director of Swimming at Texas. Soon after, Arizona State announced the elevation of Herbie Behm from associate head to head coach. Arizona State teammate Hubert Kos has also entered the portal after just finishing up his sophomore season.

Entering the transfer portal does not mean an athlete is required to transfer. Instead, it allows athletes to communicate with other potential schools.

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So confused
1 month ago

The big question is who else is going to Texas? I heard Rex Mauer from Stanford just left to train with Bob. How many swimmers can train there now and not enroll in school? Will they head back to their orginal schools for Fall quarter/semester?

Reply to  So confused
1 month ago

wtf, this can’t be true. Can it?

1 month ago

30.2850° N, 97.7335° W

1 month ago

The eyes of Texas are upon you

1 month ago

Straight to SMU

lil swimmy jr.
1 month ago

Do we know if there is a “Do Not Contact” designation on them in the transfer portal?

1 month ago

For Bowman to coach any current ASU swimmer, that swimmer would need to be in the portal. So I wouldn’t necessarily assume that a bunch of ASU are leaving for Texas. They might but I wouldn’t assume it.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 month ago

Hubi just partially confirmed what you have been saying since he entered the portal, to Hungarian media: namely, that he did enter the portal to be able to be coached by Bowman up to the Olympics. However, he also said that whether or not he will follow Bowman to Texas will be discussed after the Olympics, so it’s still a possibility.
I think this is the case for McDonald as well, but not Sarkany, whose Olympic preparation will take place in Hungary, where he was during the fall season, and not with Bowman, so I could see him transferring to NC State (most likely) or Texas (less likely) – he alluded to some “changes” when he returns to the… Read more »

Stewart Fenwick
1 month ago

Arizona State will set a new record at NCAA next year from the defending champion to outside top 10.

The most dramatic fall of NCAA champion.

Michael Heather
Reply to  Stewart Fenwick
1 month ago

Actually, no. In 1982, UCLA won NCAAs and the school cut the program entirely in 1983, blaming title IX for the need to change.

Cal swammer
Reply to  Michael Heather
1 month ago

UCLA cut men’s swimming in 1994.

Reply to  Michael Heather
1 month ago

The swimmers must have been PISSED

Reply to  CELL
1 month ago

Fair to say they still are.

Spieker Pool Lap Swimmer
Reply to  Michael Heather
1 month ago

The UCLA men’s program wasn’t cut in 1983. My HS classmate swam at NCAAs for UCLA in 89 and 90.

Reply to  Michael Heather
1 month ago

The team was cut in 1993

Reply to  Stewart Fenwick
1 month ago

ASU will do just fine with a few transfer portal swimmers waiting in the wings. I’d still bet Top 10 with some decent sprint relays. The incoming freshman will be pretty good, per the times they’ve gone recently LCM.

Faulty Touch Pad
1 month ago

The question now becomes, who’s getting cut from Texas to make room for all these dudes

Reply to  Faulty Touch Pad
1 month ago

Nobody (who is impactful). Some walk-ons will get cut.

It will just become even harder to make their conference / NCAA rosters. And Texas is famous for little/no scholarship money, so their NIL funds will pay their bills.

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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