How Did Hungarian Olympian Hubert Kos Fare in His First SCY Races for Arizona State?

During his NCAA debut this weekend, Hubert Kos offered Arizona State a glimpse of the scoring potential the 19-year-old Hungarian Olympian could bring to this year’s NCAA Championships in March.

Kos swam his first official races in short-course yards (SCY) on Friday against Stanford. He placed third in the 200 butterfly with a 1:43.41, second in the 200 back with a 1:41.50 (just .24 seconds behind Stanford’s Leon MacAlister, and third in the 200 IM with a 1:44.53. Kos burst onto the international scene last year by capturing the 200 IM title at the European Championships in August.

On Saturday, he tallied three runner-up finishes in the 100 back (47.07), 200 back (1:41.48), and 400 IM (3:43.77). Most notably, he outpaced Cal’s Destin Lasco in the 200 back until the final length of the pool, when the reigning NCAA champ chased down Kos for a slim victory by just .24 seconds. Kos was nearly a full second ahead with 50 meters remaining, finishing as the No. 20 performer in the NCAA this season. In the 100 back, Kos reached the wall just over a second behind Lasco. And in the 400 IM, he was 12 seconds behind Leon Marchand’s NCAA-record time of 3:31.84.

“I’m still getting used to the short-course yards pool,” Kos told SwimSwam. “It’s very new to me. I still need to get better at the underwaters because thats where I’m still inexperienced compared to the field. If I can improve in those, my times will get significantly better. Coming off Bob’s winter training, it was a solid performance.”

Kos only joined the Sun Devils’ program earlier this month, but he already figures to be a game-changer heading into the postseason. If he can convert his long-course success into yards, that might mean an extra 40 NCAA points for Arizona State, which could be what vaults the Sun Devils from a fifth- or sixth-place squad into one of the top contenders.

One big question for Kos is what he’ll decide on for his third individual event at championship meets. The 200 IM and 200 back appear to be locks, but he swam the 200 fly on Friday and the 100 back on Saturday.

The 100 back was an interesting decision as his LCM personal best stood at just 56.13 from 2019, seemingly not as good as his best LCM 100 fly time of 51.33 (converted to 44.55 SCY). However, he blew away the SCY conversion of his 100 back (49.48) by more than two seconds against Cal, marking the only event in which he has already closed the gap on his long-course prowess.

Hubert Kos, Debut SCY Times vs. Converted LCM Bests

Event Best SCY Time SCY Converted from Best LCM
200 IM 1:44.53 1:39.74
200 back 1:41.48 1:38.42
200 fly 1:43.41 1:41.58
100 back 47.07 49.48

Kos has the biggest SCY vs. LCM gap in the 200 IM, but with talented medley specialists such Marchand, Chase Kalisz, and Jay Litherland also training on campus under head coach Bob Bowman, it shouldn’t be cause for concern just yet.

Kos wasn’t the only Sun Devil to make a splash in his debut this weekend. On Friday, Zalan Sarkany broke the Arizona State school record in the 1000 free in his first-ever SCY race, clocking an 8:50.56 to take down a 39-year-old mark that had stood untouched since 1984. On Saturday, Sarkany lowered his own record to 8:50.25 in his second time swimming the event.

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Swammer
3 days ago

ASU really needs to test him in the 100 fly. If that conversion holds up 44.5 is a lock for the A final. It would also be huge for their medley relays

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Swammer
3 days ago

Hasn’t McCusker been 45 low already this year? If so he may be right around 44.5 at the end of the year. Plus I doubt he’ll be faster than ASUs best 100 Flyer this year. Kos seems more like a 200+ swimmer rather than 100.

dscott
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
2 days ago

At Florida State McCusker’s season bests progressed from :46.72 as a freshman in 2019, :45.97 in 2020, 45.97 again in 2021, and then :45.74 at the 2022 ACCs.

After he shifted over to Bowman’s program his first meet was the ASU intersquad meet 9/23/22, where many swam quite well. ASU had 11 swimmers at :47.85 or better, led by Marchand :45.68 and House :45.71. McCusker was 9th at :47.50.

After a season of training and then rest for the NCState Fall Invite, Max became arguably ASU’s primary sprinter. He won the 100 Fly in :45.01, breaking Alex Colson’s school record by 0.01. He won the 100 free at :42.03(prior PB :42.57) and was 3rd in the 50 free… Read more »

Samuel Huntington
3 days ago

Day 1 – 200 IM
Day 2 – 400 IM
Day 3 – 200 back

Obviously not doing a 200 back/200 fly double. Maybe 100 back, but I am thinking 400 IM.

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
3 days ago

Seems like a waste to put him in 4 IM when he’s so versatile and ASU has got so many other 4 IMers.

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
3 days ago

Isn’t he a great a IMer? Texas finaled 6 in the 100 fly. Score points where you can.

Swimmka
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
3 days ago

Apart from Marchand no one in ASU is better than him in 4IM. And he had explicitly chosen ASU to improve his IM performance. So why he should not go for 4IM?

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Swimmka
3 days ago

You guys are right, I wasn’t aware he has been a 4:13 in the 4 IM. For whatever reason, I thought he was just a 2 IMer. But he seems like a better 4 IMer than 1 flyer and the 1 fly will be covered very well.

PFA
3 days ago

As of now I see ASU, Texas, and Cal fighting for the National title but it’s really going to be close but this for the moment might be their best shot at winning it.

Andrew
Reply to  PFA
3 days ago

I have texas winning.

Cal lost too much (Carr, Mefford, The Hobbit lookalike Sean Grieshop, and most notably, the safesport list guy I won’t bother naming)

Texas has at least 18 A final swims (see my prior comment https://swimswam.com/the-biggest-storylines-to-watch-for-at-the-cal-vs-asu-dual-meet/#comment-1147692). Yes, I’m aware that Texas relays are in a “down” year, but they’ll still finish top 6 in 4 medley and 4 free relay and top 8-10 for certain in both the 200 relays. The relay differential will be made up by the 30-40 points Texas will likely get on the boards anyways.

ASU’s relays will be insane (all top 5), but they have no scoring divers and won’t even sniff 18 A final swims. I’d be surprised… Read more »

Concerned Alum
Reply to  Andrew
3 days ago

I think 18 is a little high for Texas. This Texas team is probably weaker than lasts, and even they only had 15 A finals. 3 of those are gone in Kibler. I don’t see how they can gain 6 A finals without everything absolutely breaking right. I’d put them right at 15 again, and that’s with them swimming better than last year- 3 each from each Foster, Corbeau, Johnston, 2 from Hobson, and then the last one from some combination of Kreuger, Carozza, Vines, Enyeart, etc .

15 for Cal is also probably about right- I count 18 from last year, with 6 graduating from Julian (3) and Carr, Mefford, and Grieshop (1 each). I’d say 3 each… Read more »

Andrew
Reply to  Concerned Alum
3 days ago

I was kind of riding the assumption that Hugo would still be out of shape for NCs

Krueger will make A final of 1 free (he has every year lol), Enyeart will final in 1650, probs not 500. Will Chan is the ultimate wild card imo, 50 high is his 1 breast PB and if he goes under 51, he’ll A final along with Corbeau obviously. Kinda same with his 2 breast. And I think AT WORST, Larson/Carozza will both B final in both the 2/5 free, with Vines adding distance scoring potential as well.

Hugo getting in shape and Will Chan’s performance will determine the winner this year imo. It’s close, but those two aforementioned wild cards could… Read more »

Noah
Reply to  Andrew
3 days ago

NCST looking real good this past weekend too. Don’t count them out of the too 3

Last edited 3 days ago by Noah
Andrew
Reply to  Noah
3 days ago

i’ll count them out of the top 4 with how good Cal/Tex/ASU/Florida have looked this year

NCS needs more surefire individual scorers. These top recruits they get year in year out need to start amounting to some individual scoring

DangThatsFast
Reply to  Concerned Alum
3 days ago

Don’t forget Jake Foster. 2xA final (2 and 4im) and 1xB final at 2022 NCAAs.

Andrew
Reply to  DangThatsFast
3 days ago

no one forgot Jake Foster. he’s an absolute stud and him not making the 2 breast final last year was a fluke imo

He should make it this year

MIKE IN DALLAS
Reply to  Andrew
3 days ago

It’s a beautiful morning in Dallas, TX. and Andrew has, prophet-like, spoken the better part of the truth. It will be close [has been for awhile], but the Longhorns will triumph. Yes, diving is there, and it will help. But ASU doesn’t have the depth, and Cal has no diving. QED: Texas is the winna!

Taa
Reply to  Andrew
2 days ago

Jett is a lock to A final in the 2free. He just went a 1:33 in a brief. I don’t really have any idea who will win but doubt it’s ASU

Andrew
Reply to  Taa
2 days ago

A lock is pushing it. I’d say a 75% chance. 8/10 in House, Luke Miller, Sartori, Curry, Gaziev, Miroslaw, Carozza, Hobson, Dahlgren and Jett will A final, and I’m pretty confident all 8 A finalists will come from that list

Andrew
3 days ago

Kos will definitely A final in 2 back (especially because it’s a relatively weak event this year)

For 200 IM, it’s probably gonna take a sub 140.5 to A final, so I think he’ll B final. 1:40 mid is a tough ask and the 200 IM is absolutely loaded (again) this year

On paper, it’d make more sense for him to do 2 fly over 1 back, but the 2 fly 2 back double on the last day is simply too much IMO. I’ll take Kos doing 1 back and putting up a 45 low-mid, narrowly making the B finals

An A final and 2 B finals is not bad for a freshman lol…

Ghost
Reply to  Andrew
3 days ago

2im is his best event and I would be surprised if he isn’t an A finalist and maybe on podium. He has won Europeans or short course worlds or such. He is a stud!

Turning to International because academics aren’t as good at ASU as other top programs? Or because other scholarship money available to foreign students that doesn’t count toward 9.9? Or the sun?

Alex Wilson
Reply to  Ghost
2 days ago

Actually swimming IM under coach Bowman was a big factor. The Europeans are amazed at how Bob Bowman managed to coach Leon to a almost 6 second improvement in IM in less than one year. I suspect some believe coach Bowman has made a midnight pact with the “old gods” of swimming.

K Chilly
3 days ago

International recruiting for ASU is unreal right now. With the kind of international talent, I could see their recruiting improving even more during the Olympic year.

Alex Wilson
Reply to  K Chilly
2 days ago

Agree! You should read what the French sports press are saying about Leon and Bowman!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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