Arizona State vs. Georgia
- September 23, 2023
- Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, Tempe, Arizona
- Short Course Yards (25 yards), Dual Meet
- Results on Meet Mobile: ASU vs UGA
- Team Scores
- Arizona State Men 183 – Georgia Men 117
- Georgia Women 184 – Arizona State Women 111
Arizona State enters the season with big momentum and national title hopes, and thanks to a huge debut from freshman Ilya Kharun, those hopes seem a lot more realistic after Saturday.
- Both teams were suited for the meet.
The Arizona State men, who finished 2nd at last year’s NCAA Championship meet, beat Georgia 183-117 on Saturday in short course yards. The Georgia women, meanwhile, handled the Sun Devils 184-111.
Kharun, a Canadian-born freshman from the Sandpipers of Nevada in Las Vegas, was electric in his short course debut for the Sun Devils.
He opened the meet by leading Arizona State to a win in the 200 medley relay in 1:22.79. The relay of Jack Dolan (20.95 back), Leon Marchand (23.74 breast), Kharun’s 19.51 on the fly leg, and Jonny Kulow (18.59 free), the Sun Devils swam a time that would have placed 12th at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.
In reality, the Sun Devils were 2nd in that race at NCAAs. They return every leg except their butterflier Max McCusker, so Kharun’s arrival comes right on time.
2023 vs. Georgia
|Back||Jack Dolan – 20.61||
Jack Dolan – 20.95
|Breast||Leon Marchand – 22.27||
Leon Marchand – 23.74
|Fly||Max McCusker – 19.74||
Ilya Kharun – 19.51
|Free||Jonny Kulow – 18.45||
Jonny Kulow – 18.59
Kharun is the #4 recruit in the class of 2023 and the best butterflier of the group. His 19.61 split would have been faster at NCAAs last year than all but two butterfly legs of the 200 medley relay.
That wasn’t the freshman’s only big swim. He swam 1:40.68 in the 200 fly, which ranks him 3rd-best in program history (behind Alex Colson’s 1:39.55 and Leon Marchand‘s 1:39.57 from last season). He also swam 44.88 in the 100 fly, becoming the first Sun Devil under 45 seconds and breaking McCusker’s record of 45.01 set last season.
Both of those times were wins and personal bests for Kharun; Colson was 3rd in the 200 fly in 1:45.08.
Kharun finished his day with a 41.93 anchor on Arizona State’s 400 free relay, which won in 2:48.49. Kulow, a US National Teamer after a breakout summer, had the fastest split on that relay in 41.37.
Both Arizona State relays cleared NCAA ‘A’ standards, which earns them invites to the NCAA Championships – along with any other relays that achieve at least ‘B’ standards (though that shouldn’t be an issue for the Sun Devils).
Marchand, meanwhile, won a trio of individual events as well. He led the 100 breast in 53.29, the 200 breast in 1:54.39, and the 200 IM in 1:42.35.
The best male swimmer in the NCAA last season, and one of the top two male swimmers in the world, Marchand was significantly-faster here than he was in the opening meet last year. In that meet, he was 1:57.6 in the 200 breast and 1:44.3 in the 200 IM.
Marchand won World Championships over the summer in the 200 fly, 200 IM, and 400 IM, breaking Michael Phelps’ World Record in the 400 IM.
Georgia’s distance crew was a bright spot for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Sam Powe and senior Jake Magahey went 1-2 in the 1000 free, with Powe winning in 9:06.93 and Magahey following in 9:08.45. They beat out Arizona State All-American Daniel Matheson, who was 3rd in 9:09.20.
Magahey was 3rd at the NCAA Championships last year in the 1650 free; if the Bulldogs can get Powe into the points this year as well, that would be a big lift to their NCAA outlook in a year where they don’t have great sprint depth.
Magahey grabbed a win in the 500 free on Saturday in 4:19.82.
- Georgia 5th year Brad Dunham won the 100 back in 45.56, leading a 1-2 with Southern Illinois transfer Ruard van Renen (45.94) for the Bulldogs. Dolan didn’t swim that race for Arizona State.
- Georgia swept the backstroke races, with Ian Grum winning the 200 back in 1:41.25. That put him just ahead of the 2023 World Champion in the event Hubert Kos from Arizona State, who was 2nd in 1:41.38. The swim from Grum is a second better than he was in a dual meet last season.
- Jack Dolan and Jonny Kulow battled in the men’s sprint frees, with Dolan winning the 50 in 19.16 to Kulow’s 19.31. Miles Simon led the Bulldogs in 19.83 in his first weekend of racing after transferring to Georgia from Howard, where he was the NEC Champion last year. Kulow got revenge in the 100 free, winning in 42.73 to Dolan’s 42.96. That’s Kulow’s best time in a dual meet.
The Georgia women return all but 1 point of their NCAA Championship individual scoring output, and those returning scorers combined for 6 individual event victories on Saturday.
That was led by a trio of wins for 5th year Zoie Hartman, who swam her NCAA event lineup against Arizona State.
Hartman won the 100 breast (1:01.13), 200 breast (2:11.67), and 200 IM (1:57.81) on Saturday, though she swam exhibition in the last event to mute the scoring gap between the teams.
That swim in the 200 IM for Hartman was significantly faster than she was pre-invite last year, where she was swimming 1:59s and 2:00s in the event. After winning the B Final at NCAAs last year, she’s in line for big points with two swimmers who finished ahead of her graduating.
Rachel Stege, the team’s top scorer a year ago as a sophomore, won the 500 free on Saturday in 4:41.31. She was 5th in that event at the NCAA Championships, and her time on Saturday is already close to what it will take for an NCAA invite this season.
The 1000 free saw Stege battle with her classmate Dune Coetzee, who was also an All-American in the distance freestyles last season. Coetzee came away with the victory here in 9:35.69, beating out Stege’s 9:37.37. Stege opened fast, swimming 4:47 at the 500, but Coetzee chipped away at that lead to eventually pull away for a win.
Jones’ time in the 50 free was just-short of her personal best of 22.59 done at Winter Juniors last year.
Arizona State’s only win (ignoring exhibitions) of the women’s meet came from Lindsay Looney, who was a surprise member of the US team at the World Championships this summer. She swam 1:56.84 in the 200 fly on Saturday. Year-over-year, that’s a huge improvement for her – she swam 2:00 in her opener last season before finishing 4th at the NCAA Championships.
Looney placed 2nd in the 100 fly in 54.14 behind Georgia’s Emma Norton (54.03).
This weekend is Looney’s first racing since placing 8th in the long course 200 fly at the World Championships.
Other Results and Notables:
- Eboni McCarty won the 100 back for the Georgia women ahead of Arizona State’s Charli Brown. McCarty swam 52.60 and Brown 53.56.
- Georgia swept the backstrokes when Millie Sansome won the 200 in 1:57.23. Brown was again 2nd, this time in 1:59.14.
- The Georgia women touched first in the 400 free relay in 3:16.20 with Jones having the top split in 48.12. Arizona State finished behind them in 3:19.47.
- Georgia won the 200 medley relay in 1:38.77. The back half of that relay is really exciting for the Bulldogs – Emma Norton, a sophomore, split 23.88 on the fly leg, which almost matches Callie Dickinson’s split from NCAAs (Georgia was 13th); and Jones anchored in 22.26.