Still no Giles Smith as Zona drops ASU in season finale and Demont’s official head coaching debut

Arizona State hosted desert rival Arizona in a dual Saturday, the last meet for both Pac-12 foes before the conference championships. The visiting Wildcats picked up two resounding wins – the women triumphed 171.5-105.5, while the men, swimming for a second straight week without star butterflyer Giles Smith, won 158.5-116.5.

The meet was Arizona’s first under newly-named head coach Rick Demont, who had been serving as interim head coach most of the season.

Full results

Women’s Meet

As usual, Bonnie Brandon was dominant for Arizona. The sophomore won three events for the Wildcats, topping the 200 free (1:48.56), 200 back (1:57.58) and 200 IM (2:03.40) without facing much of a fight in anything. Brandon also led off the winning 200 medley relay, splitting 25.8 on the back leg for the 1:41.65 Wildcats.

Joining her on that relay were Emma Schoettmer, Katja Hajdinjak and Margo Geer. Schoettmer and Geer each claimed a pair of events in addition to Brandon’s to help put points on the board. Schoettmer paced both breaststroke races, going 1:02.59 in the 100 and 2:16.51 in the 200. Geer manned the sprint events, winning the 50 free in 22.66 and the 100 free in 49.34. She added a 49.43 leadoff leg of the winning 400 free relay.

ASU got a pair of wins in tight races from Tristin Baxter. The senior went 1:57.55 to win the 200 fly by just .3 over Zona’s Elizabeth Pepper. Then Baxter came back to win the 500 free in 4:51.15, touching out Tjasa Oder by a tenth. That avenged a loss to Oder in the 1000 free in the meet’s opening event.

Other event winners were ASU’s Melanie Busch in the 100 back (55.69) and Arizona’s Ashley Evans in the 100 fly (53.55).

Men’s Meet

The Arizona men rolled to a win powered by breaststroker Kevin Cordes, who swept the 100 and 200 of the stroke to remain undefeated for the season in his two primary events. The American record-holder was 53.75 and 1:56.54 to easily pace each race.

Cordes also posted a 24.3 breaststroke split on the winning 200 medley relay, joining Mitchell Friedemann, Andrew Porter and Brian Stevens. That relay went 1:29.16 – Zona has to be among the favorites to win the medley at NCAAs, but were still without the services of butterflyer Giles Smith. The senior hasn’t competed since January 24th, when he struggled mightily and appeared to be dealing with injury or illness in a road dual with California. On the plus side for Arizona, the team now has three full weeks off before the Pac-12 championships, where a main priority has to be getting a healthy Smith back to full speed.

Friedemann won the 100 back in a tight race with ASU’s big-time freshman Richard Bohus. Friedemann went 48.23 to top Bohus’s 48.38. Bohus did win a touchout of his own, though, knocking off Brian Stevens in the 100 free 45.36 to 45.40. That came on the heels of Stevens’ big win in the 50 freestyle for Arizona.

The Sun Devils were buoyed by strong performances from Alex Coci and Barkley Perry. Coci won both the 100 fly (48.15) and 200 fly (1:46.98), while Perry took the 200 free (1:39.48) and 200 back (1:45.81).

Coci and Bohus teamed up with Tadas Duskinas and Thomaz Martins to win the 400 free relay at the meet’s close in 3:00.28.

Other event winners were Arizona’s Matt Barber in the 500 free (4:33.83), his teammate Sam Rowan in the 200 IM (1:49.98), ASU’s Alex Palumbo in the 1000 free (9:28.93).

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Also No Woody Joye. Still no Tandy even though he is still on their roster. Hope all get cleared for Championship season for Rick and the team


Even if Tandy’s issues get straightened out, would ‘Zona burn a year of eligibility for two championship meets that are hardly slam dunks for the Cats even at full strength?

duckduckgoose – given what we’ve been told about the nature of Tandy’s eligibility issues, a big part of it is “5 years since enrollment” yada yada yada, so they may not have the choice to “save eligibility.”


Kevin Cordes, 1:56.54. #easy

Hardcore triple of the day definitely to Tristin Baxter – her come from behind wins in both the 200 fly and 500 were strategic and gutsy. This was my first time getting to watch Cordes swim in person. His 200 was stunning – 3 strokes after the pullout on the first lap and the next few laps were still at four SPL. I forgot to count the whole race as I was just in awe. It was a beautiful day for swimming and a decent enough crowd turnout, though I personally think it should be larger. I can’t speak for what Coach DeMont will do in Tucson in the future, but I’d still like to see the ASU coaching staff… Read more »

Justin smith

Will never happen with current coaching staff. Time for a change if you want any local club team support.


In all fairness, ASU did email everyone in AZ Swimming database personally inviting them to come to the meet. Its the first time in my 15 years coaching in AZ I can remember getting an invite. I did notice several club swimmers from Swim Neptune there among several others from other teams. So,at least it was a step in the right direction. Even though the score doesn’t show it, ASU swam very well. It was nice to see after toiling on the brink of obscurity the last 10 years or so.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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