With the home crowd wearing all black for the team’s blackout event, the Utah Utes dominated Arizona State to win the men’s and women’s Pac-12 duals.
The men won 191-105, getting three wins from Kristian Kron and overcoming ASU’s dynamic duo of Alex Coci and Thibaut Capitaine, who combined to sweep the butterflies and breaststrokes.
The Ute women were the exact inverse, with Petra Soininen ruling the butterflies and Stina Colleou sweeping the breaststrokes to power a 159-137 win.
Kron was busy for the Utes, swimming three individual races and seeming to get better and better as the yardage piled up. He went 50.17 to win the 100 backstroke, just beating Sun Devil freshman Richard Bohus by three tenths. But that was the closest anyone would come to Kron all day as he took the 200 back in 1:50.13 by nearly a second and then closed the meet with a 1:51.91 200 IM win, blowing out the field by a full 5 seconds.
Nick Soedel and Bence Kiraly combined to make the freestyle events a points powerhouse for the home team. Soedel won the 50 free (20.15) and 100 free (43.98) while Kiraly took the 200 (1:40.00) and 500 (4:40.51). Add to that Andy Cunningham’s 9:45.75 1000 free win and Utah was all but untouchable in the free races.
It’s no surprise then that they won the 400 free relay: Soedel, Ken Tiltges, Jonas Holmstroem and Alex Fernandes won in 3:03.12 while Kiraly and Cunningham jumped onto the B relay to give Utah a 1-2 knockout blow in the meet’s final event.
Utah also won the 200 medley relay to open the meet. Kristian Kron, Tiltges, Fernandes and Soedel went 1:30.93 to win easily, although for all his prowess in the open events, Kron actually was outsplit by Arizona State’s talented freshman Richard Bohus.
ASU is starting to show a lot of firepower on the front half of that relay. Bohus was a solid 23.4, and the next two legs were the Sun Devils’ studs Thibaut Capitaine and Alex Coci, each of whom swept the individual races in their respective strokes. ASU couldn’t hold off Nick Soedel and his 19.4 split for Utah, but the Sun Devils were still 1:32.60.
Capitaine was 57.47 in the 100 breast, and 2:07.03 – nowhere near season-bests, but he had plenty speed to win his races easily. Coci went 1:48.13 in the 200 fly and 49.49 in the 100 fly in a very similar situation.
The other event set Arizona State dominated was diving. Riley McCormick was unstoppable, scoring 349.95 in a relatively tight 1-meter battle but was in a league of his own on 3-meter, scoring 390.45 and blowing out the competition.
Arizona State’s women fought hard, but eventually succumbed to the Utah blackout, dropping too many big races near the end. The Sun Devils simply had no answer for Utah sophomore Petra Soininen, who won the 200 fly (2:02.95) and 100 fly (56.12) in blowouts.
Freshman Stina Colleou also won two events, although she had to survive a tough charge from teammate Nicole Ligeza to win the 100 breast. Colleou was 1:04.43 to Ligeza’s 1:04.85. Colleou had an easier time winning the 200 breast, going 2:18.27.
Traycie Swartz was the third big difference-maker for the Utes. She powered away from the field to win the 50 free in 23.72, then went up against Arizona State’s Juanita Barreto, the 200 free champ of this dual, beating Barreto to claim her second title in 51.74.
In addition to Barreto (1:52.51 in the 200 free), Arizona State had several women win races. Tristin Baxter was the toughest for Utah to contain. She went 10:15.71 to win the 1000 free early in the meet, then returned to take the 500 in 5:00.59 near the end.
Hailey Casper won the 1-meter diving event by just 8 points over Utah’s Kersten Merry, but Merry won 3-meter, an event no Arizona State women entered. Merry scored 289.35.
Melanie Busch (57.03 to win the 100 back) and Jennifer Morgan (2:02.58 for the 200 back win) combined for 1-2 ASU finishes in both backstroke races, taking one race apiece.
But Brianna Francis came from behind to beat Busch in the 200 IM, the final individual race of the night, sealing things for Utah. Francis was 2:07.07 to Busch’s 2:07.56.
The teams split the relays. Utah won the 200 medley at the beginning of the meet with the team of Traycie Swartz, Nicole Ligeza, Petra Soininen and Giuliana Gigliotti (1:44.12). Though the meet was already wrapped up, ASU took the 400 free relay at the close of the meet in 3:28.55. The team was Juanita Barreto, Kat Simonovic, Jaclyn Chavez and Tristin Baxter.