Zalan Sarkany Training in Hungary This Fall, Will Return to Arizona State in Spring

by Riley Overend 12

September 24th, 2023 College, Europe, International, News, Pac-12

Pac-12 champion Zalan Sarkany is not currently listed on Arizona State’s roster for the 2023-24 season, but the 19-year-old distance specialist told SwimSwam he plans on returning to Tempe for the spring semester after training back home in Hungary this fall.

Sarkany said he is training with David Betlehem and Kristof Rasovszky in Veszprem, Hungary. Rasovszky, 26, is the reigning Olympic silver medalist in the open water 10km while the 20-year-old Betlehem won gold in the same event at the 2022 World Junior Open Water Championships.

“Distance training going hard!” Sarkany told SwimSwam. “Usually we swim around 8-10km sessions. Here it’s all about going fast and descending most of the times.”

Sarkany joined the Sun Devils midseason last spring and made an immediate impact as a freshman. He broke a 1000 free school record from 1984 in his first-ever short course yards performance, won the 1650 free at the Pac-12 Championships (14:41.65) to help ASU capture its first conference title in program history, and placed 8th in the 1650 at the NCAA Championships (14:42.80) to contribute to the Sun Devils’ first runner-up finish ever at the national meet. He also scored in the 500 free (8th – 4:16.48) and 400 IM (12th – 3:45.04) at Pac-12s.

Best Times (SCY)

  • 500 free – 4:16.48
  • 1000 free – 8:49.31
  • 1650 free – 14:41.65
  • 400 IM – 3:44.56

Last month, Sarkany earned 4th-place finishes in both the 800-meter freestyle (7:55.26) and 1500 free (15:04.88) at the LEN European U23 Championships. Both were lifetime bests and sizable drops from his times at April’s Pro Swim Series stop in Westmont (8:04.08/15:26.63).

Sarkany said he expects to return to ASU around Dec. 10. He figures to play a key role in the Sun Devils’ pursuit of their first-ever national title.

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2 months ago

Asu does this: “mercenaries, not student athletes, cheaters”

Cal does this: “Marsh working magic, wow they develop guys so well”

Why the different treatment

Alex Wilson
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

Marsh brought in two grad student distance swimmers last year at mid term to improve Cal in the distance area.

2 months ago

c´mon, try even bit to make look like they are student-athletes, not mercenaries..

Reply to  samulih
2 months ago

It is an olympic year and he is an open water swimmer… why wouldn’t he be focusing on open water?

cant kick cant pull
2 months ago

that would be one of the best OW crews in the world with Kristof and David. is zalan doing OW as well?

2 months ago

Still give the edge to Marsh/Durden Cal Machine. However if Coach B can garner 1 or 2 more great athletes at mid-year it will be a shoot out for the ages.

Lap Counter
2 months ago

A way of getting more out of their scholarships

This Guy
Reply to  Lap Counter
2 months ago

You could also just have him as a walk on and use NIL to finance him for the one semester rather than take up scholarship.

2 months ago

So instead of doing four years of college, can you do eight spring semesters?

Swim Alchemist
Reply to  Jimbo
2 months ago

I think someone did something like this in D2.

Reply to  Jimbo
2 months ago

Unless the rule has changed in D 1, once you graduate HS you have 5 years to complete you to 4 years of eligibility. This doesn’t include the COVID year.

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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