Arizona Wildcats vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
- February 10, 2024
- Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
- Short Course Yards (25 yards), Dual Meet
- Meet Results
- Team Scores
- #1 Arizona State Men def. #23 Arizona Men 227-73
- #16 Arizona State Women def. HM Arizona Women 189-111
Arizona State took dominant wins over their in-state rivals from the University of Arizona, including the Sun Devil men winning all of the day’s swimming events.
With the win, the top-ranked Arizona State men finished the season with a 9-0-1 record, their only blemish being a tie with 2nd-ranked Cal.
The Arizona State women finished their season 5-6.
The meet served as senior day for the Wildcats.
While Arizona’s Gage Dubois swept the diving events, the rest of the wins went to the Arizona State Sun Devils, who went 14-for-14 in swimming races in their last dual meet of the season before the Pac-12 Championships.
The Arizona State men had four swimmers when a pair of events each. That was led by World Champion and World Record holder Leon Marchand, who won the 200 fly in 1:39.62 and 100 fly in 44.67.
Those times both came within a whisker of his lifetime bests in those events, missing his best in the 200 fly by .05 seconds and the 100 fly by .01 seconds. Marchand is unlikely to swim either event at March’s NCAA Championships, though he is the defending World Champion in the 200 fly in long course meters.
Also winning a pair for the Sun Devils was Jack Dolan, who topped the field in the 50 free (19.23) and 100 free (42.17). In the 50, he led a 1-2-3-4 Arizona State finish, with Jonny Kulow (19.47), Ilya Kharun (19.56), and Cam Peel (19.65) following him. Arizona’s Tommy Palmer was 5th in 19.91 to cap the Arizona State run.
In the 100, Kharun was .01 seconds behind Dolan in 2nd place.
Kulow (42.18), Kharun (42.33), Tiago Behar (42.21), and Dolan (41.48) then won the 400 free relay in 3:48.20, with their “B” relay of Marchand (41.39), Patrick Sammon (42.34), Cam Peel (42.78), and Hubert Kos (42.51) finishing 2nd in 3:49.02. Arizona’s “A” relay was 3rd in 2:54.61, just .37 seconds ahead of Arizona State’s “C” relay, showing off just how deep the Sun Devils are in the sprint freestyles this season.
That 41.39 for Marchand is a new personal best; previously he had been 41.61.
That sprint depth might be what puts them over the top for the program’s first NCAA Championship.
The team also went 1-2 in the 200 medley relay, again splitting their top swimmers. Dolan was 21.19 on the backstroke leg and Marchand 23.33 on the breaststroke leg for the “A” relay, which finished 2nd, while Ilya Kharun split 19.55 fly on the fly leg for the winning “B”. His was the defining split, as Kulow anchored the runner-up group in 18.55.
The two relays went 1:23.47 and 1:23.72, respectively, but their best splits would have come out to 1:22.62 – which would be a best time for all but two schools this season (them and Cal).
The other double winners for Arizona State were:
- David Schlicht, the former Arizona Wildcat, won won the 100 breaststroke (52.83), just ahead of teammate Andy Dobrzanski (52.86); and the 200 breast in 1:54.05.
- Owen McDonald, who won the 200 back (1:43.14) and 200 IM (1:44.92).
- Arizona State grad student Julian Hill won the 200 free in 1:33.58, just holding-off Arizona’s Ralph Daleiden Ciuferri, who very-nearly gave the Wildcats a swimming win with his 2nd-place 1:33.62. Daleiden has been a 1:33 in three consecutive dual meets; including the last two faster than his time from last year’s NCAA Championship meet. Hill later won the 500 free in 4:23.40.
Other big winners include Hungarian Zalan Sarkany, who took the victory in the 1000 free in 8:39.89. After spending the fall semester training back home, he made his season debut in January with a new school record in the 1000 free. That time was an 8:38.13 against Stanford, which he lowered a day later against Cal in 8:37.82.
He now has the five best 1000 yard frees in program history, excluding splits en route to a full 1650, which would have entries on that list as well.
The Arizona State women won 9 out of 14 swimming events, including three individual races from sophomore Charli Brown.
Brown started her winning in the 100 back (53.09), which is just .10 seconds shy of her personal best. Her teammate Katrina Marty was 2nd in 53.31, which is a new personal best for her. That’s in fact her second personal best int hat race in two meets, improving upon her 53.44 from the team’s mid-season invite in November.
Marty, the latest of a huge wave of improvement for Arizona State this season, had never been under 54 seconds coming into this season. She’s now done so eight times in the last four months.
Brown got her next win in the 200 back in 1:55.57, more than two-and-a-half seconds clear of the field, and finished her day with another huge margin in the 200 IM, touching in 1:58.18.
Brown also had the fastest split of the field on the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay (24.83) on ASU’s 4th-place “B” relay. That could give her the chance to lead off that relay at Pac-12s.
Her teammate Lindsay Looney swept the butterfly events, first winning the 200 in 1:53.44 and the 100 fly in 53.57, the latter by just .15 seconds ahead of Arizona’s Maddy Burt. Looney went undefeated in the 200 fly in dual meets this season and has swept the butterfly events at four meets this season.
We didn’t get to see a head-to-head matchup with Arizona’s Julia Heimstead in the 200 fly. Looney was 4th and Heimstead 6th in that event at last year’s Pac-12 Championships. Heimstead instead swam the 200 free, which she won in 1:44.73, and the 100 free, which she won in 48.73, picking up crucial points for her team. That time in the 200 free was only .04 seconds shy of her personal best.
She also swam the butterfly leg (23.01) on Arizona’s 200 medley relay, which won in 1:37.20. She combined with Paige Armstrong (back – 25.19), Maddy Ahluwalla (breast – 27.17), and Julia Wozniak (free – 21.83) to win that race by over half-a-second.
That anchor split for Wozniak is a revelation – it’s about eight-tenths better than her lifetime best in a flat-start coming into the meet. That flat-start time also fell in this meet – she dropped two-tenths to win the individual event in 22.48 ahead of Arizona State’s Erin Milligan (22.54).
The other double winner for Arizona State was Deniz Ertan, who won the 1000 free in 9:42.34 and the 500 in 4:47.28.
Arizona State finished the day with a win in the 400 free relay in 3:16.21, winning by a second-and-a-half over Arizona. That included 48-second splits on the middle two legs from Ieva Maluka (48.81) and Lindsay Looney (48.73). They had another on their “B” relay from Marte Lovberg, who split 48.97. Those were the only 48-second splits in the field.
Both teams concluded their regular season with this meet and will next race from February 28 – March 2 in Federal Way, Washington.
Matthews scores twice as Toronto hands Arizona 11th straight loss
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Auston Matthews scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season Wednesday night in the Toronto Maple Leafs star’s hometown return, breaking a tie as the fastest U.S.-born player to reach 50 goals at 54 games.
Matthews scored the milestone goal on a power play at 5:01 of the first period in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.
From nearby Scottsdale, Matthews scored on a shot from the circle to the left of goaltender Karel Vejmelka to make it 2-0. Mitchell Marner and Timothy Liljegren assisted on the goal that came with Michael Carcone in the penalty box for slashing.
“We had a couple of power plays and were kind of able to snap it around. I just tried to get open and (Marner’s) got the puck and he’s got a great sense of where I am on the ice and vice versa,” Matthews said. “We just try to push ourselves to be the best that we can be individually and the best teammates we can be.”
Matthews added his 51st — giving him 350 career goals in 535 games — late in the second period for a 4-2 lead en route to Toronto’s fifth straight victory.
“It’s a small step in a long season,” Matthews said. “Coming back home against a team that’s really had our number the past couple of seasons, it was just a good effort all around. It’s a great atmosphere, and it makes for a pretty fun game.
Matthews shared the previous U.S.-born mark with former Pittsburgh star Kevin Stevens at 62 games. Matthews is the fastest to 50 since Mario Lemieux since did it for Pittsburgh in 50 games in 1995-96. Wayne Gretzky holds the record, scoring his 50th in his 39th game for Edmonton in 1981-82 on his way to a record 92 goals.
Matthews has nine goals in his last four games, having two consecutive hat tricks before a single goal against St. Louis on Monday night. Florida’s Sam Reinhart is second in the NHL with 39 goals.
Matthews, who had 60 goals two seasons ago to lead the NHL, making him the first to reach that mark since Steven Stamkos had 60 in 2011-12. The last players to score 70 or more in a season were Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny, who each had 76 in 1992-93.
Coyotes: Begin a five-game road trip and play Winnipeg on Sunday.
Arizona prosecutor refuses to extradite murder suspect to New York
An Arizona prosecutor said she will not extradite a New York murder suspect to the state on Wednesday, claiming Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) could not be trusted to keep the man behind bars.
Maricopa County prosecutor Rachel Mitchell said in a press conference Wednesday that the suspect will instead remain in Arizona.
“Having observed the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by the Manhattan DA there, Alvin Bragg,” Mitchell said, “I think it’s safer to keep him here and keep him in custody, so that he cannot be out doing this to individuals either in our state, county, or anywhere in the United States.”
The suspect, 26-year-old Saad Almansoori, stands accused of the murder of a 38-year-old woman in New York City earlier this month. He was arrested in Arizona days later, after stabbing a second person.
Mitchell specifically cited Arizona’s mandatory minimum prison sentences as a reason to deny extradition, implying that Bragg would not pursue a harsh enough sentence.
A spokesperson for Bragg’s office denounced Mitchell’s decision not to allow extradition and her attacks on Bragg himself.
“It is deeply disturbing that D.A. Mitchell is playing political games in a murder investigation,” spokesperson Emily Tuttle said in a statement to The New York Times.
“New York’s murder rate is less than half that of Phoenix, Ariz., because of the hard work of the N.Y.P.D. and all of our law enforcement partners,” she continued. “It is a slap in the face to them and to the victim in our case to refuse to allow us to seek justice and full accountability for a New Yorker’s death.”
Bragg, a Democrat, has been a locus for political criticism of New York City law enforcement, with detractors claiming that the district attorney is to blame for a perception of higher crime. Bragg is also the prosecutor who brought the business fraud case against former President Trump regarding hush money payments allegedly made to cover affairs, attracting more claims of political motivation.
Bragg sued Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, last April, accusing him of a “transparent campaign to intimidate and attack” his work, following a House investigation.
Mitchell is also politically connected across the nation. She served as the outside attorney to Senate Republicans during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and famously questioned the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault during a public hearing, Christine Blasey Ford.
The Hill has reached out to the offices of Bragg and Mitchell comment.
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AZ schools are struggling to fill teaching positions as leaders brainstorm staffing solutions
Public school educators say they are some of the most underpaid and overworked laborers in the country.
In 2023, Educators for Excellence polled thousands of teachers about their experiences and workloads and found that while 80% of teachers are likely to spend their entire careers in the classroom, only 14 % of teachers would recommend the job to others. These striking statistics come as no surprise for educators who have been dealing with the pitfalls of school staffing shortages for years now with little to no reprieve.
The Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College’s annual Strategic School Staffing Summit earlier this month highlighted a collection of potential solutions, but now the question remains if any of them will incentivize teachers enough to commit to the classroom long term.
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Across the school districts in the state, more and more educators are quitting or are considering leaving the profession. Against the backdrop of lack of affordable housing, the rising cost of living, political discourse and stagnant wages, the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association (ASPAA) found that by January 2023, of the more than 7,500 teaching positions that had been vacant at the beginning of the school year, over 82% remained either still vacant or were filled by people who didn’t meet required teaching qualifications.
“This is a predominantly 80% female-dominated profession and so it’s expected that women do this unpaid labor for their children, for the students, because we’re seen as more maternal,” Arizona Education Association President Marisol Garcia said. “But … on the other end, Arizona educators and most educators across the country do not have family leave, do not have health care coverage for their children, do not have high rates or really great medical insurance for if we do get injured or if we do have children.”
“How are we taking advantage of this labor, this exploitation of labor particularly in a female-dominated workforce, and yet not putting up any supports that allow them to continue to be happy and healthy and stay and continue to do the job that we’re expecting them to do?” Garcia asked.
In Arizona – where the average teacher’s salary ranks 32nd in the nation, according to the National Education Association – the teachers posing this question are typically the ones considering leaving the profession.
The Next Education Workforce initiative at the Fulton Teachers College aims to tackle some of the issues plaguing classrooms by inviting presenters, educators, researchers and other experts in education from across the country to the virtual two-day staffing summit.
Honing in on staffing structure, the summit highlighted some of the main characteristics of strategic school staffing as distributed leadership, compensation structures, innovative teaming, extended teacher reach and technology that optimizes educator roles. A common theme was counting on “enabling conditions,” such as equitable and sustainable funding for schools, flexible state and district policies, strong focused leadership and access to high-quality technical assistance, in order to maintain the strategic school staffing structure.
“All of this is the set of enabling conditions, the data systems and structures. All of this has huge bearing on our ability to do this work,” Executive Director of Next Education Workforce Brent Maddin said during opening remarks at the summit. Logos of many of the organizations, higher education institutes, school districts and nonprofits that contributed and presented at the event were on full display to give, “a sense of the breadth of people that are doing this work, arm-and-arm, between universities and school systems. We are all part of the solution,” Maddin said.
Statewide policy solutions for school staffing
A proposed policy solution from Gov. Katie Hobbs seeks to have voters extend Proposition 123 and raise the State Land Trust Permanent Fund distribution, which would fund Arizona public schools over the course of 10 years. Hobbs estimates her plan would raise $118 million for school support staff, $347 million for teacher pay raises and $257 million for general school funding.
“Prop 123 might be able to mitigate a little bit of the turnover and the exodus that we’re seeing. But, by itself, it isn’t going to solve it,” Sen. Christine Marsh, D-Phoenix, a supporter of Hobbs’ plan and former Arizona Educational Foundation teacher of the year, said. “We have tens of thousands – somewhere around 60- to 70,000 certified teachers in Arizona – who won’t teach. So it really is not a teacher shortage, it is a shortage of people who are qualified and willing to teach, so there’s a lot more we absolutely need to do. With the legislative makeup the way it is, I don’t know if we’ve got very much hope of too much happening.”
The Republican plan to raise teacher pay also seeks to tap into Prop 123 but specifies funding for teacher raises and seeks to keep the land trust distribution at 6.9%, compared to 8.9% under Hobbs’ plan. In addition, Arizona Rep. Matt Gress, R-Phoenix, is sponsoring HB 2608, which passed in the House earlier this month. The bill would require the State Board of Education to conduct a retention study among school districts and charter schools.
But with varying opinions and proposals across the board, bipartisan agreement on how to fund Arizona educators seems unlikely.
AEA President Garcia said she supports Hobbs’ plan and letting districts manage how they spend their funding versus the Republican plan, which she says incentives pay per performance. “I’m excited that people are talking about this because clearly we’ve been raising the issue for forever.”
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