Men's Swimming At Pac-10 Championships
Feb. 28, 2001
LOS ANGELES - The No. 8 USC men's swimming and diving team (3-3 overall, 1-3 in the Pacific-10 Conference) will compete in the 2001 Pacific-10 Conference Swimming Championships on Thursday through Saturday (March 1-3) at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif. Preliminary events begin each day at 11 a.m. and finals begin at 6 p.m. each evening (PST).
* PAC-10 DIVING -- The Pacific-10 Conference Men's Diving Championships took place in conjunction with the women's meet in Federal Way, Wash., last week. Points scored on the men's side will be applied at the Men's Pac-10 Championships. Trojan freshman Raymond Vincent was sixth in the platform, seventh in the 3-meter and 10th in the 1-meter. Junior Adam Rokoff was 12th in both the 3-meter and platform and was 15th in the 1-meter.
* LAST YEAR AT THE PAC-10s -- The Trojans finished third at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships with 699.5 points. Stanford won the event with 794 points while California was second (762), followed by USC, Arizona, Arizona State and Washington. Then-junior Ryosuke Imai won USC's only titles, sweeping the breaststroke events. Then-sophomores Mark Warkentin and Nick Kaschik and then-junior Slawek Richter each finalled three times. Warkentin was third in the 500 free and fourth in both the 1650 free and 400 IM while Kaschik was fifth in both the 200 IM and 200 back and eighth in the 400 IM. Richter was third in the 100 breast, seventh in the 200 breast and eighth in the 200 IM. Erik Vendt, as a freshman, finalled twice, taking second in both the 1650 free and the 400 IM. Tamas Kerekjarto also finalled in both the 200 and 400 IM. Then-freshman Jeff Lee also finalled in the 200 and 500 free.
* MARK SCHUBERT -- USC Coach Mark Schubert, in his ninth year at Troy and is coming off a stint as head coach of the U.S. men's swim team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. It was his sixth consecutive USA Olympic coaching position. Schubert, in his ninth season directing the men's team, has gone 57-15 in dual-meet competition.
* HONGPING LI -- An NCAA champion and two-time Olympian, Hongping Li is in his second season coaching USC's men's and women's divers. Li, the winner of the 1998 and 1999 United States Olympic Committee's 'Diving Developmental Coach of the Year,' award, came to USC after serving as the head coach of the Mission Viejo (Calif.) Nadadores Diving Team since 1993. In his first year with USC, he helped Kellie Brennan to a pair of All-American honors at the 2000 NCAA Women's Championships.
* ERIK VENDT -- Possibly America's greatest distance freestyler and one of its best in the individual medley, 2000-2001 sophomore Erik Vendt has come off an eye-popping summer and is looking to repeat that success at this year's 2001 Pac-10 and NCAA Championships. Vendt, who won a silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in the 400 IM, became the first American to go under 15 minutes in the 1500m freestyle last year. He's also the defending NCAA champion in the mile and a three-time returning All-American who was the only Trojan to final in three individual events at the 2000 NCAA Championships. This year, Vendt has USC's fastest times in the 1000 (9:00.01) and 1650 free (15:01.41, NCAA automatic). Vendt also has a consideration time in the 400 IM (3:52.56).
* TAMAS KEREKJARTO -- Tamas Kerekjarto, a native of Hungary, earned All-American honors as a relay member last year but is looking to do so as an individual this season as a 2000-2001 junior. Kerekjarto has posting fast times across the board this season. He is USC's fastest in the 200 (1:47.68) and 400 IM (3:51.30) and is USC's second fastest in the 100 (49.64) and 200 fly (1:47.13) and the 200 free (1:37.64). All of the above times, save the 100 fly, are NCAA consideration marks.
* RYOSUKE IMAI -- The fastest breaststroker in USC history, 2000-2001 senior Ryosuke Imai, a native of Japan, is a career four-time All-American who is an invaluable part of the Trojan medley relays. The Pac-10's defending 100 and 200 breast champion, Imai owns all six of USC's breaststroke records. He has posted USC's top times this year in the 100 (56.54) and 200 breast (2:02.37).
* GABE WOODWARD -- One of USC's top sprinters ever, senior co-captain and four-time career All-American Gabe Woodward will look to be major factor in both individual events and relays at the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships. A rock on relays, Woodward owns USC's top times in both the 50 (20.52) and the 100 free (45.33) and is among USC's best in the 100 fly (50.17).
* KLETE KELLER -- One of the most talented young freestylers in the nation who already has two Olympic medals to his credit, 2000-2001 freshman Klete Keller bolsters an already strong middle-to-distance freestyle unit for the Trojans. Keller, who won a bronze medal in the 400m free at the 2000 Olympics and a silver in the 800m free relay, currently has USC's top time in the 200 (1:36.27, NCAA automatic) and the 500 free (4:24.20, NCAA consideration). He also owns USC's second-best mark in the mile (15:31.67, NCAA consideration).
* JEFF LEE -- Jeff Lee, a fine middle-distance swimmer who is also strong in the fly, will look to continue the All-American start to his career as a key part of the Trojans' point-scoring contingent, individually and on relays, as a 2000-2001 sophomore. Lee has USC's fastest time in the 100 (48.87) and 200 fly (1:47.12, NCAA consideration) this year.
* MARK WARKENTIN -- A three-time career-All-American, 2000-2001 junior Mark Warkentin is one of the top mid-to-distance freestylers in the nation who will look to form a formidable one-two punch in the freestyle and IM with sophomore Erik Vendt. Warkentin currently has NCAA consideration times in the 500 (4:26.70) and 1650 free (15:33.46) and 400 IM (3:55.20).
* NICK KASCHIK -- Nick Kaschik, a 2000-2001 junior, is a versatile swimmer who looks to build on his NCAA point-scoring debut as a sophomore last year. Thus far as a junior, Kaschik has the Trojans' second-fastest time in the 200 IM (1:51.17) and the 100 breast (56.97).
* SLAWEK RICHTER -- A fantastic breaststroker and the former USC record holder in the 100y breast, 2000-2001 senior Slawek Richter will challenge for All-American honors in both breast events. He is also strong in the 50 free and has USC's third-fastest time in the event this year (21.12).
* TRENT STALEY -- 2000-2001 freshman Trent Staley enters USC as a rising talent in the backstroke who should compete for points at both the Pac-10 and NCAA level. Staley has USC's fastest times in both the 100 (50.63) and 200 back (1:47.62).
* NICK SMITH -- A 2000-2001 senior, Nick Smith was voted a co-captain for the Trojans for the second consecutive season. He is one of the Trojans top freestyle sprinters who has shown he can be a contributing point scorer at the Pac-10 level or beyond.