Trojans In Action At World Championships

July 17, 2003

A handful of former Trojans have arrived in Barcelona, Spain, preparing to compete in the 2003 Long Course World Championships that begin on Sunday (July 20) and continue for a week.

USC sophomore All-American Ous Mellouli, recent grad and NCAA title winner Erik Vendt and his former teammate, Klete Keller, have joined fellow USC great Lindsay Benko as well as Trojan Coach Mark Schubert in Barcelona to swim in the biggest international meet until next year's Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Two Trojans have already beaten them to the punch - and to the medal stand - however.

USC sophomore diver and six-time NCAA All-American Blythe Hartley won a bronze in the 1-meter springboard on Monday (July 14), scoring 291.33. It was her second world championship medal after winning a gold on 1-meter 2001. She took 12th in the platform on Wednesday (July 16) and will compete in the 3-meter on Friday (July 18).

Former Trojan distance swimmer David Meca was also in action, winning a bronze medal in the 10k open water event. Meca, 30, representing Spain, finished third in 1:51:08.4, about two seconds out of second and only about 10 seconds out of first. Meca will also race in the 25k race on Saturday (July 19).

Vendt, Keller and Benko all have previous Long Course World Championships experience and all have won medals before. Mellouli, representing Tunisia, has competed in the Short Course World Championships.

Vendt won a silver in the 400m IM and Keller won a pair of bronzes in the 200m free and the 800m free relay at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

Benko, who had to scratch from the 2001 meet because of an injury, won a silver as part of the 800m free relay and also reached the finals of the 200m free.

This year, Vendt will race in the 1500m freestyle while Keller will compete in the 200m and 400m free and the 800m free relay. Benko will race in the 200m and 400m free and both the 400m and 800m free relays. Mellouli will swim in the 200m and 400m IM, the 400m and 1500m free and will likely swim on relays.

ESPN 2 will television portions of the World Championships throughout the week's events. Check your local listings for broadcast times.

For a schedule of events and results, go to: http://www.fina.org/bcn03_scheduleswimming.html

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