No. 1 USC Hosts No. 9 Michigan

Dec. 29, 2004

The top-ranked USC men's swimming and diving team hosts No. 9 Michigan in dual-meet action on Tuesday (Jan. 4) at 1 p.m. at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium. Also competing is Club Wolverine, a club team that trains at Michigan and includes multi-Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps, who is scheduled to race. In addition, swimmers from Irvine Novaquatics are also scheduled to participate.

The short course yards meet, in fact, is scheduled to be raced in the Trojans' 25-yard diving well adjacent to the main pool (which is being refurbished). In case of inclement weather, the meet will be moved to the USC indoor pool within the Physical Education building in the center of campus. Now used chiefly by the student body, the pool was the home to nine USC NCAA title teams between 1960 and 1978 and swimming greats like John Naber, Roy Saari, Murray Rose and Bruce Furniss all swam in its water.

The Wolverines (3-0) are led by Olympic medallist and long-distance stalwart Peter Vanderkaay. Vanderkaay and USC distance stars Ous Mellouli and Larsen Jensen already battled to entertaining showdowns in the 500y and 1650y free at the Texas Invitational and figure to do it again.

Junior Ous Mellouli's 3:41.32 in the 400y IM is the top time in the nation thus far and his 1:44.14 is second in the 200y IM and both are NCAA automatic qualifying times. So is his 4:15.43 in the 500y free, which is also second. His 15:00.26 in the 1650y free is third and his 1:36.28 in the 200y free is seventh. Sophomore Larsen Jensen's 14:44.89 is the fastest mile in the country this year while his 4:15.43 in the 500y free is tied with Mellouli for second best (both are NCAA A cuts). Senior co-captain Paul Fahey's 3:47.79 is sixth in the country while Mihaly Flaskay has the eighth fastest time in the 100y breast (54.21). Sophomore Viktor Bodrogi has a pair of No. 12 times in the 100y back (48.61) and the 200y fly (1:47.00). Sam Masson has three top 15 times in the 100y fly (48.21), 200y fly (1:46.91) and 200y back (1:45.54). Sean Sussex is 14th in the 100y free (44.21) and 15th (20.15) in the 50y free. USC's 200y medley relay is the second fastest ranked unit in the country and the 800y free relay is fourth.

The USC men's team returns back junior Ous Mellouli (400m IM, 1500m Free) and seniors Paul Fahey (400m IM) and Ray Vincent (platform diving). The men also return 2003 All-American breaststroker Mihaly Flaskay (who did not attend USC in 2004 while training to qualify for the Olympics in his native Hungary) and sophomore Larsen Jensen, a 2004 Olympic silver medallist who skipped the second half of the 2004 season to train for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

USC's men's Olympians starts with Larsen Jensen, who was a silver medallist in the 1500m freestyle and took fourth in the 400m free. Junior Ous Mellouli, competing for Tunisia, was a finalist in the 400m IM and raced in the 1500m free (Mellouli, in fact, recently won gold in the 400m IM and a bronze in the 200m IM at the 2004 Short Course World Championships). Viktor Bodrogi and Gergely Meszaros (both competing for Hungary) also were in Athens on the men's side.

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