Troy At Bay Area Rivals Cal, Stanford

Jan. 26, 2005

The USC women's swimming and diving team heads to the Bay Area to take on Pac-10 rivals California on Friday (Jan. 28) at 1 p.m. and Stanford (Jan. 29) on Saturday at 12 p.m. USC's men's and women's diving squads will both be in action with the men's scores applied to the following week's men's meets.

USC is No. 17. Stanford (4-0, 2-1) is No. 6 while Cal (7-1, 3-1) is No. 8.

Stanford, fifth at the 2004 NCAAs, is led by a trio of 2004 U.S. Olympians, Kristen Caverly, Caroline Bruce and Dana Kirk. Cal has seven All-Americans returning from a team that finished sixth at the 2004 NCAAs.

USC's women team finished ninth at NCAAs in 2004 and sixth in the highly competitive Pac-10.

USC squared off against Cal State Bakersfield on Jan. 15, earning its first win of the season. Previous to that, USC fell to Arizona, 186-113, on Nov. 19, and tied Arizona State, 150-150, on Nov. 20. At Texas on Nov. 5-6, USC fell 230-123.

Senior Joanna Fargus owns a top 4 time in the 200y back (1:55.74) while senior Marisa Kozak is seventh in the 200y fly (1:58.32). Freshman Rhi Jeffrey's 49.23 in the 100y free is sixth in the country, USC's 800y free relay (7:18.81) is seventh while the 200y medley relay (1:42.30) is eighth. Kalyn Keller's 4:47.34 in the 500y free is 14th.

The Trojan women return sophomore Kalyn Keller (400m and 1500m free), senior Joanna Fargus (800 F.R.) and sophomore Cait Connealy (800 F.R.). The women also return former All-American diver and NCAA title winner Blythe Hartley, who did not compete last year while training for the 2004 Olympics. She returns as a redshirt junior after earning a combined (and maximum) six All-American honors her first two years at USC.

The women's squad features three Trojans who competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Diver Blythe Hartley (competing for Canada) won bronze on the 10-meter synchronized platform and also reached the final of the 3-meter individual springboard. Sophomore Kalyn Keller was a finalist in the 800m freestyle (taking fourth) and also swam in the 400m free. Freshman Rhi Jeffrey won a gold medal in Athens as part of the 4x200m free relay (on the prelim swim). USC's men's Olympians are led by 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.

USC will be without a handful of top swimmers from the 2004 squad, none bigger than Kaitlin Sandeno. Sandeno used a standout 2004 NCAA Championships as a junior (she won two titles and was second in another race) as a springboard to an eye-popping U.S. Olympic Trials (where she qualified for four races) and Olympic performance in Athens (where she won three medals). But she decided to turn pro before the Olympics and gave up her final year of eligibility at USC (though she still attends school at the university). Also gone on the women's side is one of the school's top butterflyers in Jana Krohn, top distance swimmer in Margie Pedder as well as All-American diver Nicci Fusaro. The men lost key backstroker and freestyler Trent Staley (a multi-Pac-10 finalist).

USC had its Jan. 8 meet at UC Santa Barbara cancelled due to inclement weather. It will not be made up this season, but the teams will compete again in the 2005-06 season.

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