No. 11 USC Hosts Pac-10 Rivals No. 6 Cal, No. 3 Stanford

Jan. 26, 2006

The No. 11 USC women's swimming and diving team (3-2, 1-1) returns to Pac-10 action when it hosts Bay Area rivals California and Stanford this weekend. The Women of Troy will race against the No. 6 Golden Bears (8-0, 4-0) on Friday (Jan. 27) and against the No. 3 Cardinal on Saturday (Jan. 28). Both meets begins at 1 p.m. at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium.

CAL AND STANFORD - Cal features freshman breaststroker Jessica Hardy, the only woman this year faster in the 100y breast than USC freshman Rebecca Soni. Junior Erin Reilly is one of the top freestylers in the country with top 10 times in the 200y and 500y free while Helen Silver has a pair of top 10 times in the 100y and 200y backstrokes. Stanford boasts the defending 100y and 200y NCAA breaststroke champion in Carolina Bruce, but the sophomore is out for the remainder of the season after having shoulder surgery. The Cardinal still feature senior butterfly specialist Dana Kirk, a 2004 Olympian, sophomore Brooke Bishop, who owns top 5 times in both backstrokes and versatile senior Kristen Caverly. USC fell to both schools last year.

WOMEN'S TOP TIMES (From CollegeSwimming.com) - Freshman Rebecca Soni's 2:08.54 is the top 200y breast time in the nation, an NCAA automatic qualifying time and a school record. Her time in the 100y breast (1:00.35) is currently second fastest in the country and is also an NCAA automatic and school record. Her time of 4:17.14 in the 400y IM is 13th and her time of 2:01.83 in the 200y IM is 18th ... Sophomore Rhi Jeffrey's 22.63 (NCAA `A' cut) in the 50y free is seventh fastest in the nation and her 1:47.40 (NCAA `B' cut) is 10th fastest ... Junior Kalyn Keller's 16:15.05 (NCAA `A' cut) in the 1650y free is fifth fastest in the country and her 4:43.97 (NCAA `A' cut) in the 500y free is seventh fastest ... Freshman Kristen Lahey's 54.78 in the 100y back is 13th fastest ... Freshman Missy McIntyre's 1:01.50 (NCAA `A' cut) in the 100y breast is seventh fastest and her 2:15.44 (NCAA `B' cut) in the 200y breast is 19th. Freshman Katy Houston's 2:15.10 in the 200y breast is 16th fastest ... Sophomore Emily Goetsch's 54.17 (NCAA `B' cut) is 11th fastest and her 1:59.80 in the 200y fly is 15th fastest.

2005-2006 SO FAR - USC opened the 2005-2006 season at the Pacific Invite in Stockton, Calif., where women's winners included Cait Connealy and freshmen Kristin Lahey and Rebecca Soni ... At the 2005 Trojan Diving Invitational (Nov. 11-12), Blythe Hartley won the 1-meter competition to lead the women ... USC opened Pac-10 competition at Arizona and Arizona State on Nov. 18 and 19, falling in Tucson to the Wildcats, but defeating the Sun Devils in Tempe the following day. Freshman Rebecca Soni won three events apiece at ASU. Soni posted USC's first NCAA automatic qualifying time of the season, crushing the field in the 200y breast (2:10.95) ... On Dec. 1-3, USC competed at the Texas Invitational. Soni stole the show, winning both breaststroke events in school record times (100y breast, 1:00.35; 200y breast, 2:08.54) ... On Jan. 7, USC hosted UC Santa Barbara and Texas . The Trojans downed the Gauchos but fell to the Longhorns. Soni swept the breaststroke events and senior Blythe Hartley did the same on the springboard events. Junior Cait Connealy (200y free) and sophomore Emily Goetsch (200y fly) also posted wins ... On Jan. 14, Hartley, junior Kalyn Keller, sophomore Rhi Jeffrey and freshmen Rachael Waller and Missy McIntyre all won two races apiece in a win over Cal State Bakersfield.

WOMEN'S RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS - Like the men's team, the USC women are ready and poised to improve upon their 10th-place 2005 NCAA finish and feature four returning All-Americans. Senior Blythe Hartley won her third career NCAA title in 2005, winning the 3-meter springboard. She also won the 1-meter and platform titles in 2002. She has never finished lower than fifth in any NCAA Championship diving competition. Also in 2005, Hartley won her second career World Championships title, winning on 1-meter. She has six career Pac-10 crowns. Junior Kalyn Keller, a 2004 Olympian, was an All-American in 2005 after winning an NCAA title in the 1500m free in 2004. Junior Cait Connealy and sophomore Emily Goetsch are also returning All-Americans (both earned the honor as part of the 800y free relay). USC is without two 2005 All-Americans who finished their eligibility, Joanna Fargus (a current undergrad coach) and Marisa Kozak.

TROJANS SCHEDULED TO COMPETE AT THE 2006 SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - Freshman Rebecca Soni and former Trojan and current volunteer coach Kaitlin Sandeno have been selected to represent the United States at the 2006 FINA Short Course World Championships (25m), April 5-9, in Shanghai, China. In addition, USC Coach Mark Schubert will serve as an assistant coach on the women's team.

USC IN ANY LANGUAGE - The Trojan swimming and diving teams have featured diverse rosters for years and this season is no different. Blythe Hartley on the women's team is from Canada while Head Diving Coach Hongping Li is Chinese and sophomore Renee Viveros has competed for the Mexican national team. The men's squad includes swimmers from Tunisia (Mellouli), Hungary (Viktor Bodrogi, Mihaly Flaskay and Gergely Meszaros), Italy (Vanni Mangoni), Guatemala (Evan Marcus) and South Korea (Joon Youm).

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