Women Of Troy Compete At UCLA With Lexus Gauntlet Points On The Line

Feb. 9, 2006

The No. 11 USC women's swimming and diving team (3-4, 1-3) wraps up Pac-10 and regular-season action when it takes on crosstown rival UCLA (7-2, 3-2) at the Bruins' Men's Gym Pool on Saturday (Feb. 11). The diving competition begins at 11 am. and is followed by swimming at 12 p.m. The Women of Troy are looking to end a two-year losing streak to UCLA after winning the previous 10 dual meets. This is the last dual meet of the season. The 2006 Pac-10 Championships will be held Feb. 22-25 at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif.

UCLA - UCLA is led by senior Kim Vandenberg, ranked No. 3 in the nation in the 200y fly (1:56.11). She is also among the top 12 in the 100y fly (53.94) and the 200y free (1:47.54). Junior Katie Arnold is ranked 10th in the 100y back (54.48) and 14th in the 200y back (1:58.37) while junior Katie Nelson is 17th in the 500y free (4:47.20).

LEXUS GAUNTLET - The winner of this weekend's dual meet will earn five points toward their school's Lexus Gauntlet total. Currently, USC holds a 32.5 to 15 point lead over the Bruins, but there are still plenty of cross-town competitions left in the year. The Lexus Gauntlet is a season-long competition between USC and UCLA in all sports. Points are awarded to the winner of each Bruin-Trojan head-to-head contest throughout the year and the Lexus Gauntlet trophy is awarded to the school with the most points at year's end.

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 (59.96) 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 15th 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 15th fastest ... Freshman Melissa McIntyre's 1:01.50 (NCAA `A' cut) in the 100y breast is seventh fastest and her 2:14.45 (NCAA `B' cut) in the 200y breast is tied for ninth. Freshman Katy Houston's 2:15.10 in the 200y breast is 17th fastest ... Sophomore Emily Goetsch's 54.17 (NCAA `B' cut) is 11th fastest and her 1:59.80 in the 200y fly (NCAA `B' cut) is 15th fastest.

MORE TOP TIMES - In addition to USC's performances among the top 20 in the nation, many Trojans have posted NCAA `B' cut' in a variety of events. They include senior Kalyn Keller (200y free, 1:48.93; 400y IM, 4:22.40; 200y fly, 2:00.29; 200y back, 2:01.18), Stacy Vazhenin (500y free, 4:51.63; 200y IM, 2:03.93; 400y IM, 4:23.59; 200y back, 2:00.19), junior Kristina Sieper (100y breast, 1:02.51; 200y breast, 2:16.50), sophomore Whitney Hentzen (500y free, 4:53.69; 1650y free 16:44.64), sophomore Brittany Allen (500y free, 4:50.69; 1650y free, 16:47.93), freshman Kristen Lahey (50y free, 23.25; 100y fly, 54.86), freshman Rachael Waller (200y free, 1:48.72), freshman Missy McIntyre (200y IM, 2:02.85), freshman Katy Houston (200y IM, 2:02.91; 400y IM, 4:23.50) and sophomore Hayley McGregory (100y back, 55.25).

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 ... The Women of Troy returned to action when it hostedCalifornia on Jan. 27 and Stanford on Jan. 28. In the 157-143 loss to the Bears, Soni lowered her school record in the 100y breast to 59.96 (defeating Cal's 100m breast world record holder Jessica Hardy) and also won the 200y breast (2:10.13). Both winning breaststroke times were pool records. Keller won three times against the Bears, posting a season-best in the 200y fly (2:00.29). In Troy's 158-142 setback against Stanford, USC's 400y free relay of Cait Connealy, McIntyre, Rachael Waller and Jeffrey posted the school's fastest ever time in McDonald's Swim Stadium, touching in 3:22.58. Soni again swept the breaststroke events while Keller and Jeffrey won the 500y free and 200y free, respectively.

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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