USC Men, Women Host Arizona, Arizona State
Nov. 9, 2006
The 2006-2007 men's and women's swimming and diving teams, ranked No. 8 and 6, respectively, in the latest College Swim Coaches Association of America Top 25, begin Pacific 10 Conference action when they host Arizona and Arizona State, Friday and Saturday (Nov. 10-11) at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium.
The Trojan men will host both the No. 5 Wildcats and the No. 20 Sun Devils in a 16-event competition spanning Friday and Saturday. The Women of Troy will take on the No. 5 Wildcats on Friday and the No. 22 Sun Devils on Saturday. Friday's action begins at 2 p.m. and Saturday's events start at noon.
The men's team defeated Arizona State last season, 173-125, but fell to Arizona, 138-103. The USC women also defeated the Sun Devils, 177-121, and also fell to the Wildcats, 128-113.
USC opened the season with non-conference dual meet wins on Oct. 14 as both the men's and women's squads defeated Cal State Northridge while the women's team also downed Oregon State.
The Trojans then took part in the TYR Pacific Invitational on Oct. 20-21, posting first-place finishes on both the men's and women's side. Sophomore Amanda Weir won four races in a meet where many swimmers competed in five or more races. Sophomore Kristen Lahey also won twice for the women and senior Larsen Jensen won three times for the men.,
Weir, a sophomore transfer who competed at Georgia as a freshman, is the only Trojan to record NCAA automatic qualifying times during the young season, doing it three times. All came in wins in the 50y (22.60), 100y (48.76) and 200y free (1:46.74) in the year's first meet. Sophomore Missy McIntyre has turned in an NCAA consideration performance in the 100y breast (1:02.49) while senior Kalyn Keller has done so in the 500y (4:48.54) and the 1650y free (16:30.59) and the 200y fly (2:01.84). Junior Emily Goetsch also has an NCAA `B' cut in the 200y fly (2:02.19). Jensen has NCAA consideration times in the 500y and 1650y free.
USC's women's team, which finished sixth at the NCAA Championships last season and fourth in the Pac-10, returns four All-Americans in defending NCAA 200-yard breaststroke champion Rebecca Soni, 2006 NCAA finalists Rhi Jeffrey and Hayley McGregory and relay All-American Lahey. Additionally, the Women of Troy have added Weir, who was a two-time NCAA finalist at Georgia in 2005 and also a 2004 Olympian.
A host of other swimmers who competed for USC at the 2006 NCAA Championships return, led by Kaller, the 2004 NCAA champion in the mile. Sophomores Rachael Waller, Katy Houston and McIntyre, Goetsch, senior Kristina Sieper and junior diver Kim Popp are also back with NCAA Championship experience.
The women's team's biggest loss is Blythe Hartley, the top diver in USC history and one of the best ever in the NCAA. She was routinely among the top scorers in every meet in which she competed.
The men's team, which was seventh at the NCAA Championships and third at the Pac-10s, returns seven of its eight All-Americans from last season, which includes junior Viktor Bodrogi (200y butterfly finalist), Mihaly Flaskay (relay), Jensen (500y and 1650y free finalist), Sam Masson (100y butterfly finalist), Sean Sussex (relay), Michael Hilde (3-meter springboard finalist) and junior Bryce Elser (relay).
Troy is now without the services of the graduated Ous Mellouli, a former NCAA title winner and one of the NCAA's top distance swimmers each year he was in school.