Keller, Rigterink Win In Loss At Cal.
Jan. 19, 2007
Senior Kalyn Keller won the 1000y free and freshman Kristina Rigterink won the 500y free, but the No. 11 USC women's swimming and diving team fell to host No. 4 Cal, 181-99, in a Pac-10 dual meet in Berekely, Calif., on Friday (Jan. 19).
USC dropped to 5-2 overall, 3-2 in the Pac-10 while Cal improved to 9-0, 4-0.
Keller won the 1000y free in 9:57.12, edging Cal's Blake Hayter, who took second in 9:58.51. In the 500y free, Rigterink held off a challenging Hayter to win in 4:52.90. Hater, only 0.01 off the lead with 25 yards to go, finished in 4:52.96. Junior Brittany Allen was only a half second off the lead with 100 yards to go and took third in 4:54.40.
Keller was also second in the 200y fly (2:01.45) and third in the 100y back (2:02.89).
Sophomore Rebecca Soni, the NCAA's defending champion in the 200y breast, renewed her rivalry with Cal breaststroke stalwart Jessica Hardy, also a sophomore. A year ago, Soni out-touched Hardy in the USC-Cal dual meet, 59.96 to 1:00.21. This time around, Hardy hit the wall first in 1:00.90 while Soni followed in 1:01.37.
In a great rivalry that figures to go on through their seniors years, Soni edged Hardy by 0.05 for the Pac-10 title last year and Hardy then got the best of Soni in the NCAA Championships, also by 0.05. For Soni, Friday's effort was her best of the year and an NCAA automatic qualifying time. Soni also posted a second in the 200y IM in 2:04.65.
Junior Kim Popp led the diving squad's efforts, taking second in both 1-meter (243.07) and 3-meter (252.46).
USC looked to be strong in the sprint free this year with the addition of Olympian Amanda Weir and returning All-American Rhi Jeffrey. But Weir's decision to turn pro and Jeffrey's decision to leave school have left Troy hamstrung in the shorter races, which helps explain how Cal swept the 50y, 100y and 200y free.
The Trojans don't get a break as they travel across the bay to take on top-ranked Stanford on Saturday (Jan. 20) at 1 p.m.