Trojans Set For Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 20, 2007

Pac-10 Championships Psyche Sheet
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The No. 7 USC men's swimming team, led by a strong senior class featuring All-Americans Larsen Jensen, Sam Masson and Viktor Bodrogi, will compete in the 2007 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships, Wednesday to Saturday (Feb. 21-24) in Federal Way, Wash.

The Pac-10 Championships feature four of the top seven ranked teams in the country (according to Stanford is No.2, California is No. 4, Arizona is No. 5 with USC at No. 7. Arizona State is also ranked No. 21 while Washington rounds out the competition.

Events begin on Wednesday (Feb. 21) with timed finals of the 200y medley and 800y free relays that begin at 6 p.m. From Thursday through Saturday (Feb. 22-24), prelims begin at 11 a.m. and finals start at 6 p.m. each day. Thusday's schedule features the 500y free, 200y IM, 50y free and 200y free relay. Friday features the 400y IM, 100y fly, 200y free, 100y breast, 100y back and 400y medley relay. Saturday's finale includes the 200y back, 100y free, 200y breast, 200y fly, a timed final of the 1650y free and the 400y free relay.

USC has finished in third two years in a row at the Pac-10 Championships as well as in three of the past four years. USC has won 17 conference crowns, but none since 1979 ... Senior Viktor Bodrogi is USC's lone defending champion. The Hungarian shattered a 17-year old record held by Stanford's Pablo Morales en route to the 200y fly title last year in 1:42.35. He would become USC's first two-time Pac-10 winner of the race if he can repeat as champion ... USC has won the past six 500y free titles (Ous Mellouli, 2004-06; Erik Vendt, 2002-03; Klete Keller, 2001). Larsen Jensen is USC's best bet to continue the streak, though Pac-10 swimmers, including Jensen, own four of the top seven times in the event nationwide. Jensen, in fact, who has an NCAA title in the 1650y free and Olympic and World Championships medals, has yet to win a Pac-10 title ... Senior Sam Masson has the second-fastest 100y fly time this year among Pac-10 swimmers and will look to become the first Trojan to win the event since Joe Bottom in 1977 ... Senior Mihaly Flaskay won the 100y breast title as a freshman in 2003 and, after redshirting in 2004, reached the final of the event in 2005 and 2006. Flaskay, who owns the fastest 100y breast time in the Pac-10 this year, is also a two-time Pac-10 finalist in the 200y breast ... USC has won the past four 400y IM titles (the last three by the recently graduated Ous Mellouli) and five of the past six. Sophomore Vanni Mangoni will try to carry on the Trojan tradition in that race. He currently has the second fastest time in the Pac-10 in the event ... USC's current team boasts at least one swimmer in 12 of 14 events on USC's all-time top 10 list.

Only senior Larsen Jensen has clocked an NCAA automatic time, a 4:17.59 in the 500y free, and his 15:12.45 in the 1650y free is an NCAA `B' cut and a team best. His 1:37.57 in the 200y free is also a `B' cut.

Junior Richard Gosper's 50y free of 19.85 at the Georgia Fall Invite is an NCAA consideration mark and the fastest by a Trojan in five years. Senior Sean Sussex has `B' cuts in the 50y (20.00), 100y free (43.92) and 200y free (1:37.93).

Sophomore Vanni Mangoni has USC's top times in both the 200y (1:48.40) and the 400y IM (3:48.59), both NCAA consideration times. The latter time is sixth best in the country.

Senior Sam Masson, USC's record holder in the 100y fly, has the top time in the event this year (NCAA consideration, 47.39) while junior Bryce Elser has an NCAA `B' cut there as well (48.23). Junior Brandon Lovell (1:47.24) and Pac-10 record holder Viktor Bodrogi (1:47.36) have NCAA consideration times in the 200y fly.

USC 100y breast record holder Mihaly Flaskay has NCAA `B' cuts in the 100y (54.13, eighth best in the country) and the 200y breast (2:00.02) while sophomore Kazu Miyahara has the top time in the 200y breast (1:59.60).

Bodrogi (48.28) and Masson (48.44) each have NCAA `B' cuts in the 100y back and Bodrogi also has one in the 200y back (1:45.67).

The Trojans, seventh at the 2006 NCAA Championships and third at the 2006 Pac-10s, return seven of its eight All-Americans from last season, which includes junior Bodrogi (200y butterfly finalist), Flaskay (relay), Jensen (500y and 1650y free finalist), Masson (100y butterfly finalist), Sussex (relay), Michael Hilde (3-meter springboard finalist) and Elser (relay).

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