Trojans Set For NCAA Men's Swimming, Diving Championships

March 13, 2007

The No. 7 USC men's swimming and diving team, led by a strong senior class featuring All-Americans Larsen Jensen, Sam Masson, Sean Sussex, Michael Hilde and Viktor Bodrogi, will compete in the 2007 NCAA Men's Swimming Championships, Thursday to Saturday (March 15-17) in Minneapolis, Minn.

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USC has won a combined 110 NCAA titles, including 92 individually and 18 on relays ... Senior Larsen is USC's best shot to add to the list. The 2005 NCAA champion in the 1650y free, he is coming off of a Pac-10 title in the event (as well as in the 500y free) and is simultaneously preparing for the upcoming World Championships in Australia later this month ... USC has won at least one NCAA title in five of the last six seasons. Aside from Jensen, other Trojans who will vie for individual titles are senior Mihaly Flaskay in the 100y breast, senior Viktor Bodrogi in the 200y fly and senior Sam Masson in the 100y fly ... USC hasn't won an NCAA title in the butterfly since Joe Bottom won the 100y fly in 1977 and no Trojan has won the 200y fly since Philip Houser in 1968 ... Troy has been without a breaststroke champ since Wayne Anderson won the 200y breast in 1966 and hasn't won the 100y breast since William Craig in 1965 ... Senior Michael Hilde is making his fourth consecutive NCAA appearance while fellow senior Kenny Jenkins is making his second straight trip. Hilde has scored in seven of nine NCAA events and earned All-American honors last year for the first time on 3-meter. In his NCAA debut last year, Jenkins' efforts were topped with a ninth on platform ... Senior Sean Sussex is a three-time All-American on relays, looking to crack the individual scoring column for the first time ... Junior Bryce Elser, who made his NCAA debut last year and earned All-American honors on the 800y free relay, will compete individually for the first time in the 100y fly ... Senior Gergely Meszaros (800y free relay), juniors Tyler Wilson (200y and 400y free relays) and Richard Gosper (50y free) and sophomore Vanni Mangoni (200y and 400y IM) will all be making their first NCAA Championship appearances. Gosper owns USC's fastest 50y free of the season, a 19.85 that makes him the fourth fastest Trojan ever in the race. Mangoni, meanwhile, entered USC's all-time top 10 in the 400y IM with a 3:48.59, good for eighth best all time.

After the NCAA Championships, Jensen will join the rest of his U.S. national teammates in Melbourne, Australia, for the 2007 FINA World Championships, the swimming portion of which runs from March 25 to April 1. In addition to Jensen, who will be looking to add to his collection of World Championships medals in the 1500m free, former Trojans Erik Vendt (1500m free), Mark Warkentin (5K, 10K, 25K) and Klete Keller (200m and 400m free and relays) will also be competing. Former women's swimmers Kalyn Keller and Amanda Weir, both of whom left USC early this year, will also be competing. Keller was a senior before leaving the team earlier this semester. Weir was a sophomore transfer, though was only a Trojan for a few months before turning pro.