USC Hosts Defending NCAA Champion Arizona, ASU

Nov. 13, 2008

The USC women's swim team, featuring 2008 Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni as well as other Olympians and Olympic Trial participants, begins Pac-10 Conference action this week, hosting defending NCAA champion Arizona on Friday (Nov. 14) at 2 p.m. as well as Arizona State on Saturday (Nov. 15) at noon. Both dual meets will be at McDonald's Swim Stadium on the USC campus.

The Women of Troy, under third-year head coach Dave Salo, are coming off a victory at the SMU Classic in which USC finished first among six schools.

Many USC swimmers have already registered NCAA cuts, led by Soni, who has an automatic time in the 200y breast (2:09.12) as well as consideration times in the 100y breast (1:00.32) and the 200y IM (2:00.64). Soni, of course, is the three-time defending NCAA champion in the 200y breast as well as the defending champion in the 100y breast.

Other Trojans with NCAA `B' cuts include senior Katy Houston (1:01.73 in the 100y breast, 2:14.17 in the 200y breast), senior Kristen Lahey (54.47 in the 100y back, 1:57.77 in the 200y back), freshman Katinka Hosszu (4:47.67 in the 500y free, 4:11.74 in the 400y IM, 1:59.13 in the 200y fly) and freshman Tanya Krisman (53.82 in the 100y fly, 1:56.71 in the 200y fly). USC also established a `B' cut in the 400y free relay (3:21.49).

Arizona, which won its first NCAA title in 2008, returns 12 All-Americans and 24 lettermen. Among the Wildcats' top performers are seniors Lara Jackson (sprint free), junior Annie Chandler (breaststroke) ... Arizona State is led by returning All-Americans Jen Beckberger and Jess Perazzo (relay). Also back is 2008 NCAA qualifier is Ashton Aubry (fly) while a strong freshmen class has bolstered the Sun Devils' roster.

USC returns three All-Americans, including Soni and fellow seniors Lahey and Rachael Waller. Also back is NCAA Championship participant senior Houston.

Soni is still not far removed from winning a gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2008 Olympics. Soni also won silver medals in the 100-meter breaststroke and the 400-meter medley relay, entrenching herself as one of the world's top swimmers.

Hosszu was also a 2008 Olympian. Swimming for Hungary, she posted a pair of top 20 finishes in the 200-meter and 400-meter IM. Among the current Trojans who competed at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials are Waller, Houston and Lahey as well as freshmen Courtney Kalisz and Krisman. Krisman was a 200-meter fly finalist while Kalisz was a semifinalist in the same event.

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