Women's, Men's Swimmers Looking For Big Results At Husky Invite

Dec. 3, 2008

The USC women's and men's swimming teams, ranked No. 11 and No. 22, respectively, have traveled north to take on the field at the 2008 Husky Invite, Thursday through Saturday (Dec. 4-6), at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

The field for the event includes men's and women's teams from host Washington, USC, UC Santa Barbara, Seattle, Puget Sound, North Carolina State, Hawaii and British Columbia. Schools sending just women's squads are Boise State, Oregon State and UC Davis while Cal is bringing its men's team.

Prelims begin each day at 9:30 a.m. (PST) and finals begin at 6 p.m. Live results are available here.

Both of USC's teams are coming off of big dual-meet wins over Arizona's squads, which are the defending NCAA champions on both the men's and women's side. Troy also swept Arizona State.

Third-year head coach Dave Salo believes USC will build on the momentum from the Arizona wins at the Husky Invite as Trojan swimmers look to earn as many NCAA qualifying cuts as possible.

'The team has been swimming well throughout the season with great energy and posted great performances against the Arizona schools a couple weeks ago,' Salo said. 'We should be ready to make strides forward and post up some very competitive times.

'We are also looking to swim some great relays this weekend and get a better feel for where we stand against the best teams in the country. I think our freshmen are eager to race and with our senior leadership on the women's side, I think the women have a chance to win the team competition. The men face a strong Cal team, with Washington and Santa Barbara making it a very competitive meet as well.'

The USC women's team has been ahead of the men thus far in the season with regards to setting NCAA standards. While the men have yet to record any NCAA marks, the women have already notched quite a few.

Leading the women is Soni, USC's four-time NCAA champion who already has NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 100y (59.48) and 200y breast (2:07.86). She also has NCAA consideration times in the 200y (2:00.64) and the 400y IM (4:15.66). Senior Kristen Lahey has USC's other NCAA automatic in the 100y back (52.99) and also has an NCAA consideration time in the 200y back (1:57.77) and the 50y (22.80) and 100y free (49.73).

Other Trojans with NCAA `B' cuts already include senior Rachael Waller (200y free, 1:47.46), freshman Katinka Hosszu (500y free, 4:46.95; 400y IM, 4:11.74; 200y fly, 1:57.21), freshman Tanya Krisman (100y fly, 53.82; 200y fly, 1:56.43), senior Katy Houston (100y breast, 1:01.73; 200y breast 2:14.17) and junior Dina Hegazy (200y back, 1:56.64).

USC swimmers, during their upset wins over Arizona, established a number of pool records. Senior Kristen Lahey, in fact, lowered her USC school record in the 100y back while also setting a USC pool record in the process in 52.99. Other pool records already recorded this year are Rebecca Soni's times in the 100y (59.48) and 200y breast (2:07.86), Dina Hegazy in the 200y back (1:56.64) and USC's 400y medley relay of Lahey, Soni, Krisman and Waller (3:35.52).

USC returns three All-Americans, including Soni and fellow seniors Lahey and 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.

The Trojans, looking to rebound from a tough 2008, are currently without 2006 and 2007 All-American Vanni Mangoni, who will return to the squad for the spring semester.

Mangoni and senior Ankur Poseria are USC's two returning swimmers who competed at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Sophomore diver Steven Starks also competed at the NCAAs and was USC's lone NCAA point scorer (platform).

Mangoni and junior James Martin return as Troy's 2008 Pac-10 Championships swimming finalists. Mangoni won the Pac-10 title in the 400y IM while Martin was eighth in the same event.

Starks was a three-time diving finalist at the Pac-10s, finishing as high as second on platform, while sophomore Derek Roth also reached the finals on platform.

Troy's men's roster includes a pair of 2008 Olympians. Poseria represented India while junior Povazsay represented Hungary. Poseria competed in the 100m fly while Povazsay was on the roster as a relay swimmer in the 4x200m free, but did not race.

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