Trojans Gear Up For Bay Area Swing

Jan. 28, 2009

The No. 12 USC women's swimming and diving team is making its bi-annual trip to the Bay Area, where it will compete against No. 4 California on Friday and No. 2 Stanford on Saturday. Both meets begin at 1 p.m. USC is 4-0 overall, 3-0 in the Pac-10. Cal is 3-2, 2-1. Stanford is 17-0, 4-0.

California is led by senior Dana Vollmer, a 2004 Olympic gold (4x200m free relay) medalist and a 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials finalist (100m fly) She won the NCAA 100y title in 2007 and was second in the event in 2008. She is also strong in the 100y and 200y free. Cal is also getting big contributions from sophomore Amanda Sims (200y fly) and freshman Liv Jensen (sprint free).

Stanford is paced by juniors Julia Smit and Elaine Breeden. Smit is a 12-time All-American and a two-time 2008 Olympic gold medalist on relays. She won the 400y IM at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Breeden is also a 12-time All-American who won a 2008 Olympic silver medal (4x100m medley relay prelim). She won an NCAA title in the 200y fly in 2007 and was also a 2008 Olympic finalist in the 200y fly.

USC's divers are also scheduled for action this weekend. As the Trojan men's team will compete against the Bay Area schools next weekend, both men's and women's diving between Cal, Stanford and USC will be held this weekend.

The USC women's team is coming off a 130.5-129.5 win over Washington last week. Two weeks prior to that, the women's squad posted a 112-88 win over the Gauchos. Previously, USC competed at the 2008 Husky Invite in early December, where the women's team finished first. Prior to that, both of USC's teams posted big dual-meet wins over Arizona, the defending NCAA champions on both the men's and women's side. Troy also swept Arizona State.

Leading the women is senior Rebecca Soni, USC's four-time NCAA champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist who already has NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 100y (59.48) and 200y breast (2:07.69). 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, a school record) and also has an NCAA consideration time in the 200y back (1:56.57) 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; 1650y free, 16:23.07; 200y IM, 1:59.07; 400y IM, 4:10.49; 200y fly, 1:57.21), freshman Tanya Krisman (100y fly, 53.82; 200y fly, 1:56.43), senior Katy Houston (100y breast, 1:01.17; 200y breast 2:13.56), junior Dina Hegazy (200y back, 1:56.64) and sophomore Ellie Doran (500y free, 4:49.28).

A handful of Trojans own national top 50 times listed in the NCAA's Top Times database maintained by USA Swimming. They are senior Kristen Lahey (100y back, 52.99, 8th, 50y free, 22.61, 24th, 200y back, 1:56.57, 26th, 100y fly, 53.57, 30th, 100y free, 49.73, 48th), senior Rachael Waller (200y free, 1:47.46, 38th), freshman Katinka Hosszu (1000y free, 9:44.80, 5th, 400y IM, 4:10.49, 10th, 1650y free, 200y IM, 1:59.07, 19th, 200y fly, 1:57.21, 21st, 16:23.07, 22nd, 500y free, 4:46.95, 46th), sophomore Ellie Doran (1000y free, 9:54.91, 23rd, 1650y free, 16:35.97, 38th), junior Dina Hegazy (200y back, 1:56.64, 27th), senior Katy Houston (100y breast, 1:01.17, 17th, 200y breast, 2:13.56, 23rd, 200y IM, 2:00.33, 29th), freshman Tanya Krisman (200y fly, 1:56.43, 13th, 100y fly, 53.82, 38th) and senior Rebecca Soni (200y breast, 2:07.69, 1st, 100y breast, 59.48, 4th, 400y IM, 4:15.66, 34th, 200y IM, 2:00.64, 41st).

USC swimmers, during their upset wins over Arizona, established a number of pool records. 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 Soni's times in the 100y (59.48) and 200y breast (2:07.86), 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.

USC features three women's divers who have already qualified to participate in the NCAA Zone E Championships (the meet in which divers can qualify for the NCAA Championships). They are junior Alexis Demond and freshmen Victoria Ishimatsu and Michela Fossati-Bellani. Ishimatsu has been USC's top overall women's diver this season, regularly finishing at the top of the standings in Troy's competitions.

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