No. 23 USC To Clash With No. 6 Cal, No. 2 Stanford In Bay Area

Feb. 5, 2009

The No. 23 USC men's swimming team completes the dual-meet season this weekend in the Bay Area against No. 6 Cal on Friday and against No. 2 Stanford on Saturday. Both meets begin at 1 p.m. Men's divers for both teams competed last week in the Bay Area and scores will be applied to this weekend's meets.

USC enters the meet at 4-1 overall, 2-1 in the Pac-10. Cal is 3-1, 2-1 while Stanford is 6-0, 3-0.

Cal is led by sophomore Nathan Adrian, a 2008 U.S. Olympic gold medalist on the 400m free relay (prelim swimmer). He was also a 2007 All-American. Sophomore Damir Dugonjic is also having a big season as the school's record holder in the 100y breaststroke.

Stanford is led by two-time 2008 NCAA champion senior Paul Kornfeld, a 10-time All-American who won his national titles last year in the 100y and 200y breast. He's also a five-time Pac-10 breaststroke champ. Also strong for the Cardinal is junior Eugene Godsoe, a two-time 2008 backstroke All-American and a 2008 Olympic Trials semifinalist in the back.

USC suffered its first loss of the season against Washington on Jan. 23, 141-112. Prior to that, the Trojans competed in the SMU Classic, finishing sixth. Troy opened the 2009 spring slate with a 120-85 win over UC Santa Barbara. In early December, USC competed in the 2008 Husky Invite, where the Trojans finished second overall. Before that, USC posted a major upset over defending national champion Arizona, 152-91, and also defeated Arizona State, 187-48. The Trojans began the season with a 159.5-126.5 victory over visiting Notre Dame.

Junior Zoltan Povazsay has NCAA `B' cuts in the 200y (1:36.34) and 500y free (4:20.91), junior James Martin has one in the 400y IM (3:49.00, tying him as the ninth-fastest ever at USC), senior Ankur Poseria has one in the 100y fly (47.00, making him the fourth-fastest ever in the race) while senior Vanni Mangoni has one in the 400y IM (3:52.61). USC also has a `B' cut in the 800y free relay (6:35.70). Additionally, sophomore Dillon Connolly's 55.37 in the 100y breast ties him as the ninth-fastest ever at USC.

USC swimmers included in the NCAA's Top 50 times per event (as maintained by USA Swimming) include junior Zoltan Povazsay (500y free, 4:20.91, 22nd; 200y free, 1:36.34, 46th), junior James Martin (400y IM, 3:49.00, 19th; 200y back, 1:45.81, 31st; 200y IM, 1:48.30, 42nd), senior Ankur Poseria (100y fly, 47.00, 17th), sophomore Dillon Connolly (200y breast, 2:00.25, 45th) and freshman Josh Joiner (200y fly, 1:46.98, 44th).

The Trojans, looking to rebound from a tough 2008, return two swimmers with NCAA Championship experience: 2006 and 2007 All-American senior Vanni Mangoni and senior Ankur Poseria. 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.

USC features five 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, sophomore Steven Starks and freshmen Harrison Jones, Victoria Ishimatsu and Michela Fossati-Bellani.

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