Soni Wins 5th Career NCAA Title; Hosszu Second In 400y IM
March 20, 2009
Senior Rebecca Soni reaffirmed her status as the top breaststroker in America by successfully defending her NCAA championship in the 100y breast while Katinka Hosszu continued writing a growing first chapter as an All-American freshman as the pair highlighted USC's second day of the 2009 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday (March 20) at Texas A&M's Student Rec Center Natatorium in College Station, Texas.
USC, under third-year head coach Dave Salo, is in ninth with 116 points. Cal took over first with 302 points and is followed by Georgia (295.5), Arizona (282.5), Stanford (213.5), Auburn (195), Texas (169), Texas A&M (144), Florida (136), USC and Indiana (114).
Soni, the NCAA record holder in the 100y breast, won her fifth career NCAA championship by winning the race Friday in 58.36, 0.17 ahead of second-place Jillian Tyler of Minnesota. After going 58.60 in prelims, Soni, the only Trojan ever to win the 100y breast, opened her final with a 27.81 first 50, second behind Arizona's Annie Chandler (27.75). But she powered home without challenge to claim the NCAA crown. Saturday, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist will try to become the first NCAA woman to win the NCAA title in the 200y breast four times.
Hosszu created her own history in her second-place finish in the 400y IM, USC's best result in the event since Kaitlin Sandeno won the race in 2004. She smashed her own school record of 4:03.60 with a second-place effort of 4:01.49, behind only Stanford winner Julia Smit (4:00.56). Hosszu actually trailed by 2.59 seconds with 100 yards to go and made up more than a second and a half during the freestyle leg.
Senior Katy Houston made her first appearance in an NCAA consolation final, taking 14th in 1:00.40. In prelims, she swam a personal best 1:00.07 to qualify for a second swim. She was 11th overall in prelims and was only 0.32 from making the final.
Senior Kristen Lahey also swam in her first career NCAA consolation final, finishing 10th in the 100y back in 52.28. She qualified for it with a 10th-place swim in prelims (52.57).
In the 200y medley relay, USC broke a school record in prelims as the quartet of Lahey, Soni, Hosszu and senior Rachael Waller just missed finals in 1:38.33. The same quartet finished 13th overall after going 1:38.59.
Prelims on Saturday start at 11 a.m. and finals are at 7 p.m.