No. 9 USC Upsets No. 4 Cal, 153-147

Jan. 29, 2010

Juniors Presley Bard and Lyndsay DePaul won a combined five events while freshman diver Ariel Rittenhouse won a pair of springboard events to spearhead a strong overall day as the No. 9 USC women's swimming and diving team upset No. 5 Cal, 153-147, on Friday (Jan. 29) at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium.

USC improved to 10-1 overall, 3-1 in the Pac-10 while Cal, the defending NCAA champion, dropped to 4-1, 2-1.

After the Bears edged USC in the 200y medley relay to start the meet, Cal's Lauren Boyle won the first individual race, the 1000y free, in 9:43.27, with USC freshman Haley Anderson in second (9:47.38).

Sophomore Katinka Hosszu notched USC's first win of the meet and erased her 11-month old pool record in the 200y free, winning in 1:46.34. It was a hard-fought battle over Cal's Sara Isakovic, who touched in 1:46.62. Both times were under Hosszu's previous pool record of 1:46.73 set last year against UCLA in the rain.

Bard followed with the first of three wins, claiming the 100y back in 53.68, an NCAA `B' cut and USC's top time of the year in the event. Erica Dagg of Cal took second (55.67) and USC freshman Lili Shiota touched in third (56.79).

Cal's Caitlin Leverenz, one of the top breaststrokers in the country, took first in the 100y breast in 1:02.25, leading the Bears in a 1-2 finish in the race.

USC responded in the 200y fly as DePaul led a 1-2-4 finish for the Trojans. DePaul took control of the race early and won in 1:55.62 while freshman teammate Yumi So came on hard over the final 100 to finish second in a season-best 1:57.75, improving on her NCAA `B' cut. Trojan sophomore Tanya Krisman took fourth (1:58.40).

The Bears came back to sweep the top three spots in the 50y free, but that was partly countered by the 3-meter springboard where Rittenhouse (351.00) and sophomore Michela Fossati-Bellani (294.15) took first and second for the Trojans.

Bard next won back-to-back events in the 100y free and the 200y back, both out of lane 8. She won the 100y free in 49.53 and then dominated the 200y back in 2:00.07. In the latter event, So, as she did in the 200y fly, used a strong back half to claim second place in 2:01.71.

Leverenz came back for Cal to win the 200y breast going away in 2:12.52 while USC's Jessica Schmitt and Ella Kidron were third (2:18.90) and fourth (2:19.34), respectively.

What followed, the 500y free, turned out to be the most exciting event of the meet. Anderson opened a large lead early, but All-Americans Boyle for Cal and Hosszu for USC charged together and with 100 yards to go, they had closed to within a half body of Anderson. But Anderson held firm and won in a pool record 4:45.15 with teammate Hosszu on a hair back in 4:45.20. Boyle placed third (4:46.87). The previous pool record was 4:45.85, set in 1998 by Lindsay Benko.

DePaul created more fireworks in the 100y fly with her own pool record, recording a 52.86 to erase former Cal swimmer Dana Vollmer's 2008 mark of 53.52.

The meet paused as swimmers watched the women's 1-meter finish. What they saw was a 1-2-3 sweep for the Trojans as Rittenhouse (305.54), sophomore Victoria Ishimatsu (302.40) and Fossati-Bellani (256.35) notched valuable points for USC.

Leverenz won the 200y IM in 1:58.87 ahead of Hosszu (2:00.10) and DePaul (2:00.85) and Cal also claimed the top two spots in the 200y free relay, but it wasn't enough to come all the way back.

USC hosts Stanford on Saturday (Jan. 30) at noon.

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