Women's swimmers, men's and women's divers set for Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 27, 2002


The USC women's swimming team and the men's and women's diving teams are in action this week at their respective championships, the swimmers competing at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach while the divers will be at Arizona. Both meets are Thursday through Saturday (Feb. 28 to March 2). Swimming prelims in Long Beach begin at 11 a.m. each day with finals starting at 6 p.m. each day. Diving begins at 10 a.m. each day in Tucson.


USC is 5-4 and is ranked No. 9 in the latest College Swim Coaches Association of American Top 25. The Women of Troy opened the season with an impressive win over No. 2 Texas, but then were swept by No. 3 Arizona and No. 7 Arizona State. USC came back with three consecutive wins over non-conference foes, defeating UC Santa Barbara, Pacific and UC Irvine. Troy, however, then fell to No. 4 California, 165-135, and No. 1 Stanford, 167-133. USC finished the season on a high note, beating UCLA for the ninth year in a row in Westwood, 167-133.


Among USC's top returning swimmers for the women, junior Michala Kwasny posted three Top 3 finishes last year at the NCAAs and she and sophomore Jana Krohn earned four All-American honors apiece, highs for the team. Senior All-Americans Kristin MacGregor and Katie Meyer are key returners, as are senior diver Kellie Brennan and sophomore diver Nicci Fusaro, both All-Americans last year.


USC's women's team remained among the elite in the nation in 2001, taking sixth at the NCAA Championships. The women's squad came away with nine All-Americans who earned a combined 20 All-American honors. Michala Kwasny was the top women's performer, posting three top three finishes in the 200y IM, 400y IM and the 200y Fly. She also earned All-American honors in the 400m medley relay.


Senior diver Kellie Brennan is looking to become the first Pac-10 diver ever to win the same specialty (1-meter springboard) four consecutive years. Last year, she became only the second Pac-10 women's diver ever to win the 1-meter springboard three times in a row and the third diver ever to win three consecutive titles in any specialty. Only three Pac-10 divers have ever won more titles than Brennan: Stanford's Eileen Richetellie (seven), Stanford's Katie Connors (six) and UCLA's Kristen Walls (five) ... USC junior Michala Kwasny is USC's only other current Pac-10 title holder besides Brennan. She won the 400y IM at last year's Pac-10 meet ... USC is looking to become only the third team to win a Pac-10 Women's Championship. The only two that have won the title are Stanford and UCLA.


The USC women's team finished third at the 2001 Pacific-10 Conference Championships. Diver Kellie Brennan brought home titles on both the 1- and 3-meter springboard while Michala Kwasny was USC's only swimming winner, finishing first in the 400y IM. Kwasny was also fourth in the 200y fly and sixth in the 200y IM. Other Trojan three-time finalists included Corrie Murphy (second in the 400y IM, sixth in the 500y free and seventh in the 1650y free), Melissa Deary (third in the 1650y free, sixth in the 200y free and seventh in the 500y free), Katie Meyer (fourth in both backstrokes and eighth in the 500 free) and divers Brennan and Nicci Fusaro.


USC Coach Mark Schubert is in his 10th year at Troy. A year ago, he finished a stint as head coach of the U.S. men's swim team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. It was his sixth consecutive USA Olympic coaching position. Since he has been at USC, the men's and women's swimming programs are a combined 114-28 (.803 winning percentage). In his 32 years of coaching, Schubert has placed 28 swimmers on U.S. Olympic teams, these athletes have won 18 gold and eight silver medals, plus five world championship titles.


An NCAA champion and two-time Olympian, Hongping Li is in his third season coaching USC's men's and women's divers. Li, the winner of the 1998 and 1999 United States Olympic Committee's 'Diving Developmental Coach of the Year,' award, came to USC after serving as the head coach of the Mission Viejo (Calif.) Nadadores Diving Team since 1993. Li has had immediate success in his first two years at USC. Most recently, he guided Kellie Brennan to a pair of All-American honors (and her third consecutive Pac-10 1-meter title) and Nicci Fusaro to her first All-American honor last year at the 2001 NCAAs. Both also reached the top three at the 2001 U.S. Indoor Championships.


Four different Trojan swimmers have already posted NCAA automatic qualifying times, led by junior Michala Kwasny, who has done so in four events. Below is a list of each swimmer and their NCAA A cuts, both automatic (A) and consideration (B).

Melissa Deary: 500 Free (4:51.78, B), 1650 Free (16:56.31).

Joanna Fargus: 100 Back (56.19, B), 200 Back (1:59.08, B).

Melissa Greene: 100 Fly (55.49, B), 200 Fly (2:03.18).

Jana Krohn: 100 Fly (55.13, B), 200 Fly (1:59.73, A), 200 Free (1:50.64).

Michala Kwasny: 200 IM (1:59.48, A), 400 IM (4:11.52, A), 100 Fly (54.67, A), 200y Fly (1:56.45, A), 100 Breast (1:03.37, B).

Kristin MacGregor: 200 IM (2:03.37, B), 100 Breast (1:02.27, B).'Katie Meyer: 200 Free (1:50.48, B), 100 Fly (56.04, B), 200 Fly (2:00.08, B), 100 Back (55.16, B), 200 Back (1:59.41, B)

Jennifer Parmenter: 50 Free (23.45, B), 100 Free (50.48), 200 Free (1:48.15, B), 200 IM (2:03.23, B).

Kaitlin Sandeno: 200 Free (1:48.93, B), 500 Free (4:45.72, A), 400 IM (4:15.05, A), 200 Fly (2:02.16, B)

Asa Sandlund: 500 Free (4:48.52, B), 1650 Free: (16:27.53, A).


Junior Jennifer Parmenter has been USC's top sprinter this year, posting Troy's fastest times in the 50y free (23.45) and 100y free (50.48). Both are NCAA B cuts. Senior Kirsten Rich has the second fastest 50 time (23.72) while Kristin MacGregor has the second fastest 100 time (51.41).


Jennifer Parmenter leads four swimmers who have posted B cuts in the 200y free with a mark of 1:48.15, while Kaitlin Sandeno, Katie Meyer and Jana Krohn are right behind. Sandeno has posted USC's top mark in the 500y free at 4:45.72 (NCAA A cut) while Asa Sandlund and Melissa Deary have swam NCAA B cuts in the event as well. Sandlund has USC's top mark in the 1650y free (16:27.53) while Deary is the second fastest (16:56.31).


Michala Kwasny owns USC's top marks in both the 200y and 400y IM with NCAA A cut times of 1:59.48 and 4:11.52, respectively. Jennifer Parmenter, Kristin MacGregor and Sandeno have each posted NCAA B cuts in the 200y IM while Sandeno has joined Kwasny with an A cut (4:15.05) in the 400y IM.


One of USC's deepest events, its Michala Kwasny once again who owns the top times in both the 100y and 200y fly. She has swam a 54.67 in the 100 and a 1:56.45 in the 200. Jana Krohn, Melissa Greene and Katie Meyer have all posted B cuts in the 100 while Krohn has added an A cut in the 200 (1:59.73). Meyer and Greene also both own B cuts in the 200.


Kristin MacGregor owns USC's top time in the 100y breast (1:02.27) while Michala Kwasny has the second best mark (1:03.37). Both are NCAA B cuts. Kwasny, a jack of all trades, has Troy's top time in the 200y breast (2:16.03), an NCAA B cut, USC's only qualifying mark in the event. Alice Orr has the second best mark in the event (2:18.36), one hundredth of a second from the B standard.


USC received a boost to its backstroke corps when freshman Joanna Fargus, a native of Great Britain, became eligible in the spring semester. She has already posted USC's fastest time in the 200y back (1:59.08) while Katie Meyer has the fastest in the 100y back (55.16). Meyer is second fastest time in the 200y back (1:59.41) while Fargus and Marisa Kozak are right behind her in the 100.


USC's top three divers, senior Kellie Brennan, sophomore Nicci Fusaro and freshman Blythe Hartley, can match up with any trio around the country. Brennan and Fusaro are both returning All-Americans and Hartley came to USC with a gold medal from the 2001 World Championships. All are contenders for titles at both the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships. Most recently, Hartley (1-meter) and Brennan (3-meter) split the springboard event at UCLA. Hartley swept the springboard competition against both California and Stanford. Priot to that, she won the 3-meter at the Bruin Diving Invitational and was third in the platform, the only two events she competed in. Brennan was USC's highest finisher in the 1-meter, taking second, while Fusaro was second in the platform and third in the 3-meter. Earlier in the year, Hartley won both springboard events at the Stanford Diving Invite with Fusaro taking second in both. At the Trojan Diving Invite, Hartley took first in all three specialties while Fusaro was second in all three events.


USC's dual-meet roster has been bolstered by the addition of freshman backstroker Joanna Fargus and the return of senior diver Kellie Brennan. Brennan was out for the first part of the season with an illness and didn't compete in an event until the Bruin Diving Invitational in mid-January. Fargus, from England, comes to USC already an accomplished backstroker who took third in the 200y back at the 2001 World Championships.

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