Women's Swimming, Diving Heads To NCAAs

March 19, 2002

The USC women's swimming and diving team will bring 11 swimmers and three divers to compete at the 2002 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at Texas' Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin from Thursday through Saturday (March 21-23). Prelims begin at 11 a.m. each day and finals start at 7 p.m. (CST).

SO FAR - USC is 5-4 and is ranked No. 8 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. The Trojans then took second at Pac-10s.

2002 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS - USC swimmers and divers that will be in action this week are: sophomore Melissa Deary (200y free, 500y free, 1650y free), Joanna Fargus (100y back, 200y back, 500y free), Melissa Greene (100y fly, 200y fly), Jana Krohn (500y free, 100y fly, 200y fly), Michala Kwasny (200y IM, 400y IM, 200y fly), Kristin MacGregor (200y IM, 100y breast, 100y free), Katie Meyer (100y back, 200y back, 500y free), Jennifer Parmenter (50y free, 100y free, 200y free), Kirsten Rich (50y free), Kaitlin Sandeno (500y free, 400y IM, 200y fly), Asa Sandlund (500y free, 1650y free), Blythe Hartley (1-meter, 3-meter, platform), Nicci Fusaro (1-meter, 3-meter, platform) and Kellie Brennan (1-meter, 3-meter, platform).

TELEVISION COVERAGE - The 2002 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will be televised by ESPN2 on tape delay. Chris Marlowe will call the action with Rowdy Gaines providing swimming analysis and Cynthia Potter adding diving commentary. Air date currently is scheduled for Thursday, March 28 at noon (PST). A second broadcast is scheduled for Thursday, April 23 at 12:30 p.m. (PST) on ESPN.

USC CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY - The Trojans won their only NCAA team title in the sport in 1997 in Indianapolis, Ind. The team led by Kristine Quance and Lindsay Benko upset favorites Stanford and SMU. Under Mark Schubert, USC's next-best finish was a fourth-place mark in 1996. The Trojans' last NCAA individual title winner was Lindsay Benko, who won the 500y free in 1999.

2002 PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS - USC finished second to Stanford at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships. It was Troy's top finish since taking second from 1997-99 ... Trojan divers once again dominated the conference meet. Sophomore Nicci Fusaro won both the 3-meter springboard and platform while freshman Blythe Hartley won the 1-meter ... Michala Kwasny accounted for USC's lone swimming win as the junior defended her title in the 400y IM (becoming only the third women's Pac-10 swimmer to accomplish the feat). Kwasny was also second in the 200y IM and fourth in the 200y fly ... Freshman Joanna Fargus posted a pair of second-place finishes in the backstroke events. Her 54.07 in the 100y and 1:54.66 in the 200y were both close to Trojan records ... Senior Kristin MacGregor took third in both the 200y IM and the 100y breast ... Junior Jennifer Parmenter has established herself as USC's top sprinter and maintained her reputation by reaching the finals in the 50y, 100y and 200y freestyles ... Freshman Kaitlin Sandeno, battling injuries all year, came through with two final appearances, taking fifth in the 200y fly and sixth in the 400y IM ... Senior Katie Meyer complemented Fargus in the backstroke by taking fourth in the 100y back and fifth in the 200y back.

2001 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS - 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.

MARK SCHUBERT - 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.

HONGPING LI - 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.

SPRINT FREE - Junior Jennifer Parmenter has been USC's top sprinter this year, posting Troy's fastest times in the 50y free (23.29) and second fastest in the 100y free (50.38). Both are NCAA B cuts. Senior Kristin MacGregor was fastest in the 100y free (50.22) while senior Kirsten Rich has the second fastest 50 time (23.43).

MID-TO-DISTANCE FREE - Jennifer Parmenter leads six swimmers who have posted B cuts in the 200y free with a mark of 1:48.05. Backstroke specialist Joanna Fargus was a surprise second on the squad this year with a 1:48.39. Kaitlin Sandeno, Melissa Deary, Katie Meyer and Jana Krohn were right behind. Deary posted USC's top 500y free time of the year at Pac-10s (4:45.71) while Sandeno was a hair behind at 4:45.72. Fargus was next best, followed by Asa Sandlund and Meyer. Deary also topped USC's times in the 1650y free with a 16:25.96 with Sandlund at 16:27.53.

INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY - Michala Kwasny owns USC's top marks in both the 200y and 400y IM with NCAA A cut times of 1:59.11 and 4:09.08, respectively. Kristin MacGregor also had an A cut in the 200y IM (1:59.58) while Kaitlin Sandeno did the same in the 400y IM (4:15.05).

BUTTERFLY - One of USC's deepest events, Jana Krohn and Michala Kwasny both have posted NCAA A cuts in both fly events. Krohn has topped USC's times in the 100y fly at 54.40 and is third in the 200y fly (1:59.38) while Kwasny is tops in the 200y fly (1:45.45) and second in the 100y fly (54.67). Kaitlin Sandeno also has an automatic time in the 200y fly at 1:59.29. Krohn, Kwasny and Sandeno could all final at NCAA in the 200y fly. Melissa Greene rounds out USC's NCAA contingent in the event and will compete in both the 100 and 200.

BREASTSTROKE - Kristin MacGregor owns USC's top time in the 100y breast (1:01.13) and will be Troy's only swimmer in that specialty at NCAAs. Michala Kwasny has USC's best mark in the 200y breast but will concentrating on other events. Alice Orr had the second-best time in that event, but just missed out on qualifying for NCAAs.

BACKSTROKE - 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 posted USC's fastest times both the 100y back (54.07) and the 200y back (1:54.66). Both times are not far off USC records. Katie Meyer is not far behind with marks of 54.98 in the 100 and 1:57.44 in the 200. Both are capable of reaching the finals of the event at NCAAs.

DIVERS - USC's top three divers, senior Kellie Brennan, sophomore Nicci Fusaro and freshman Blythe Hartley, can match up with any trio around the country and all will be at the NCAA Championships. Brennan and Fusaro are both returning All-Americans and Hartley came to USC with a gold medal from the 2001 World Championships. At the 2002 Pac-10s, Fusaro won her first conference titles by taking the 3-meter springboard and the platform while Hartley won her first Pac-10 title in the 1-meter. Brennan, a four-time career All-American who missed much of the early season battling illnesses, rounds out the trio.

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