Sandeno Leads Strong Trojan Weekend At U.S. Spring National Championships

April 7, 2003

Sophomore Kaitlin Sandeno led a parade of strong USC performances over a weekend of national and international competition, winning a national title at the U.S. Spring Nationals and posting two victories at the inaugural 'Duel in the Pool' event pitting the United States against Australia in a one-day meet.

Trojan swimmers broke a combined six school records during the five-day U.S. meet in Indianapolis, Ind., including two by Sandeno in the 200y fly and in the 400y IM and another in a relay.

Sandeno won her sixth career U.S. national title in the 400y IM on Thursday (April 4) and her seventh overall, touching in 3:45.48, barely breaking Kristine Quance's 1994 record of 3:45.50.

Three days later, however, Sandeno crushed her own mark in the event at the 'Duel in the Pool.' Representing the U.S. in its convincing win over fellow swimming powerhouse Australia, she swam a blistering 3:41.89 in the 400m IM for one of two wins. Her other victory came in the 200y fly, which she won in 2:10.69, just off of her own record.

Former Trojan greats Lindsay Benko and Lenny Krayzelburg both checked in with titles during the meet. Benko won a pair of championships in the 200m free (her sixth overall in the event) and the 400m free (her second in the event), bringing her career total to nine. Krayzelburg, meanwhile, won his 11th career national title with a win in the 100m back, his first U.S. title since 2000. Benko earned the Kiphuth Award, given to the swimmer with the most points at the meet.

Two Trojan swimmers broke individual school records in addition to Sandeno. Senior Erik Vendt, in his only event, was third in the 400m free in 3:51.65, just ahead of Dan Jorgensen's 1987 time of 3:51.74. Against Australia, Vendt took third in the 400m IM (4:17.48).

Senior Asa Sandlund, competing in the 1500m free, finished 17th, but her time of 16:55.73 was good enough to break Heather Ballard's time of 17:07.04.

USC's men's 400m medley relay of junior Trent Staley, freshman Mihaly Flaskay, junior J.D. Abercrombie and senior Jeff Lee swam to second in 3:45.58, less than half of a second from a win, but more than a second better than Troy's previous best time of 3:46.85 (1987).

USC's women's 800m free relay of freshman Joy Galloway, senior Michala Kwasny, sophomore Margie Pedder and Sandeno also posted a second and a record. The quartet finished in 8:14.56, just ahead of the USC record of 8:14.90 set in 2001. The men's squad of freshman Tyler Panos, Staley, sophomore Paul Fahey and Lee was third in 7:37.06.

Senior co-captain Michala Kwasny made a pair of final appearances, taking fourth in the 200m IM (2:17.99) and sixth in the 400m IM (4:52.23).

Junior J.D. Abercrombie had a pair of 10th-place finishes in the 100m fly (45.42) and the 200m IM (2:06.56), within half of second of school marks in both races.

USC's men's team was third overall at the U.S. National meet while the women were fifth.

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