Soni Leads Troy Into Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 13, 2007

The No. 14 USC women's swimming and diving team, led by defending conference champion Rebecca Soni, are set for the 2007 Pac-10 Championships, Wednesday to Saturday (Feb. 14-17) at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif. USC fans can follow along with the meet (hosted by Stanford) here. Tickets are also available at the door. Entrance is free on Wednesday. All-session adult passes are $25, all-session student/senior passes are $15, one day adult tickets are $10 and one day student/senior tickets are $6.

Events begin on Wednesday (Feb. 22) with timed finals of the 200y medley and 800y free relays that begin at 6 p.m. From Thursday through Saturday (Feb. 23-25), prelims begin at 11 a.m. and finals start at 6 p.m. each day. Thusday's schedule features the 500y free, 200y IM, 50y free and 200y free relay. Friday features the 400y IM, 100y fly, 200y free, 100y breast, 100y back and 400y medley relay. Saturday's finale includes the 200y back, 100y free, 200y breast, 200y fly, a timed final of the 1650y free and the 400y free relay.

From top to bottom, the Pac-10 Conference Championships is the most competitive in the country with six schools ranked in the top 25. The top 25 schools include No. 1 Stanford, No. 3 Cal, No. 4 Arizona, No. 14 USC, 16 UCLA and No. 23 ASU.

USC has won at least three Pac-10 individual titles (including diving) for six consecutive seasons and has come away with at least one championship in 13 straight years ... USC won six titles last year, including one relay, finishing fourth. Rebecca Soni, however, is the only returning title winner. She is the defending champion in the 100y and 200y breaststroke, USC's first breaststroke wins since Kristine Quance in 1997 ... USC has never won a title in the 100y back, but Kristen Lahey has the third fastest time in the event in the Pac-10 this year ... Last year, USC won only its second relay title ever in the 400y medley relay. Troy will have its hands full defending that title as Stanford and Arizona own the nation's top two times in the race this year ... Though USC has never won a Pac-10 team title, it has finished among the top 3 11 times since the first meet in 1987, including second five times.

Sophomores Rebecca Soni and Katy Houston have both posted NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 100y breast and the 200y breast. Soni's time in the 200y breast (2:09.39) is fastest in the nation while her 100y breast (1:01.37) is ninth fastest. Houston has the 10th fastest time in the 100y breast (1:01.55) and the seventh fastest in the 200y breast (2:13.24). Both also have NCAA consideration times in the 200y and 400y IM ... Senior Kristina Sieper also has NCAA consideration times in the 100y breast and the 200y breast ... Sophomore Kristen Lahey has USC's other NCAA automatic time, a 54.10 in the 100y back, ninth fastest in the country ... Junior Hayley McGregory has a pair of NCAA consideration times in the 100y back (54.84) and the 200y back (1:57.95). Lahey also has an NCAA consideration mark in the 200y back, as do freshmen Dina Hegazy and Whitney Stephenson ... Other Trojans with NCAA consideration times are junior Brittany Allen (500y and 1650y free), junior Whitney Hentzen (500y and 1650y free), freshman Kristina Rigterink (500y free, and 1650y, 400y IM), junior Emily Goetsch (100y and 200y fly), junior Renee Viveros (200y fly), sophomore Missy McIntyre (100y breast), sophomore Rachael Waller (200y free), freshman Krissy Forelli (200y free), Lahey (100y fly) and Stephenson (200y free).

The Pac-10 Diving Championships were held last week in Federal Way, Wash., with points from the meet counting toward the team totals of the swimming competition. The women's team's efforts were highlighted by junior Kim Popp, who took second on platform for the second straight year.

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