Soni To Lead Trojans Into NCAA Championships On Thursday

March 2, 2007

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The No. 14 USC women's swimming and diving team, led by defending NCAA champion Rebecca Soni, is set for the 2007 NCAA Championships, Thursday to Saturday (March 8-10) at the University of Minnesota's University Aquatics Center in Minneapolis. Prelims begin each day at 11 a.m. and finals start at 7 p.m. (CST).

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USC has won one NCAA team title (1997) and 39 combined individual AIAW and NCAA titles (including one relay) ... Troy has also posted 13 consecutive NCAA top 10 finishes ... Sophomore Rebecca Soni is looking to become USC's first repeat winner of the 200y breast since Kristine Quance did it in 1996 and 1997. Soni is also looking to become the first Trojan woman to win an NCAA title in the 100y breaststroke. She will swim the 400y IM as well ... Sophomore Kristen Lahey and Hayley McGregory are USC's two fastest ever in the 100y back and have a chance to become the first Trojan pair to earn All-American honors either backstroke in the same year since Lidnsay Benko (200y back) and Hope Gittings (100y and 200y back) did it in 1997 ... While McGregory will compete in both backstroke distances, Lahey will compete also in the 100y fly and 50y free ... Soni leads a quartet of breaststrokers into the NCAAs. Sophomore Katy Houston is looking for her first All-American honor and will compete in both breaststroke distances (as well as the 200y IM). Senior Kristina Sieper, seeking to become an individual point scorer for the first time, will swim in both breast distances for the third year in a row. Sophomore Missy McIntyre rounds out the breaststroke corps as a 100y participant... Junior distance swimmers Brittany Allen and Whitney Hentzen are making their NCAA debuts, both swimming the 500y and 1650y free. Both turned in career best efforts in the mile at the Pac-10 Championships and are primed to contribute to USC's scoring tally ... Sophomore Rachael Waller is returning for her second NCAA trip and will swim in the 200y and 500y free, while junior Emily Goetsch will swim the 500y free as well as the 100y and 200y fly in her third NCAA appearance. Freshman Whitney Stephenson rounds out the USC contingent.

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 ...Sophomore Kristen Lahey (53.66) and junior Hayley McGregory (54.01) both have NCAA automatics in the 100y back while McGregory also has won in the 200y back (1:56.97). Lahey, meanwhile, has USC's fastest time in the 100y fly (53.99), 50y free (22.92) and 100y free (50.13) ... Senior Kristina Sieper also has NCAA consideration times in the 100y breast (1:01.85) and the 200y breast (2:16.02), both personal bests ... Juniors Brittany Allen (16:20.24) and Whitney Hentzen (16:21.80) both turned in personal best and NCAA automatic times in the 1650y free and both have NCAA consideration times in the 500y free. Junior Emily Goetsch has USC's second fastest times this year in the 100y fly (54.73) and the 200y fly (2:00.41), both NCAA consideration times, in addition to an NCAA consideration 4:51.87 in the 500y free ... Sophomore Rachael Waller owns USC's fastest time in the 200y free (1:48.58) and her 500y free time of 4:51.47 is an NCAA consideration as well. Sophomore Missy McIntyre's 100y breast of 1:02.99 and freshman Whitney Stephenson's 1:49.56 in the 200y free and 2:01.15 in the 200y back are both consideration marks.

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