Soni Wins NCAA Title In 100y Breast

March 21, 2008


Junior Rebecca Soni, a two-time NCAA champion in the 200y breast, won her first NCAA crown in the 100y breast to highlight the USC women's swimming team's efforts on Friday evening (March 21) on the second day of finals at the 2008 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio.

Soni, who entered this year's NCAA Championships with nation's top times in both breaststroke distances, won the 100y breast crown in 59.19, two tenths of a second off her season best but more than enough to win the NCAA title.

Soni trailed Arizona's Annie Chandler halfway through the race (28.16 to 28.31), but the Wildcat sophomore couldn't keep up her fast pace. Soni crushed the field on the back half of the race for the win as Minnesota's Jillian Tyler took second (59.87) and Chandler faded to third (59.98).

The title gives USC a combined 41 NCAA and AIAW individual and relay titles (and the second under USC second-year head coach Dave Salo). Soni was second in the 100y breast as a freshman, sixth as a sophomore.

Soni, the top seed in Saturday's 200y breaststroke, will try to become just the third woman to win an NCAA title in the event three times.

Earlier in the day in prelims, junior Katy Houston was 18th in the 100y breast (1:01.70), senior Emily Goetsch was 22nd in the 100y fly (53.50), junior Rachael Waller was 46th in the 200y free (1:48.19), senior Whitney Hentzen was 64th in the 200y free (1:49.34) and junior Kristen Lahey was 29th in the 100y back (54.88).

Lahey, Soni, Goetsch and Waller swam the 200y medley relay, finishing 20th (1:40.77).

The meet concludes Saturday with prelims at 11 a.m., finals at 7 p.m. (EDT).

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