USC Men's, Women's Squads Return To Action Vs. UCSB

Jan. 9, 2009

The USC women's and men's swimming an diving teams, ranked No. 11 and No. 22, respectively, resume the 2008-09 dual meet season by hosting UC Santa Barbara on Saturday (Jan. 11) at noon at McDonald's Stadium on the USC campus.

USC was last in action at the 2008 Husky Invite in early December, where the women's team finished first and the men's team took second. Prior to that, both of USC's teams posted big dual-meet wins over Arizona, the defending NCAA champions on both the men's and women's side. Troy also swept Arizona State.

Leading the women is senior Rebecca Soni, USC's four-time NCAA champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist who already has NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 100y (59.48) and 200y breast (2:07.69). She also has NCAA consideration times in the 200y (2:00.64) and the 400y IM (4:15.66). Senior Kristen Lahey has USC's other NCAA automatic in the 100y back (52.99, a school record) and also has an NCAA consideration time in the 200y back (1:56.57) and the 50y (22.80) and 100y free (49.73).

Other Trojans with NCAA `B' cuts already include senior Rachael Waller (200y free, 1:47.46), freshman Katinka Hosszu (500y free, 4:46.95; 1650y free, 16:23.07; 200y IM, 1:59.07; 400y IM, 4:10.49; 200y fly, 1:57.21), freshman Tanya Krisman (100y fly, 53.82; 200y fly, 1:56.43), senior Katy Houston (100y breast, 1:01.17; 200y breast 2:13.56), junior Dina Hegazy (200y back, 1:56.64) and sophomore Ellie Doran (500y free, 4:49.28).

For the men, junior Zoltan Povaszay has NCAA `B' cuts in the 200y (1:36.34) and 500y free (4:20.91), junior James Martin has one in the 400y IM (3:49.00, tying him as the ninth-fastest ever at USC) and senior Ankur Poseria has one in the 100y fly (47.00, making him the fourth-fastest ever in the race). Additionally, sophomore Dillon Connolly's 55.37 in the 100y breast ties him as the ninth-fastest ever at USC.

USC swimmers, during their upset wins over Arizona, established a number of pool records. Senior Kristen Lahey, in fact, lowered her USC school record in the 100y back while also setting a USC pool record in the process in 52.99. Other pool records already recorded this year are Rebecca Soni's times in the 100y (59.48) and 200y breast (2:07.86), Dina Hegazy in the 200y back (1:56.64) and USC's 400y medley relay of Lahey, Soni, Krisman and Waller (3:35.52).

USC returns three All-Americans, including Soni and fellow seniors Lahey and Waller. Also back is NCAA Championship participant senior Houston.

Soni is still not far removed from winning a gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2008 Olympics. Soni also won silver medals in the 100-meter breaststroke and the 400-meter medley relay, entrenching herself as one of the world's top swimmers.

Hosszu was also a 2008 Olympian. Swimming for Hungary, she posted a pair of top 20 finishes in the 200-meter and 400-meter IM. Among the current Trojans who competed at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials are Waller, Houston and Lahey as well as freshmen Courtney Kalisz and Krisman. Krisman was a 200-meter fly finalist while Kalisz was a semifinalist in the same event.

The Trojans, looking to rebound from a tough 2008, are currently without 2006 and 2007 All-American Vanni Mangoni, who will return to the squad for the spring semester.

Mangoni and senior Ankur Poseria are USC's two returning swimmers who competed at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Sophomore diver Steven Starks also competed at the NCAAs and was USC's lone NCAA point scorer (platform).

Mangoni and junior James Martin return as Troy's 2008 Pac-10 Championships swimming finalists. Mangoni won the Pac-10 title in the 400y IM while Martin was eighth in the same event.

Starks was a three-time diving finalist at the Pac-10s, finishing as high as second on platform, while sophomore Derek Roth also reached the finals on platform.

Troy's men's roster includes a pair of 2008 Olympians. Poseria represented India while junior Povazsay represented Hungary. Poseria competed in the 100m fly while Povazsay was on the roster as a relay swimmer in the 4x200m free, but did not race.

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