Men's Swimming At Pac-10 Championships

March 2, 2009

The USC men's swimming team, led by senior Vanni Mangoni and juniors Zoltan Povazsay, Ankur Poseria and co-captain James Martin, begin the 2009 Pac-10 Championships Wednesday (March 4) at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif.

Events begin on Wednesday (March 4) with timed finals of the 200y medley and 800y free relays that begin at 6 p.m. From Thursday through Saturday (March 5-7), prelims begin at 11 a.m. and finals start at 6 p.m. each day. Thursday'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.

Results for the upcoming 2008 Pac-10 Championships can be found here .

Senior Vanni Mangoni is the defending Pac-10 champion in the 400y IM. USC has won the event in five of the past six years and six of the past eight. Junior James Martin will also vie for a title in that event as well as compete for one in the 200y back. Troy has won at least one Pac-10 title for 12 consecutive seasons (1997-2008) and has 212 individual conference crowns overall.

Freshman Harrison Jones got the men's swimming and diving team off to a great start during the 2009 Men's Diving Championships held last week in conjunction with the women's meet at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way, Wash. (Feb. 25-27). Jones won the platform with 417.60 points. He was also second on 1-meter and 3-meter and was named Male Diver of the Meet. Sophomore Steven Starks reached the finals in all three specialties, taking fifth on platform and eighth in both springboard events. Greg Miller was seventh on platform, ninth on 1-meter and 12th on 3-meter.

Most recently, USC (4-3 overall, 2-3 in the Pac-10) is coming off dual-meet losses at Stanford and Cal. The men fell at Stanford, 213-86, on Feb. 7, and dropped a meet to the Bears, 157-130, on Feb. 6. USC suffered its first loss of the season against Washington on Jan. 23, 141-112. Prior to that, the Trojans competed in the SMU Classic, finishing sixth. Troy opened the 2009 spring slate with a 120-85 win over UC Santa Barbara. In early December, USC competed in the 2008 Husky Invite, where the Trojans finished second overall. Before that, USC posted a major upset over defending national champion Arizona, 152-91, and also defeated Arizona State, 187-48. The Trojans began the season with a 159.5-126.5 victory over visiting Notre Dame.

Junior Zoltan Povazsay 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), senior Ankur Poseria has one in the 100y fly (47.00, making him the fourth-fastest ever in the race) while senior Vanni Mangoni has one in the 400y IM (3:52.61). USC also has a `B' cut in the 800y free relay (6:35.70). Additionally, sophomore Dillon Connolly's 55.37 in the 100y breast ties him as the ninth-fastest ever at USC.

USC swimmers included in the NCAA's Top 50 times per event (as maintained by USA Swimming) include junior Zoltan Povazsay (500y free, 4:20.91, 33rd, 46th), junior James Martin (400y IM, 3:49.00, 23rd; 200y back, 1:45.81, 48th) and senior Ankur Poseria (100y fly, 47.00, 26th).

The Trojans, looking to rebound from a tough 2008, return two swimmers with NCAA Championship experience: 2006 and 2007 All-American senior Vanni Mangoni and senior Ankur Poseria. 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 then-freshman 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.

USC features five divers who have already qualified to participate in the NCAA Zone E Championships (the meet in which divers can qualify for the NCAA Championships). They are junior Alexis Demond, sophomore Steven Starks and freshmen Harrison Jones, Victoria Ishimatsu and Michela Fossati-Bellani.

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