USC Women Roll #1-Ranked Cal at Home by 61 Points

In what has to be deemed the most surprising dual meet result of the 2013-2014 season so far, as the #6 USC Trojans topped the #1 Cal Golden Bears 180.5-119.5 in Los Angeles at the not-quite-finished remodeled Uytengsu Swim Center.

Uytengsu Update: Most of the cosmetic pieces of the upgrade to USC’s pool are completed, though locker rooms aren’t quite completed. The official grand opening ceremony will be held on February 21st.

Throughout this meet, USC hit all of their races, while the Cal women looked largely pretty flat. While Cal still has enough superstars to win a few races, even in those races USC made it a closer battle than was expected.

Take the 200 backstroke. The defending NCAA Champion and American record holder Liz Pelton took the win in 1:57.00, but that was only after a furious come-from-behind finish to make up a full second lead from USC’s Joanna Stenkvist. Stenkvist was 2nd in 1:57.01, just .01 seconds behind Pelton.

Meanwhile, Pelton, who didn’t swim any relays, was only 4th in the 200 free in a 1:49.22, which was well behind USC freshman Chelsea Chenault’s winning time of 1:46.84.

That was one of two individual wins for USC; she also beat her Cal freshman counterpart Missy Franklin in the 500 free by time of 4:46.88 to Franklin’s 4:47.14.

Franklin’s only win of the day, either individually or in a relay, came in the 1000 free where she swam a 9:47.44 to start her meet. That beat Meghan Hawthorne’s 9:47.70 in another very close finish.

Though Franklin only won that single race in the meet, her distance freestyle continues to look better-and-better. That’s a lifetime best for her by 8 seconds in the 1000.

In her other individual event of the meet (she swam 3 individuals and 1 relay), Franklin was 2nd in the 100 free in 49.75. USC’s Kasey Carlson won that race in 49.24, as she’s carried over her great junior season into this year. Carlson also won the 100 breaststroke in 1:00.94 over teammate Andrea Kropp (1:02.94), and that time ranks her as the 6th-best in the spring semester so far.

Cal’s top breaststroker Marina Garcia was the victim of a timing error in this race, and was just a 2:17 in the 200 breast later in the meet.

The 200 breaststroke went to Stina Gardell in 2:12.55, with Kropp again taking 2nd in 2:13.41. Gardell was the runner-up in the 200 IM, behind another star Cal freshman Celina Li, who was a 1:58.93.

Kasia Wilk of USC was the only swimmer under 23 seconds in the 50 free, winning that race in 22.89 over Cal’s Farida Osman (23.18).

Kendyl Stewart took a sweep in the 100 yard backstroke (53.34) and 100 yard butterfly (53.74) at this meet. None of Cal’s three big underclassmen backstrokers swam the 100, but they are deep enough in this race that they still had some fast results from Stepahnie Au (53.81) and Cindy Tran (54.29) for 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

USC closed the meet with a 3:19.89 in the 400 yard freestyle relay, with Cal placing 2nd in 3:21.03. USC was paced by a 49.16 leadoff from Carlson, and with Wilk really coming into her own this season, USC has a powerful 1-2 sprint punch as she was a 49.33.

The two teams split diving. USC’s Natalie Kalibat won the 3-meter with a score of 302.50 in a very competitive flight where 1st through 5th was separated by only 23.5 points. On the women’s 1-meter Cal’s Anne Kastler won a more-spread out competition with a score of 285.05.

The Trojans have swum extremely well in-season all year long, and against a smallish Cal travel squad that continued. This will have to be a huge confidence boost for USC headed into the pivotal month of February, and all eyes will be on Cal to see how they bounce back on Saturday.

Cal will regroup to swim against UCLA on Saturday and then Stanford on February 15th to finish off their regular season. USC will try and carry their momentum against Stanford on Saturday, and then UCLA on February 17th, after this dominant-looking win.

Full meet results available here.


  1. Huh says:

    Salo’s in-season resting strategy totally confuses me … a USC team that rests every meet of season is going to get completely Steam rolled at PAC-12s by Cal. Add a strong Stanford team and they are looking at 3rd.

    • Brian M says:

      Steamrolled? You mean like last year when they were 2nd at PAC 12′s by only 21 points or so? Dr. Dave knows exactly what he is doing, even though the neanderthals of the swimming world will never accept that. The Salo bashing has been going on for decades now and is really old. Maybe USC should hire Schubert back so they can swim mileage and finish 4th every year, but hey at least they were “tough”

  2. gousa says:

    No one rested for a dual meet so knock off the excuses. The times are proof of that!

    Credit should be given where it’s due. To a very talented Trojans team who weren’t going to roll over for the overrated Bears.

    These results do expose all sorts of weaknesses in the “#1″ title-contender. Guess they won’t be ranked so highly after tonight’s results!

    • bobo gigi says:

      You must be the happiest man or woman, I still don’t know, in the world today.
      When Cal is beaten, you are in ecstasy! :lol:
      Every team has weaknesses.
      But if you want my opinion, you will be sad in March.

  3. liquidassets says:

    I’m not all that surprised that USC won, but I’m very surprised that it wasn’t a lot closer. I’m trying to figure out who was missing from the “smallish”, as you said, Cal travel squad. Looks like the 1000 was the fun race of the meet to watch for once.

  4. David C Salo says:

    Proud of our Trojan women. Don’t know how HUH knows what we are doing or not doing, (actually amazed at how some posters seem to know what everyone is doing) but I can tell you that the women have been in the water training hard and while they only swam about 20 minutes this morning, they were in the weight room for our usual Friday session with Strength Coach Kelly. They did get to sleep in until 6:45 am, so yeah they did get 30 minutes extra sleep this morning. Don’t worry, Cal is always tough and we will do all we can to race hard through the remainder of the season and challenge both Cal and Stanford at Pac 12 and NCAA.

    • bobo gigi says:

      Great to see one of the most famous coaches in the world respond to a swimswam reader.
      And great response.

    • aswimfan says:

      Dr. Salo, can you please explain how come many of your elite swimmers (eg. Mellouli, Hardy, Glaesner, Efimova) seem to manage to get contaminated supplement a lot more than others?

      • haha says:

        He responds to polite, inquisitive plebeians. He doesn’t feed trolls.

        But to explain it to you, if they have a contaminated supplement, they can potentially get off with a lesser penalty.

        • aswimfan says:

          Not sure who you’re calling troll, but I’m a real person and an avid swimming fan, and has been reading and posting in this site from since beginning, and has been active in various swimming forums sites for years.

          I was asking in polite manner too if you failed to notice. And you didn’t really answer my question.

          • PsychoDad says:

            Aswimfan, you should know that unless you are a swim groupie and only intend to write about swimmers and coaches with unquestionably admiration, your opinion is not welcome here.

      • liquidassets says:

        Hardy, Glaesner, and Efimova all took supplements against the recommendations of Salo and other coaches. Mellouli didn’t even test positive because of a supplement, he stupidly took a friend’s Adderall for studying. (forgetting that caffeine works better).

  5. Coach G says:

    Salo has a Doctor’s degree in Exercise Physiology, HUH. He has been coaching for many years. I am 100% confident that Dr. Salo knows what he is doing and that his swimmers are always ready to race.

  6. Tim Shead P2Life says:

    Congratulations to Dave Salo and the very talented Trojan women. Anyone who questions Dave’s coaching needs simply to review history to see the superb achievements of those swimmers who swam under him, he is clearly one of the greatest coaches ever to walk the deck and this win just another example of that. This result proves that no outcome in sport is ever certain. Make no mistake that the superb swimmers at Cal will have gotten a wake up and under the direction of their equally fantastic and accomplished coach, Teri McKeever, will react accordingly. I think this sets up a superb PAC 12 and NCAA Champs.

  7. aswimfan says:

    By the way, is this the same Marina Garcia who swam 1:07 and 2:23 in 2013 Barcelona?

    (please don’t answer, I know she is, I’m just surprised that she hasn’t been able to translate her LCM to SCY at all)

  8. liquidassets says:

    I’m going to catch one of the meets live today and I’m torn between the USC/Stanford meet, which looks like the faster meet and better match up, or the UCLA/Cal meet, since Cal is my favorite team and I haven’t seen the current squad live yet. I will likely head over to Spieker pool at UCLA but I’m bummed that the meets are at the same time in different parts of the city. I can still catch USC/UCLA in a couple weeks. But I’m curious to see if Teri McKeever can get her team to bounce back, physically and mentally, from their mediocrity yesterday.

    • bobo gigi says:

      You are worried? Seriously?

      • liquidassets says:

        You’re being vague, so I’m not exactly sure what you mean, but I’m not worried whether they can win over UCLA, if that’s what you mean. The teams are not well matched, so obviously they can beat the Bruins even with their mediocre times from yesterday and their depth. But when interviewed yesterday, McKeever herself said she was concerned with the mental aspect of their game and the gap in scores.

        This is the time when things start to shift, the biggest bulk of the hardest training is now behind them, and the mental part is increasingly the most important part from now through Pac-12s on through to NCAA’s. McKeever is usually so good at the mental training so she is right to be concerned. But yesterday was just one meet, so again, I’m curious to see if she can bring her swimmers around today to the times they have worked for and deserve. If so, that would be another sign of her greatness in coaching and another stepping stone on the path to winning NCAA’s. If their times are flat again today, there may be more cause for concern.

  9. Matthew Clay says:

    The Trojans 100 % earned this win. Kuddos to them.

    But looking at the scores something is going down with the Bears that’s puzzling.

    Franklin and Li are the only ones really swimming at potential. Pelton is really off – even last week – time gains that illness only explains given her fighter reputation. Garcia’s time in the breast says that too. And then they don’t even travel with Acker or Piehl? The only thing that makes sense is a team wide illness.

    Bootsma has been flat all season. She’s the only one I fear come champs.

    • liquidassets says:

      I suspect illness too, though that doesn’t sound like the whole story. From the Cal website:

      “I’m disappointed in the score,” head coach Teri McKeever said. “We weren’t quite as sharp as we were last week. To USC’s credit, they did a great job. They were ready to go from the get-go. We just couldn’t really respond for a variety of reasons, not any single one. That’s what Kristen and I will have to go through over the weekend.”

      “We’re going to need to be ready to go tomorrow and definitely when we go over to Stanford,” McKeever added, noting Cal’s Feb. 15 match-up vs. the fourth-rated Cardinal. “The emotional energy wasn’t there today, particularly at the beginning. We kind of rebounded, but it was a little bit too late.”

  10. liquidassets says:

    By the way if anyone is interested in updates from the Cal/UCLA meet, let me know and I’ll live blog results from some of the races.

  11. aswimfan says:

    I don’t worry about CAL. They will win the NCAA, unless catastrophe happens, like illness or something.

    This meet again shows that Missy Franklin is the most valuable recruit ever in women NCAA, she just can swim anything and contribute with big points.

  12. liquidassets says:

    I mainly want to see Cal bounce back after a bad day, as that’s the kind of scenario they could be up against at Pac12s or NCAAs…

    I believe either this meet and/or the women’s USC/Stanford meet are also on the Pac12 network as well, although my cable company doesn’t get that channel, otherwise I’d be watching one meet live on one on my phone.

  13. marley09 says:

    Loved hearing from dave salo. I wish we could arrange a Dave Salo swimswam Ask Me Anything just like those folks do at Reddit. I’d take the day off work for that.

  14. ACHILLES says:

    At least for right now there is a new No. 1 women’s team. Great effort by USC.

  15. Liquidassets says:

    Ok 1000 free results: Baker of Ucla wins 9:54.15 and cal took 2-4 with Garcia, Breed Baker? Sorry got here right at the end. It wasn’t close and Franklin didn’t swim it.

    200 MR cal takes 1-2 1:40.05 and 1:40.59 UCLA 3rd

  16. Liquidassets says:

    200 Free

    1 Franklin 1:47.1
    2 Quah U CLA 1:48.6
    3 Cheng Cal 1:48.8.
    4 Acker 1:49.0 Cal So Ackers here after all

  17. Liquidassets says:

    100 back

    1pelton 54.2
    2 Au 54.4
    3Bootsma 54.7
    4 White UCLA 55.1. Au led Bootsma then pelton at 75 and pelton mowed them both down last lap

    • Cal Fan says:

      Au seems to be swimming really well lately. I hope she breaks through at NCAAs and isn’t overshadowed by her more famous teammates.

  18. Liquidassets says:

    100 breast

    1 Kong Cal 1:02.7
    2 Garcia 1: 03.7
    3 bates Cal 1:04.3
    4 khojasteh Ucla ?1:04.7?

    Kong out in 28.95 then died a bit

  19. Liquidassets says:

    200 fly

    1 Kineear Ucla 1:58.6
    2 Tarazona Ucla 2:00.22
    3 Batchelor Cal 2:01.22
    4 Li Cal 2:02.7

  20. Liquidassets says:

    50 free

    1 osman cal 22.90
    2 bing cal 22.93
    3. Murphy Ucla 23.44
    4Tran cal 23.49

  21. Liquidassets says:

    100 free

    1 Quah Ucla 50.07
    2 bing cal 50. 2
    3 pelton cal. 50.4
    4 Acker cal 50.7?
    These times are approximate. Pelton lagged again and came on too late at end

  22. Liquidassets says:


    1 Franklin 57.6/1:58.6
    2 White UCLA 1:59.4
    3 senko Ucla 1:59.7
    4 Klaren Cal 2:00.8

    Franklin looked tired.

  23. Liquidassets says:


    1 Garcia 2:16.92
    Khojasteh Ucla and
    Kong Cal tied at 2:18.65

    4Tse Ucla 2:20.3

  24. Liquidassets says:

    Franklin 55.62, Baker of Ucla takes lead at 200 1:55.0-1:55.4, holds lead at 300 2:53.8-2:54.7, and at 400 3:53.14-3:54.22. Final:

    1 Baker sprints to 4:51.5
    2 franklin struggles to 4:53.8, nothing left after around the 300 mark
    3 Li Cal 4:57

  25. Liquidassets says:

    100 fly

    1 Quah UCLA 53.6
    2 Kinnear Ucla 54.2
    3 Tran 54.9
    4 Naze 55.3
    Bootsma finished 8th and last 56.6 after being in 4th place at the 50. Interesting scene on deck afterward, Bootsma looked very upset as McKeever was talking to her, she kept trying to turn and walk away from her, MCKeever looked pissed and kept grabbing her arm and turning her around every time she tried to get away, about 4-5x. I remember having those scenes with my coach after a bad swim. ;-)

    • Matthew says:

      Yeah that doesn’t surprise me about Bootsma. Hoping she gets through whatever in due time

    • Fact checker says:

      Check your times… Bootsma finished 2nd in 100 fly

      • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:

        To clarify for all reading -

        “Fact checker” I believe is referring to Saturday’s dual against UCLA, not the one actually in this report, and looking at official results is correct. Bootmsa was a 54.51 in the 100 fly for 2nd place behind Ting Quah.

        • liquidassets says:

          Yeah sorry about that. The scoreboard was messed up several times during the meet. e.g. they had Kojasteh and KOng tied for 1st instead of 2nd, and Garcia in 8th and last after the 2Breast but they corrected. They had Bootsma in last in the 100 fly but I must have missed the correction.

        • liquidassets says:

          Yeah sorry about that. The scoreboard was messed up several times during the meet. e.g. they had Kojasteh and KOng tied for 1st instead of 2nd, and Garcia in 8th and last after the 2Breast but they corrected. They had Bootsma in last in the 100 fly but I must have missed the correction. 54.5, that sounds more like it.!

      • liquidassets says:

        Turns out I was right the first time; the official results have been changed for 100 fly and a couple other events, and Bootsma did finish last in the 100 fly in 56.6. I’m suspecting illness and/or injury for a time that slow.

  26. Liquidassets says:


    1 Li Cal 4:15.66
    2 Pelton Cal 4:17.4
    3 Naze Cal 4:20.87
    4 Tarazona Ucla 4:24.4.

    Li beat Pelton on the back and breast legs

  27. Liquidassets says:

    200 free relay

    1 1:30.87 just off pool record Franklin anchored in 22.5 for win after about even at
    2 UCLA
    3 Cal B
    4 Ucla B.

    team score without diving scores: Cal165.5- UCLA 95.5

    • bobo gigi says:

      Thanks for the news.
      1.58 for Missy in the 200 back?
      She must be very very very tired.
      She swam that kind of times when she was 12 or 13.

      • bobo gigi says:

        I’m sure the stars will be at their best in March.
        The questions are about Marina Garcia and Kristen Vredeveld.
        The first swims very far from her best so far. Freshman year? New country? Problems with yards?
        The second is a mistery for me. 22.17 and 48 low when she was 15 and she struggles since then.

  28. Liquidassets says:

    Lol sure but probably not after 2 days of compact duel meets and after a 1000 and 500 yesterday. Not much rest between lots of events in a 90 minute duel meet. But yeah they all looked exhausted, sluggish, and a bit sloppy. Missy’s finish in the 2back was awful. Terry looked concerned and had them right back in the water for practice immediately after the meet ended. Missy was the only one smiling ;-)

  29. Liquidassets says:

    Caught the tail end of the USC/Stanford meet won by Stanford. Score after the diving before the. 4IM and the last relay was Stanford 153-USC 111. Felicia lee took the 100 back/fly in 52.6/52.9.Also the Stanford divers upset USCs Haley Ishimatsu in the 1 meter diving and Stan touched out USC in the opening medly relay 1:39.5-1:39.6. Kasey Carlson got a good win for SC beating out both Schaefer and Neal 49.3/49.4/49.6. And Chelsea Chenault touched out Lia Neal in the 200 1:46.92/1:46.96. The times were faster than the Cal/UCLA meet across the board. Maya DiRado just told me that the final score was something like 170-130.

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