The No. 7 USC women’s swimming and diving team, coming off a recent split against the Bay Area schools, closes the regular season at No. 19 UCLA on Friday (Feb. 12) at 2 p.m. as it looks for its ninth straight win against its crosstown rival.
The Trojan women are 7-2 overall, 5-1 in the Pac-12. UCLA is 6-3, 3-3. The diving portion of the meet will begin at 1 p.m. with swimming to follow at 2 p.m. The meet will be televised live on Pac-12 Network.
This season in dual meet competition, USC won its season-opener at Utah, downed Hawaii and lost to North Carolina State in a two-day home meet, followed with a home win over Oregon State. The Trojans then swept Arizona and Arizona State on the road before resuming competition with a win over Wisconsin on Jan. 12. USC completed its home schedule with an upset over No. 3 Cal, 153-147, and then fell to No. 2 Stanford, 152-148.
The Trojans feature one of the top freshman classes in the country and boast nine swimmers and two divers who have posted NCAA consideration results as well as one junior transfer. The total complements the 12 veteran swimmers and divers who have also turned in NCAA cuts.
The Bruins, who were swept by Stanford and Cal in their most recent outings, are led by sophomore Katie Grover, who has a pair of top 25 times in the 100y and 200y fly, as well as sophomore diver Maria Polyakova and junior diver Annika Lenz.
The Trojans hold a 25-16 edge against the Bruins and have won eight meetings in a row. USC won a series-best 10 in a row from 1994 to 2003. The Trojans’ current win streak includes a 174.5-125.5 home win last year that featured five USC swimmers winning two events apiece. Two seasons ago in Westwood, USC won 165-135, breaking 10 Spieker Aquatics Center pool records and nine meet records in the process. USC defeated UCLA, 167.5-132.5, at USC in 2013. Troy won the 2012 clash in Westwood, 170-130, in a meet in which Trojan swimmers also broke a combined 10 Bruin pool records. That followed a 176-124 victory at USC in 2011, a 164.5-136.5 win at UCLA in 2010, a 160-140 rain-soaked 2009 home win and a 158-142 decision in Westwood in 2008. UCLA last won in 2007 when the Bruins clinched victory during the meet’s final relay at McDonald’s Swim Stadium. USC hasn’t lost to UCLA in Westwood since 2004.
SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup
The winner of the USC-UCLA dual meet scores 10 points toward the SoCal BWM Crosstown Cup, awarded annually to the school with the most successful athletic year against the other. Points are awarded to the winner of each Trojan-Bruin head-to-head contest (100 points is the magic number). USC leads this year’s contest, 40-35, and holds an overall 9-5 edge in the Cup’s history. Troy captured the inaugural trophy in 2001-02, UCLA won it in 2002-03, USC recaptured it in 2003-04, UCLA won it back in 2004-05, USC claimed it in 2005-06, UCLA was victorious in 2006-07 and, for the first time in the competition’s history, a school won it five consecutive years when USC captured it in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. UCLA ended the streak in 2012-13, but USC won again in 2013-14, 60-55. UCLA won last season, 95-85.
TOP TIMES – Trojan swimmers and divers with NCAA `B’ cuts
Sam Adams: 1M (265.65), 3M (286.65), Platform (253.90).
Anika Apostalon: 50y (22.24), 100y free (48.21), 100y back (52.79).
Chelsea Chenault: 100y (49.35), 200y (1:44.62), 500y free (4:39.94), 200y fly (1:55.58).
Lily Dubroff : 200y fly (1:59.34).
Riley Hayward: 100y (1:01.67), 200y breast (2:13.10).
Kelsey Kafka: 100y (1:00.86), 200y breast (2:11.45), 200y IM (2:00.88).
Natalie Kalibat: 3M (297.08).
Tabby Krebs: Platform (233.70).
Hanni Leach: 100y (52.68), 200y back (1:55.29).
Sydney Lofquist: 200y free (1:47.76).
Destiny Nelson: 200y (1:59.83), 400y IM (4:15.42).
Riley Scott: 200y IM (1:58.79), 100y (59.79), 200y breast (2:11.11).
Joanna Stenkvist: 500y free (4:47.13), 200y back (1:58.99).
Kendyl Stewart: 100y fly (53.08), 100y back (53.69).
Elizabeth Stinson: 500y (4:43.90), 1650y free (16:07.34).
Evan Swenson: 50y (22.58), 100y free (49.49).
Kirsten Vose: 100y (59.58), 200y breast (2:07.46), 200y IM (1:56.39), 100y free (48.73).
Brianna Weinstein: 200y IM (2:01.48).
Hannah Weiss: 100y (52.20), 200y (1:43.88) back.
Kasia Wilk: 50y free (22.90).
Madison Witt: 1M (270.83), 3M (311.88), Platform (263.55).
Allie Wooden: 100y (49.76), 200y (1:47.12), 500y (4:43.56), 1650y (16:18.15) free.
Lucy Worrall: 100y (52.95), 200y fly (1:58.94).
Madison Wright: 200 fly (1:56.67).
Trojans in the National Top 20
Junior Anika Apostalon is 4th ranked in the 100y free (48.21) and No. 16 in the 50y free (22.24). Junior Chelsea Chenault is No. 7 in the 500y free (4:39.94) and No. 8 in the 200y free (1:44.62) and 200y fly (1:55.58). Freshman Elizabeth Stinson is sixth in the 1650y free (16:07.34) and 20th in the 1000y free (9:51.53) and freshman Allie Wooden is 14th in the 1000y free (9:47.35). Sophomore Hannah Weiss is 10th in the 100y back (52.20) and 19th in the 200y back (1:53.88). Freshman Kirsten Vose owns the third-ranked time in the 200y breast (2:07.46), ninth in the 100y breast (59.58) and seventh in the 200y IM (1:56.39). Freshman Riley Scott is 12th in the 100y breast (59.79) and freshman Madison Wright is 16th in the 200y fly (1:56.67). USC is ranked seventh in the 200y free relay, third in the 400y free relay, fourth in the 800y free relay, 11th in the 200y medley relay and third in the 400y medley relay.
The USC women are captained by seniors Lucy Worrall and Kendyl Stewart. Stewart joins seniors Kasia Wilkand Joanna Stenkvist, junior Chelsea Chenault and sophomore Hannah Weiss as All-American returners. Swimmers and divers with NCAA experience also back include senior diver Sam Adams, junior Evan Swenson, and Worrall. Key USC newcomers for the women’s side include junior transfer Anika Apostalon from San Diego State, an All-American specializing in the sprint free and back, and a large freshmen class including (but not limited to) butterflyer Madison Wright, breaststroker Riley Scott, distance stalwart Elizabeth Stinson, versatile breaststroker Kirsten Vose and 400 IM and 500y free specialist Sydney Lofquist.
* The Trojans were well represented at the 2015 FINA World Championships. Trojans who won medals included junior Reed Malone (silver, 800m free relay), senior Kendyl Stewart (silver, 400m medley relay), junior Chelsea Chenault (gold, 800m free relay) and junior Santo Condorelli (bronze, 400m mixed free relay, Canada). Other current Trojans who competed included junior Michael Domagala (Poland), junior Dylan Carter (Trinidad and Tobago), senior Kasia Wilk (Poland) and sophomore Ralf Tribuntsov (Estonia).
* USC Head Assistant Coach Catherine Vogt was named the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Open Water Head Coach on Sept. 30. She recently coached the U.S. at the 2015 FINA World Championships, where she led the Americans to the Open Water team title. She also was the head coach at the 2013 World Championships, among other international assignments.
* USA Swimming announced its list of the “30 Most Influential People in Swimming over the Past 30 Years” in July of 2015 and USC swimmers and coaches — led by current head coach Dave Salo — accounted for an impressive six members of the elite squad. In addition to Salo on the list are legendary Trojan head coaches Peter Daland and Mark Schubert, former USC All-American and current Cal head women’s coach Teri McKeever, former USC assistant coach, Trojan graduate and all-time swimming great Janet Evans and former volunteer assistant coach Jon Urbanchek.
* Senior Collin Pollard reached the final on platform to cap off the USC men’s and women’s efforts at the 2015 USA Diving Winter Nationals. He finished 12th in the platform final with 992.60 points, 669.80 carried over from the semifinals. Freshman Madison Witt and senior Sam Adams reached the semifinals on women’s platform, finishing 17th (434.40) and 19th (382.35), respectively.
* Senior Kendyl Stewart competed at the 2015 Duel in the Pool for the U.S., taking fourth in the 100m fly (56.67). Incoming freshman Becca Mann raced twice for the Americans, finishing third in the 800m free (8:12.43) and fifth in the 400m IM (4:31.14). Former Trojan great Katinka Hosszu led Europe’s efforts at the Duel in the Pool with wins in the 200m and 400m IM and the 200m back while fellow Euro teammate and former USC NCAA champVladimir Morozov posted top 3 efforts in the 50m and 100m free. Stewart, at the 2015 U.S. Winter Nationals, took third in 58.45.
TROJANS IN THE COMMUNITY
The Trojans’ swimming and diving teams have developed a strong presence in the community, involved in a variety of ways.
* The entire team has adopted the South L.A.-based Bethune Middle School and has worked with its students for the past year to not only overcome fears of water while learning to swim but to develop important life skills as well. The program, kick-started by USC junior and former Trojan swimmer Jamie Christy, includes weekly visits to the school by various USC swimmers. On Nov. 21, in conjunction with the Trojan Swim Club, USC held a fundraising event – the Fall Challenge — for the program. The day before, USC swimmers visited the school for a clinic with students and their parents.
* For the fourth year in a row, USC’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams packaged 10,000 meals (on Nov. 10) at Uytengsu Aquatics Center that went directly to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. The entire swim and dive team turned out for the event and packaging meals assembly style to give back to the youth of Los Angeles. “As student-athletes, these kids understand the role they have in helping other people less fortunate than they are,” said Head Assistant Coach Catherine Vogt. “We are just happy to be able to be good representatives of the sport and of USC.” The Trojans partnered with Feeding Children Everywhere, a non-profit organization that works to provide meals to hungry children throughout the world. Student-athletes worked together to measure, package and seal the meals for delivery to the food bank.
* Senior Brianna Weinstein was one of two USC representatives at the Pac-12’s SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) conference in November to discuss various conference issues. In addition to the meetings, the Pac-12 athletes spent time with Special Olympians, unifying in some competitive bowling and heartfelt camaraderie.
* USC’s swimmers and divers annually participate in and raise money for Troy’s multi-million-dollar benefit, Swim With Mike, that raises money for college scholarships for student-athletes with physical challenges. The annual swim-a-thon was established in 1981 and was originally scheduled to be a one-time event. It was organized by friends and teammates on behalf of Mike Nyeholt, a three-time All-American swimmer who was paralyzed from the chest down following a motorcycle accident suffered in January of 1981. More than $58,000 was raised in the first swim and the total has since swelled to close to $17 million with nearly 200 total scholarships granted to 90 universities, representing 60 sports. While USC’s annual event is set for April 2, fundraisers have sprouted to many schools, including Cal, UConn, Hawaii, Stanford, Arizona and UC Santa Barbara. For more information, go to SwimWithMike.org.
Swimming news courtesy of USC Swimming & Diving.