No. 7 USC Women’s Swimming, Diving Defeats UCLA For 9th Straight Time

Freshman Kirsten Vose introduced herself to the crosstown rivalry with a pair of pool and meet record in the 200y free and 200y breast while junior Anika Apostalon swept the sprints to lead the No. 7 USC women’s swimming and diving team to a 181-119 win over UCLA for the Trojans’ ninth straight victory in the series.

USC improved to 8-2 this season, 6-1 in the Pac-12 while UCLA fell to 6-4, 3-4. The Trojans extended their series lead over UCLA to 26-16 and are one off matching their series-high win streak, when Troy went unbeaten against the Bruins 10 years in a row from 1994-2003.

The Trojans opened the meet with a win and a DQ in the 200y medley relay. USC’s B squad of freshman Hanni Leach, Vose, senior Lucy Worrall and junior Evan Swenson posted a 1:38.27, a time that was good enough to win the race after Troy’s A squad was bounced due to an early start.

Freshmen Elizabeth Stinson and Allie Wooden followed with a 1-2 finish in the 1000y free. Stinson’s 9:44.18 was a PR while Wooden finished in 9:48.07. Senior Nikki Chang was fifth (10:07.22).

Vose followed with a dominant victory in the 200y free, breaking the meet and pool record, as well as her PR, with a USC season-best 1:44.07, just 0.25 off the NCAA ‘A’ standard. Junior Chelsea Chenault’s 1:45.36 for second was no slow swim, also under the previous pool and meet record of 1:46.11 set by Bruin Ting Quah in 2014.

UCLA’s Linnea Mack claimed the 100y back in 52.16 for a pool record. USC sophomore Hannah Weiss was second in 53.22 while Leach was third (53.47).

The Trojans went 1-3-4 in the 100y breast, led by freshman Riley Scott’s win in 1:00.12. Junior Kelsey Kafka went 1:02.26 in third with Riley Hayward fourth (1:02.52).

Freshman Madison Wright led USC in the 200y fly with a 1:56.82 while fellow freshman Sydney Lofquist was fifth (1:58.90). UCLA’s Katie Kinnear won in 1:56.60.

Apostalon followed with her back-to-back sprint wins. She first took the 50y free in 22.40 while senior Kasia Wilk was second (22.48). She then captured the 100y free in 48.11 with Wilk third (48.71).

Freshman diver Madison Witt won the 3-meter springboard with 302.03, edging Bruin Eloise Belanger’s 300.60. Senior Sam Adams also scored, fifth in 286.28. Witt led USC in the 1-meter as well, taking fourth in 264.30.

Another freshman led USC in the 200y back as Destiny Nelson took second in 1:57.68. Leach was third (1:57.80) and Weiss fourth (1:58.84).

Vose delivered another superb swim in the 200y breast, again posting meet and pool records to win in 2:08.76. Scott was third in 2:09.77. USC’s Andrea Kropp set the meet record last year in 2:08.97 while she set the pool record in 2014 in 2:08.96.

Senior Henriette Stenkvist led a sweep in the 500y back in her last meet against the Bruins, winning in 4:46.54. Wooden took second (4:49.15) with Stinson right behind her in third (4:49.39).

USC officially clinched the win thanks to a 1-2 finish in the 100y fly as senior Kendyl Stewart hit the wall first in 51.83 while Worrall finished second in 53.01.

Nelson put forth a strong come-from-behind effort in the 400y IM and finished second in 4:13.79 while Lofquist was fourth (4:20.51)

That led into USC’s meet-ending relay win as the quartet of Apostalon, Swenson, Vose and Wilk won the 200y free relay in 1:29.92, a solid 1.14 seconds ahead of UCLA.

The Trojans now point all efforts to the Pac-12 Championships, set for Feb. 24-27 in Federal Way, Wash.

Swimming news courtesy of USC Swimming & Diving.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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