Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
After missing the 2020-21 campaign, New Zealand native Laticia Transom has quickly reminded everyone that she’s a force to be reckoned with in the NCAA this season.
Transom, a senior with the USC Trojans, had a standout performance at the early-season USC Invitational over the weekend, sweeping the women’s 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events. The highlight came in the 200 free, where Transom dropped the nation’s top time, 1:43.98, which would’ve been among the best in the country over the entirety of last season.
Transom has only raced at the NCAA Championships once, placing 24th in the 100 free and 34th in the 200 as a freshman in 2019, and was in line for a breakout performance at the 2020 meet before the pandemic caused the cancellation. At the 2020 Pac-12s, Transom swept the women’s 100 free (47.85) and 200 free (1:42.47), setting a best time in the latter, ranking her as the fifth-fastest woman in the country heading into the NCAAs that never happened.
Now, Transom has picked up right where she left off. The 1:43.98 swim was her first SCY 200 free since that 1:42.47 some 20 months ago, and slots in as her third-fastest ever, having also been 1:43.27 at the 2019 Art Adamson Invitational.
At the 2021 NCAA Championships, Transom’s 1:43.98 would’ve placed fifth in the final and been less than a half-second outside of second place. With national champion Paige Madden graduating, Transom has established herself as one of the favorites to win the 2022 title come March.
For a bit of context, the fastest 200 free swim recorded prior to November 1 during the 2019-20 season was Madden’s 1:45.51, with no other swimmers sub-1:46. The last swimmer to go faster than Transom this early in the season was Louisville’s Mallory Comerford, who recorded a 1:42.79 at the 2018 SMU Classic in early October prior to winning the national title later that season.
The USC women as a whole had a very promising performance at the home invitational Oct. 15-16, with three relays hitting NCAA ‘A’ cuts and Kaitlyn Dobler (57.95 100 breast) and Calypso Sheridan (three wins, including a 1:55.76 in the 200 IM) joining Transom with some phenomenal individual performances.