Pac 10 Male Swimmer of the Week: Tom Shields (Cal)
Pac 10 Female Swimmer of the Week: Lyndsay DePaul (USC)
Same Score, Different Winners: Arizona and USC Split
The Arizona Wildcats traveled to Los Angeles for a big Pac-10 showdown with USC on Friday. Both the men’s and the women’s meets ended with identical 190-110 scores, with the No. 7 Arizona men taking down the No. 14 Trojans, and the No. 6 USC women knocking off the No. 7 Wildcats.
The Arizona men dominated, winning every race except for the distance freestyles. They were led by a very strong 1-2 punch from Cory Chitwood and Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or. Chitwood finally had the breakout performance that many were looking for from the favorite to win both backstrokes at NCAA’s. In the 100, Chitwood won in 48.18, which is the second best time in the nation. The 200, however, was where he put up a truly impressive performance in 1:44.58, which is tops in the country by a second-and-a-half.
Shapira Bar-Or is the lesser-known of Arizona’s two superstars, but he had just as impressive of a meet. In the 200 free, he swam a 1:35.96, which is the best in the country, and won the race by roughly 3 seconds. In the 100 free, his 43.81 ends the weekend as the third fastest in the country, and he beat USC stud freshman Vlad Morozov. In the 100 fly, Shapira Bar-Or may have found a winner for his third NCAA event by going a 47.91, making him one of only four swimmers in the country under 48 this year.
In that 100 fly, his teammate AJ Tipton was even more impressive, and put up a 47.78, which is the fastest time in the country this year. Between Chitwood, Tipton, Bar-Or, and two breaststrokers (Kevin Munsch and Carl Mickelson at 55.01/55.02) in a dead-heat, Arizona is not going anywhere on the national scene despite huge losses from last season.
Even with the nation’s top 500 freestyler Clement Lefert swimming off events, USC still dominated both the 500 and the 1000. Sophomore Charlie Charlesworth won the 500 free in 4:26.04, fourth best in the country, and the 1000 in 9:09.28, also in the top 10.
In the men’s 200 free relay to close the meet, the two teams set the nation’s top two times, with Arizona winning in 1:19.73 and USC second in 1:20.14. The best split of the race was a 19.52 from Lefert, who is typically known as more of a middle-distance guy.
On the women’s side, Katinka Hosszu and Lyndsay DePaul were anchors for the Trojan women. Hosszu broke two women’s pool records in double victories in the 200 free (1:45.83) and 400 IM (4:08.71). Those times also stand as the number 1 and number 2 best times in the nation in those events, respectively.
Lyndsay DePaul was also very impressive in the butterfly events, taking both by large margins. In the 100, DePaul swam a 52.77, which is the best time in the country by a full second. In fact, USC took the top 3 spots in this race, and hold the top three times in the country. In the 200 fly, nobody was even in the same zipcode as DePauls’ 1:54.9—though USC took the top 4 spots here—which is the second NCAA automatic qualifying time in the country this season.
In what has become a very fun rivalry, sisters Haley and Alyssa Anderson squared off side-by-side in both the 500 and 1000 freestyles. On this day, younger sister Haley had the upper hand and won both races (4:45.3/9:46.4-the latter of which ranks number two in the country).
Most of Arizona’s scoring was led by freshman Margo Greer, who is proving to be the female incarnation of USC’s Vlad Morozov. She won both sprint races, and shaved a few more hundredths off of her season bests in each with times of 22.83 (22.56 leading off the relay) and 49.00. She now has the second best 50 time in the country, and has put four tenths between her and the rest of the country in the 100.
Full results available here through the USC website.
USC Men Post Dominating Relay Performance
The USC Men’s and Women’s teams blew away Arizona State on Saturday, with the men winning 186-107 and the women taking the meet 172-121.
With most swimmers entered in off events, there wasn’t a ton to remark about at this meet, aside from Vlad Morozov and the USC 400 free relay. Obviously upset about not winning a single race the day before, Morozov unloaded on the leadoff leg and turned in a national-best 42.93. Many in the country were wondering if anybody would challenge Cal’s Nathan Adrian in the sprints this season, and with that swim, Morozov announced that he was up for the challenge. This launched USC to a 2:57.42, which is the best time in the nation so far. That relay was bookended by Morozov’s fellow freshman Dimitri Colupaev.
His time broke a USC school record that dates back 20 years to 1990. The previous mark of 42.98 was held by Erik Ran.
Not to be overlooked as well was an exhibition 500 by Clement Lefert at 4:23,98, which is the fastest time in the country this season.
Despite getting handled by Arizona on Friday, the USC men have five relays that will place very high at NCAA’s. For this reason, their dual-meet ranking of 14 grossly underestimates how high they will place at NCAA’s.
The Arizona men swam exhibitions in this meet as well, with the most notable of those swims being from Austen Thompson, who went the country’s fastest 200 IM in 1:48.55. The Arizona women were across town swimming UCLA, who doesn’t have a men’s squad
Full results available here through the USC website.
Arizona Hands UCLA First Loss of Season
The Arizona women beat the previously undefeated UCLA Bruins on Saturday to split their Los Angeles roadtrip. The final score of this meet was 168-132.
Arizona got a great swim courtesy of freshman Aubrey Peacock, who swam a 1:59.55, which is a top 20 time. We also got our first good look at Arizona’s Ellyn Baumgardner, who many view as one of the favorites to take over the 100 breaststroke title from former teammate Annie Chandler. Her time in this meet was a 1:01.74: sixth best in the nation. She barely held on against UCLA’s Brittany Beauchan, who touched second in 1:01.98.
UCLA got two wins, and NCAA B-Cuts, from junior Yasi Jahanshahi, who had marks of 54.49 and 1:59.61.
Full results available here through the UCLA website.
Other Pac-10 News
The No. 2 Cal Men looked very strong against No. 3 Stanford in the exciting triple-distance meet…Most of the Pac-10 Teams will participate in the Arena Invite next weekend in Santa Barbara, which is going to be one of the most important invites of the season.