The USC women’s swimming and diving team, which finished fifth at last year’s NCAA Championships and are one of only 3 teams to finish in the top 7 five straight years, will look to divide and conquer this weekend as it splits up to compete at the SMU Classic in Dallas on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 17-18) as well as at Oregon State on Saturday.
The Trojans, who opened the season with a win over Washington State last week, will look to improve to 5-0 all-time against the Beavers in Corvallis while sending eight swimmers and one diver to Dallas for the annual six-team competition hosted by the Mustangs. USC won the SMU Classic last year. The other four teams competing include LSU, Louisville, Miami and North Carolina State.
USC’s contingent headed to the lone star state include senior diver Haley Ishimatsu, juniors Kasia Wilk, Kendyl Stewart, Jasmine Tosky and Lucy Worrall, sophomores Chelsea Chenault, Evan Swenson and Kelsey Kafka and freshman Hannah Weiss. The balance of the team will compete against the Beavers at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Action begins in Dallas both days at 6:30 p.m. CT. Each team may use only eight swimmers and one diver in the uniquely scored meet with one swimmer per team allowed in the `A’ final and `B’ final of each event. Friday’s events include the 400y medley relay, 400y IM, 200y free, 50y free, 1-meter springboard, 100y fly, 100y back, 100y breast and 800y free relay. Saturday’s schedule includes the 200y medley relay, 500y free, 200y breast, 200y back, 3-meter springboard, 100y free, 200y fly, 200y IM and 200y free relay.
The Trojans posted a pair of NCAA ‘B’ cuts in their season-opener against the Cougars last week. Senior Andrea Kropp notched one in her specialty, the 200y breast (2:15.52) while Weiss clocked a 53.91 in the 100y back.
USC returns seven All-Americans, led by senior diver and two-time NCAA platform champion Haley Ishimatsu as well as juniors Kendyl Stewart, Jasmine Tosky, Kasia Wilk and Joanna Stenkvist and sophomores Chelsea Chenault and Evan Swenson.
Other top returning contributors include senior breaststroke specialist Andrea Kropp, a 2013 All-American, sophomore freestyler Lexie Malazdrewicz, who competed as a freshman at last year’s NCAAs, junior diver Sam Adams, a three-time 2014 Pac-12 Championships finalist, and improving sophomore IM’er Maggie D’Innocenzo. USC also has a host of young breaststrokers including sophomore Riley Hayward and Kelsey Kafka looking to break through.
Stewart and senior sprint freestyler Rebecca Heyliger are the captains for the 2014-15 squad.
USC, under ninth-year head coach Dave Salo, will have to replace a trio of 2014 senior standouts in Kasey Carlson, Stina Gardell and Meghan Hawthorne. Carlson was a six-time All-American and three-time individual finalist whose 50y and 100y free and 100y breast will be hard to replace while Gardell and Hawthorne were both stalwarts in the 200y and 400y IM and the 200 breaststroke.
Among the top newcomers to the squad are freshmen Hannah Weiss, Kindle Van Linge and Alexa Cacao. Weiss is a 2013-14 Junior National team member strong in the fly and back. Van Linge is strong in the 100y fly and back while Cacao is an up-and-coming diver who won the 2014 U.S. springboard title in the 16-18 age group. Also now available is 2014 transfer Lucy Worrall, a butterfly specialist who was an NCAA point scorer for Miami in 2013 in the 100y fly.
The USC men’s swimming and diving team, which finished eighth at the 2014 NCAA Championships for its fourth straight top 8 result, begins the 2014-15 season with Pac-12 dual meets at Cal Poly on Friday (Oct. 17) at 1 p.m. and at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday (Oct. 18) at 1 p.m.
The Trojans return seven All-Americans, including senior freestyler Cristian Quintero, senior backstroker Luca Spinazzola, senior breaststroker Sergio Lujan Rivera, junior butterflyer and sprinter Maclin Davis as well as a talented group of sophomore freestylers Dylan Carter, Reed Malone and Santo Condorelli.
Other returning Trojans with NCAA Championships experience include senior breaststroker Andrew Malone, senior freestyler Chad Bobrosky, junior distance freestyler Ted Singley, junior breaststroker Morten Klarskov and senior distance freestyler, butterflyer and IM’er Cary Wright. Senior diver Jordan Gear and junior diver Collin Pollard both return with NCAA Zone experience and look to qualify for their first NCAA Championships.
Quintero joins Andrew and Reed Malone (no relation) as 2014-15 co-captains. Quintero, who was granted a fourth year of eligibility by the NCAA after he initially was granted three years when he enrolled, is not competing this fall but will resume competition in the spring semester.
USC is the defending NCAA champion in the 800y free relay and won that and the 400y free relay at last year’s Pac-12 Championships. Three quarters of the 800y free title team are back (Quintero, Reed Malone and Carter) while Quintero and Carter also swam on the 400y free relay.
Among the top newcomers figuring to make a big impact this year are freshmen Pawel Furtek, Jonathan Knox, Ralf Tribuntsov, James Clausen, James O’Brien, Ian Silverman, Jonah Hu, diver Dashiell Enos and junior diving transfer Deon Reid.
Tribuntsov is an Estonian national record holder whose versatility can help in many events, Knox is a talented freestyler and Furtek is a Polish distance freestyler. Silverman comes to USC an accomplished Paralympian who looks to be a regular contributing member of the team despite the mild form of cerebral palsy affecting his lower extremities. Enos is a rising junior national diver while Reid is a transfer from Duke.
College Swimming News is courtesy of USC Swimming and Diving.