Feb. 26, 1997
No. 4 USC Women's Swimming And Diving Heads to Washington for Pac-10 Championships
LOS ANGELES -- The USC women's swimming and diving team (9-1 overall, 4-1 in the Pac-10), headed by fourth-year coach Mark Schubert, travels to Federal Way, Wash., for the Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships on Thursday (Feb. 27) through Saturday (March 1). A year ago, the women's team took third at Pac-10s. The Pac-10 men's diving competition will also be held this weekend.
TELEVISION -- The Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships will be televised on a delayed basis by FOX Sports Net at 1 p.m. on Thursday (March 6). Phil Stone and former USC assistant coach and Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans will call the action.
RANKINGS -- USC is No. 4.
LAST 2 MEETS -- The USC women's team finished off its second consecutive 9-1 regular season with wins over crosstown rival UCLA on Feb. 14 (198-102) and over UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 15 (192-58). In the win over UCLA, senior Kristine Quance won the 100 (1:02.22) and 200 breasts (2:13.00) and the 200 IM (2:00.95), setting season bests in all 3 events. All were also NCAA automatic qualifying times. Freshman Jamie Johnson won the 500 free (4:53.59) and the 1650 free (16:41.49). USC won all but 1 event against the Gauchos in a runaway. Quance (100 free, 200 back), junior Jean Ellis Todisco (100 breast, 500 free) and junior Emily Peters (200 free, 1000 free) all posted easy wins.
RECORDS -- USC senior Kristine Quance set her 10th individual school record with a 1:57.78 in the 200 fly at California. The previous record was owned by Michelle Ford, who swam 1:58.76 in 1982. Quance now owns 5 short course and 5 long course individual records at USC as well as 4 relay short course records.
COACH MARK SCHUBERT -- Named the head coach of the USC men's swim team in 1992, Mark Schubert took over the combined men's and women's programs in the spring of 1993 and currently serves as the head coach of both teams. He is also the director of the Trojan Swim Club. In 1995-96, Schubert led the women's team to a school-best fourth-place finish at the NCAAs and a third-place finish at Pac-10s. The Women of Troy finished 9-1 overall, including an upset over powerhouse Stanford, and 4-1 in the Pac-10. The men's team enjoyed almost equal success, finishing seventh at NCAAs, fourth at Pac-10s with an 8-1 overall record and 3-1 in conference. Schubert was recognized for USC's fine year by being named 1996 Pac-10 Coach of the Year. One of the world's most highly respected coaches and the most successful club coach in U.S. history, Schubert served as an assistant coach at the 1996 Atlanta Games -- his fifth consecutive USA Olympic coaching position. He served as the 1992 USA Women's Olympic head coach, guiding the American women to 2 gold medal relay world records, 4 additional American records and an impressive world-leading 14 medals, including 5 gold. For his career efforts, Schubert was recently selected for and will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 10, 1997 as "Honor Coach." In his 24 years of coaching, Schubert has placed 25 swimmers on U.S. Olympic teams; these athletes have won 14 gold and 7 silver medals, plus 5 world championship titles. Even more impressive, Schubert's swimmers have broken 21 world and 97 American records and have won 162 U.S. national titles.
Kristine Quance -- The top returning female swimmer in the NCAA, 1996-97 senior Kristine Quance, a USC co-captain, paces a USC team that will make a run at the Pac-10 and national championship. She has posted the top USC times this year in 5 events: the 200 and 400 IM, the 200 fly and the 100 and 200 breast. She set a USC record in the 200 fly earlier this year in the win at California, swimming 1:57.78. She has posted NCAA automatic qualifying times in all 5 of the aforementioned events: 200 fly (1:57.78), 200 IM (2:00.95), 400 IM (4:10.90), 100 breast (1:02.22) and 200 breast (2:13.00). She has also posted a consideration time in the 500 free (4:55.37). Quance was named the 1995-96 Honda Sports Awards winner as the outstanding NCAA women's athlete in swimming and diving and College Sports Magazine's Woman Swimmer of the Year for her efforts as a 1995-96 junior. She capped a stellar year by winning a gold medal as part of the 400m medley relay team at the Atlanta Olympics, swimming 1:10.40 in her breast leg of the prelims, though she did not swim in the finals. Quance enjoyed a career meet at the NCAAs, winning 3 NCAA individual titles (setting 3 new USC team records) and scoring a meet-high 60 points. She was named NCAA "Swimmer of the Year" for her efforts. She won NCAA titles in the 200 breast (2:09.57), 200 IM (1:57.58) and 400 IM (4:06.60) -- all new USC team records. Swimming on 4 team relays in that meet (all of which placed no lower than sixth, including 3 in the Top 4), she helped the Women of Troy set new team records in the 400 and 800 free relays and 200 and 400 medley relays. Quance currently owns 5 individual and 4 relay short course USC team records and 5 individual long course USC team records. Quance also earned Pac-10 All-Academic second team honors with a 3.06 GPA in exercise science.
Lindsay Benko -- One of the top 100 and 200 freestylers in the country and a national-caliber backstroker, 1996-97 sophomore Lindsay Benko is a major key to USC's national championship hopes. Benko owns the top USC times this year in the 200, 500 and 1,000 free as well as the 200 back. She has posted NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 200 (1:48.10) and 500 free (4:46.48) and consideration time in the 200 back (1:58.83). As a 1995-96 freshman, Benko, a finalist for the Honda Sports Award honoring the top NCAA women's swimmer or diver last season, was a 5-time All-American, winning NCAA titles in the 200 back (1:55.78, a USC record) and the 500 free (4:42.46). She also earned All-American honors with a second-place finish in the 200 free (1:46.17), as part of USC's second-place 800 free relay team (7:11.34) and fourth-place 400 free relay team (3:19.47). She was also on USC's seventh-place 200 free relay team (1:32.81). Benko was second at the NCAAs in scoring with 57 points (behind USC teammate Kristine Quance's 60). Benko set 7 USC individual records as a freshman as well as 3 in relays. She won 1996 Pac-10 titles in the 500 free and 200 back in 4:42.25 and 1:56.80, respectively. Both were USC and Pac-10 meet records, though Benko eclipsed the mark in the 200 back at the NCAAs. Benko also placed second in the 200 free (1:47.74) and helped the Women of Troy to second-place finishes in the 200, 400 and 800 free relays. She also had a busy U.S. Olympic Trials meet, finaling in the 200m back (fifth place) and 400m free (seventh place). She was a consolation finalist in the 100m free (11th place) and 100m back (15th place).
USC NOTES -- Against UCLA, junior Jean Ellis Todisco swam an NCAA automatic qualifying time and set a personal best of 1:59.00 in the 200 fly. She has also swam NCAA consideration times in the 200 IM (2:03.54), the 400 IM (4:18.32) and in the 100 fly (56.36). A host of other USC swimmers have posted NCAA consideration times. Sophomore Karen Campbell has swam the fastest USC times in the 50 (23.67) and 100 free (51.50) and in the 100 fly (55.50) as well as a 2:02.02 in the 200 fly, all good as NCAA consideration times. Senior Hope Gittings' 55.79 in the 100 back is a USC-best this year and her 2:01.06 in the 200 back is third best. Both are consideration times. Freshman Jamie Johnson swam a USC best 16:35.61 in the 1650 free, a consideration time, and has also set a consideration time in the 500 free (4:53.02). Other swimmers who have posted consideration times include freshman Paige Francis (200 free -- 1:51.23; 200 back -- 2:01.03; 200 IM -- 2:05.02), junior Emily Peters (500 free -- 4:52.55), junior Sarah Maggio (400 IM -- 4:25.13) and freshman Emily Ayers (100 fly -- 56.45). The addition of sophomore diver Dorte Lindner, from Nienargen, Germany, has bolstered the USC diving corps as she has posted top scores in the 1-meter in 7 meets and in the 3-meter 6 times, most recently at Stanford. Lindner, senior Jenny Alessandra and recent addition junior Natalya Chikina from Amalty, Kazakhstan (of the former Soviet Union) have all qualified for the NCAA Zone E meet on March 14-15. Lindner will miss the Pac-10 competition while competing in Germany.
Men Divers -- Freshmen Tim Allport and Ben Stiefel will compete in the Pac-10 men's diving competition. Allport, who has added punch to the USC team with his consistent contributions from 1- and 3-meter, has qualified for the NCAA Zone E meet.
LAST YEAR -- Sophomore Lindsay Benko (500 free, 200 back) is USC's only defending Pac-10 title-holder. Kristine Quance, who would have been a title contender in numerous events, sat out the Pac-10 Championships last year to prepare for the U.S. Olympic Trials.