Women's Swimming & Diving

    Mar. 22, 1997

    USC Women's Swimming & Diving Wins NCAA Championship, First in Program

    INDIANAPOLIS - The USC women's swimming and diving team won its first ever national championship at the 1997 NCAA Championships, dethroning five-time defending champion Stanford, on Sat. at the Indiana Natatorium.

    USC, led by fourth-year coach Mark Schubert and two-time 1997 NCAA title winner, senior Kristine Quance and sophomore Lindsay Benkso, finished with 406 points. Stanford was second with 395, followed by SMU (353.5), Arizona (351.5) and Georgia (312).

    Quance and Benko both defended titles on Sat., Benko repeating in the 200 back (1:54.42) and Quance doing the same in the 200 breast, setting a pool record in 2:09.62.

    Benko's and Quance's titles were USC's only four of the meet as the Women of Troy failed to win in any relays.

    "If you would have told me that we could win without winning any relays, I would have said no way," said Schubert, who won his third women's team title (he won two with Texas) and was named Coach of the Year after the meet. "This is a testament to the depth of all of the team's competing."

    USC, which has never finished higher than third in the NCAAs (1980), entered the final day of competition in second place behind Stanford.

    Benko's win in the 200 back, and Gitting's fourth-place finish in the same event, gave USC early momentum and the lead. Stanford reclaimed the lead in the 100 free, but Quance's win in the 200 breast put USC up for good.

    USC's lead was bolstered by the 2-3 finish of sophomore Karen Campbell (1:56.98) and junior Jean Ellis Todisco (1.58:47) in the 200 fly. Junior diver Natalya Chikina took fifth in the platform (366.55), clinching the title with the 400 free relay to go.

    USC's 400 free relay of Campbell, Quance, freshman Paige Francis and Benko swam a conservative 3:24.39 in seventh place, preserving the team title.

    Mar. 21, 1997

    After Two Days USC Women's Swimming Sits in Second Place at NCAAs

    INDIANAPOLIS - The USC women's swimming and diving team, behind senior Kristine Quance's title in the 400 IM, stands in second place after the second day of the NCAA Championships at Indiana's Natatorium.

    Stanford leads with 286.5, followed by USC (271), SMU (256.5), Georgia (224) and Arizona (221). USC, which took fourth place at last year's NCAA Championships, has never finished higher than third place.

    Quance defended her NCAA title in the 400 IM with a time of 4:06.54, a USC school record, finishing 6 seconds ahead of LSU's Lucy Findlay in second place. USC junior Sarah Maggio took fifth in the same event in 4:15.45.

    "This is my favorite event, so I wanted to win this one the most. It was very important to me," said Quance, who took second in the 200 IM on Thursday (March 20) and will compete in the 200 breast Saturday. I planned to lead wire-to-wire and that's what I did."

    USC sophomore Lindsay Benko took second in the 200 free 1:45.86, repeating her second-place performance in last years NCAAs.

    USC, which set 6 school records on the first day of competition, set 3 more on Friday. In addition to Quance's mark, they included sophomore Karen Campbell's fourth-place time of 53.36 in the 100 fly and the 200 medley relay team (Gittings, Quance, Campbell, Francis), which took fourth in 1:40.87.

    Hope Gittings took fourth in the 100 back in 54.13 and USC's 800 free relay team (Quance, Maggio, Francis, Benko) took fourth in 7:14.44. Sophomore diver Dorte Linder took fifth in the 3-meter diving with a score of 517.60.

    The NCAA Championships conclude on Saturday (March 22).

    Team Scoring After Second Day
    1.  Stanford          286.5
    2.  USC               271.0
    3.  SMU               256.5
    4.  Georgia           224.0
    5.  Arizona           221.5
    6.  Michigan          185.5
    7.  Auburn            175.0
    8.  Nebraska          117.5
    9.  California        108.0
    10. Texas             107.5