Hosszu, Ishimatsu, Anderson Win Pac-12 Titles
Feb. 23, 2012
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Senior Katinka Hosszu (200y IM) and junior Haley Anderson (500y free) defended titles in school-record efforts while senior Victoria Ishimatsu did them one better with her third straight 1-meter springboard win to highlight a huge second day at the Pac-12 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday (Feb. 23) at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
USC is in third halfway through the first-ever Pac-12s with 390 points. Stanford is in first (462) with California second (426.5). Arizona is fourth (385) and is followed by UCLA (341.5), ASU (298), Utah (233), Oregon State (142.5) and Washington State (134.5).
Hosszu became the first Trojan to repeat as 200y IM champion (and won only USC's fourth Pac-12 title in the event) by coming from behind to edge Cal's Caitlin Leverenz, 1:52.37 to 1:52.43. Hosszu trailed by more than a second after Leverenz completed the breaststroke leg (her specialty) but the Trojan senior's final 50 yards of freestyle was just enough to overtake the Cal junior at the Wall.
Hosszu's 1:52.37 (the top time in the country) lowered her school record (1:52.71) set in December and came within 0.06 of Julia Smit's NCAA record in the race (1:52.31). It is her fifth career conference title.
"Racing was really exciting tonight," Hosszu said. "After watching Tory and Haley win, I was fired up for my race. On the last 50, my Trojan spirit took over and I sprinted to the wall. The team is doing great."
USC sophomores Stina Gardell and Meghan Hawthorne joined Hosszu as repeat finalists in the 200y IM, taking fourth (1:56.00, `A' cut) and fifth (1:57.50), respectively, each posting PRs. Senior Tanya Krisman just missed qualifying for her first final in the race, finishing 10th in prelims, 0.21 out of eighth. She won the consolation final in 1:57.77 (ninth overall) with a time that would have been sixth in the final. Junior Jordan Danny, 35th a year ago in the race, improved to 21st (2:01.78). Her prelim 2:00.92 was a PR.
Ishimatsu became the first woman in the conference to win three straight titles on the 1-meter since Trojan Kellie Brennan did it from 1999-01. She won Thursday with 337.05 points, 8.05 ahead of Arizona's Samantha Pickens (329.00). Ishimatsu trailed with two dives to go but took over first on her second-to-last dive and clinched the title with another strong effort to close the competition.
Said USC head diving coach Hongping Li: "It was an exciting and good ending to the competition. I'm so proud of her accomplishment."
On Friday on 3-meter, she will try to become the first woman in conference history to win an event four years in a row. Ishimatsu now has six career conference victories.
Anderson broke Trojan Kalyn Keller's 2004 conference meet and school record (4:37.76) with a 4:36.52 (also an NCAA `A' cut and a PR) to become the first woman to repeat as champion in the 500y free since Stanford's Jessica Foschi (2000-01). The Trojan junior trailed Cal senior Shelley Harper through 250 yards but was leading by a half second after 300 yards and methodically extended her lead from there. Cal freshman Catherine Breed finished second (4:38.58) while Anderson's older sister, Alyssa from Arizona, took third (3:39.90). Harper fell to fourth (4:41.23).
Anderson will swim the 1650y free on Saturday and try to become the first woman to win it three years in a row in the conference since Foschi (2000-02).
Junior Amanda Smith and freshman Lynette Lim made their conference final debuts in the 500y free, finishing seventh (4:45.66) and eighth (4:47.42), respectively. Smith and Lim earned their final nods with swims of 4:44.09 and 4:46.06, respectively, in prelims. Junior Lolo Blair was the other Trojan to earn a second swim in the event and finished 24th (4:54.34).
Sophomore Kasey Carlson, a 50y free finalist last year, was 0.16 out of the top eight in prelims with a 22.81. In the consolation final, she finished fourth (12th overall) with a 22.77. Junior Lindsay Parrish earned a second swim and finished 22nd with a 23.13, a PR.
The meets continue Friday and Saturday with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.