Ishimatsu, Hosszu Win Again At Pac-12s
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Senior Victoria Ishimatsu became the first conference diver ever to win the same event four years in a row while senior Katinka Hosszu won her first career title in the 200y free to lead the Trojans at the Pac-12 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday (Feb. 24) at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
USC began and finished the day in third and now has 819 points. Cal is in first (961.5) with Stanford second (868). Arizona is fourth (782) and is followed by UCLA (682.5), ASU (556), Utah (351), Oregon State (230.5) and Washington State (187.5).
Ishimatsu, second in the prelims, won the 3-meter title with 386.80 points, comfortably ahead of Elina Eggers of Arizona State (360.15). On Thursday, the three-time Pac-10 Women's Diver of the Year came from behind to win her third straight 1-meter title and now has a combined seven conference crowns. There have been only five streaks of three straight diving titles in conference history and Ishimatsu now claims two of them.
"It was a really exciting night," Ishimatsu said. "Having the rest of the swimming and diving team there and cheering me on gave me the boost to finish the competition on top."
Hosszu bypassed one of her top events - the 400y IM - to compete in the 200y free for the first time in her postseason career. The defending 400y IM champion who was second in the race in 2009 and 2010, Hosszu earned the 200y free top seed in prelims with a 1:43.74, 0.60 better than second place.
In the final, Hosszu trailed Cal's Liv Jensen by almost a second after 100 yards and was still 0.27 behind the Bear senior with 50 yards to go before crushing the final 50 yards in 26.24 and winning in 1:43.15, lowering her school record for the second time in three days and besting Jensen (1:44.01) by 0.86.
The win is USC's fourth in the event. The last Trojan to win the 200y free was Lindsay Benko (1997 and 1999) while Ayako Nakano won it in 1994.
Despite Hosszu's absence, the Trojans were well-represented in the 400y IM with four swimmers in the final, led by sophomore Stina Gardell, who is USC's second-fastest Trojan ever in the race. Gardell, second in prelims, finished third in the final (4:04.65) in a season-best effort and an NCAA `A' cut. She was fifth in the event last year.
Sophomore Meghan Hawthorne, who was a 200y IM finalist Thursday, reached her second straight 400y IM final and took fourth in a PR 4:08.12. Junior Haley Anderson scored in the race at the 2011 NCAAs but hadn't swum it at the Pac-12s until this year. Fourth in prelims (4:09.44), she took fifth in the final in 4:10.72
Senior Tanya Krisman, swimming her first postseason 400y IM, rounded out the Trojan quartet in sixth in 4:11.78. It was her second career Pac-12 final appearance. Junior Jessica Schmitt was 10th in the race (4:11.67) while junior Chelsea Wild earned a second swim and was 24th (4:29.53).
Sophomore Kasey Carlson, second in the 100y breast last year, finished third Friday in 1:00.09 as ASU's Rebecca Ejdervik won her third straight title (59.77) while Arizona's Ellyn Baumgardner was second (59.79).
Carlson led three Trojans in the final as Schmitt and junior Jordan Danny joined her in the race. Schmitt, in her second 100y breast final and fifth final overall, finished seventh (1:01.52). In Danny's conference final debut, she took eighth (1:01.68).
Senior Ella Kidron earned a second swim in the 100y breast and finished 14th (1:02.77), her highest career finish at the conference meet thanks to a PR. Fellow senior Ania Kowalczyk was 18th (1:02.85).
Junior Yumi So earned her second career conference final and her first in the 100y fly by finishing third in prelims in 52.58, a PR. In the final, she took sixth in 52.70. Other Trojans who earned second swims here were juniors Christel Simms (20th, 54.08) and Lindsay Parrish (23rd, 55.27).
USC's top finisher in the 100y back was also So, who was ninth (52.65, PR) while Simms was 17th (53.76).
Troy was fourth in the 400y medley relay as So, Carlson, Krisman and Hosszu finished in 3:34.24. Cal won the race in 3:28.26.