Hosszu Wins 200y IM Title, USC 2nd After NCAA Day One
March 17, 2011
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Junior Katinka Hosszu won USC's first NCAA title in the 200y IM in seven years and helped USC blaze to second in the 400y medley relay while senior Lyndsay DePaul (200y IM), sophomore Haley Anderson (500y free) and freshman Kasey Carlson (50y free) also earned individual All-American honors as the Trojans finished a fruitful first evening of finals at the 2011 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at Texas' Jamail Swim Center in Austin on Thursday (March 17).
The strong efforts propelled the Trojans to second place after the first day with 122 points, just seven back of first-place Georgia (122). Stanford (116), Cal (115) and Arizona (99) round out the top 5 in a Pac-10 top-heavy leaderboard. A year ago, USC was tied for eighth after the first day with 64 points.
Hozzzu, the top seed in three events at this year's meet, checked off the first box on her individual-title to-do list by dominating the 200y IM in 1:53.39, good for her first career NCAA title. She led the field by 0.76 after the fly leg and still held a 0.40 lead after the back. Hosszu extended the lead to more than a second after the breast as the competition flopped positions in her wake. She began and finished the free leg with plenty of cushion to win going away, 0.06 off her school record set at Pac-10s and breaking the pool record (1:53.43). Stanford's Maya Dirado touched second (1:54.66). It was USC's first win in the event since Kaitlin Sandeno (2004).
Said Hosszu after the win: "I'm a little tired, but I'm also very happy. It's nice to be able to say that I'm the champion. I think this will be really good for the team. I got the most points I could for this race. I hope I helped my team enough today."
DePaul raced in her first career NCAA 200y IM final with Hosszu and was sixth early in the race before finishing eighth in 1:57.78. Her 1:56.16 prelim time (PR) would've been seventh in the final.
Anderson, competing with her sister Alyssa (Arizona) in the 500y free final, finished sixth in her first NCAA final in the event. A year after taking 12th in the race, she swam out of Lane 1 and clocked a 4:38.99. Anderson, who will be the top seed in the 1650y free on Saturday, went 4:37.92 (PR) in prelims, coming close to Kalyn Keller's 2004 school record (4:37.76). Anderson's prelim time would have also been sixth in the final. Her sister Alyssa was third (4:35.41).
It had been 11 years since USC had a finalist (Karen Campbell) in the NCAA 50y free. Carlson ended the drought, first by qualifying for the final with a prelim effort of 22.16, 0.01 off the school record. In the final, she erased the mark, touching in 22.13 to take fifth overall. She broke senior teammate Presley Bard's 2010 standard (22.15).
For the fourth year in a row and the fifth time in six years, the Trojans reached the finals of the 400y medley relay. After qualifying third in prelims, the unit of Bard, Carlson, DePaul and Hosszu clocked a 3:29.82, erasing the 2009 school record (3:30.59). Cal won in 3:28.53.
Bard led off the race in 51.62, the senior finding a great moment for her best swim of the year over 100 yards to break her own school record (51.71) and put USC in second. She turned it over to Carlson, who edged briefly in front after 75 yards of the breast before DePaul took over with Troy 0.09 out of first. DePaul again moved Troy into first briefly with another strong leg and handed the race over to Hosszu just behind Cal. That's where the Bears' held an advantage as sprint specialist Liv Jensen took over the race. But Hosszu, in her sixth swim of the day (along with DePaul and Carlson) held firmly onto second to help Troy to huge points on the relay.
Freshman Stina Gardell, the top seed in the 200y IM consolation final who just missed a spot in the `A' final, won the `B' final with her second personal best of the day. Gardell led the heat at 25.51 after the fly leg but was third after the back at 54.93. She re-claimed the lead at 1:28.61 after a strong breast leg and had enough left in the free to fend off charging Caitlin Geary of Auburn to win the race 1:56.78 to 1:56.89.
The Trojans broke the school record in the 200y free relay in prelims as Bard, Carlson, sophomore Lindsay Parrish and DePaul went 1:29.33, finishing 10th overall. The same unit finished third in the consolation final in 1:29.53, 11th overall.
Junior diver Victoria Ishimatsu missed a berth in the 1-meter springboard final for the first time in three years after missing her second prelim dive. She ultimately took 11th in prelims (289.05), 7.45 points out of eighth. She went on to win the consolation final with 336.50 points, a total that would have finished first in prelims and second in the `A' final.
Other USC finishers from prelims included Bard in the 50y free (19.36, 19th tie), junior Amanda Smith in the 500y free (4:42.93, 27th), sophomore Jessica Schmitt in the 200y IM (1:59.10, 23rd), freshman Meghan Hawthorne in the 200y IM (2:00.72, 39th) and junior Tanya Krisman in the 200y IM (2:01.48, 45th).
Note: ESPN2 will air a 90-minute recap show at 1:30 p.m. ET on April 5.