Hosszu Defends NCAA 400y IM Title With Record Swim
March 16, 2012
Senior Katinka Hosszu obliterated the NCAA record in the 400y IM to defend her title and led USC to a school record in its fourth-place 800y free relay while senior Victoria Ishimatsu earned All-American honors on 3-meter to pace No. 7 USC's efforts during the second evening at the 2012 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday (March 16) at Auburn's James E. Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala.
USC is tied for third with Arizona with 226 points after the second of three days of competition. Defending champion California (311) maintained its lead while Georgia took over second (247). Stanford is fifth (222). Arizona State is 10th (99 points) to put five Pac-12 schools in the top 10.
Hosszu, who was out-touched at the wall in the 200y IM by 0.03 on Thursday, made sure the only dramatics tonight were tied directly to her other-worldly time in the 400y IM, a 3:56.54 that erased the 2010 NCAA record set by Julia Smit (3:58.23).
Hosszu was seeded fourth in the final but entered the race the only swimmer ever to break four minutes more than once. She opened with a strong butterfly leg (54.71) to take an early lead and maintained her advantage after 100 yards of back (1:54.55). Florida's Teresa Crippen was in second at that point, but only temporarily as Cal's Caitlin Leverenz made her expected move in the breast leg, which took her from seventh to first.
Leverenz, who downed Hosszu in the 200y IM, couldn't build enough of an edge in the breast, however, and Hosszu began the final 100 yards of freestyle trailing by just 0.48. The Trojan senior made up most of that after the first 25 yards, built a 0.56 lead after 50 and pushed through the final 50 in 26.48 to record her historic time. Leverenz finished second in 3:57.89 (an American record, as Hosszu is from Hungary), Florida sophomore Elizabeth Beisel took third (3:59.37) and Stanford sophomore Madeline Dirado finished fourth (3:59.89) in the fastest ever 400y IM final.
"I was definitely nervous coming into the meet," Hosszu said, "and excited because I knew it would be a big race. After the morning I knew I got a good lane because I was kind of out of sight. I was thinking it would hurt so bad, so I tried to make myself ready for anything, but when I was swimming, I thought to myself, `it didn't hurt too bad.' "
On whether she saw Leverenz, who was three lanes over from her, during the race. "The one time I saw here was when we turned to the freestyle and I saw that she was a little bit ahead. But that was it and I was just trying to give everything I had for the last 75."
Said USC Coach Dave Salo: "I'm not surprised by Katinka. We quietly talked about going 3:56 for the last couple of months. We knew this would be a great - and fast - race with such an amazing field. When I saw how close she was to Caitlin heading into the free, I knew Katinka was in good shape."
The title gives Hosszu four in her career (after three last year) and marks the first time a Trojan has won back-to-back in the event since Kristine Quance did it in1996 and 1997. She is the top seed in Saturday's 200y fly, an event she won last year.
To close the night, Hosszu led off USC's 800y free relay, a timed final in which the Trojans' finished fourth in 6:59.12, breaking the Trojan standard of 6:59.48 she helped set in 2010. Hosszu got the Trojans to an early lead and USC was in second after junior Haley Anderson's second leg. As the race's favorites kicked in to high gear, sophomore Lynette Lim kept the Trojans' in third with a great third leg and senior Amanda Smith brought home the top 4 finish. Troy was eighth last year in the race.
"That was a great race and a great job by Lynette Lim," Salo said. "When she didn't qualify here for the 1650, we began focusing on the 200 and 500 and she did really well."
Ishimatsu followed her win in the 1-meter springboard on Thursday by earning All-American honors on 3-meter for the second time in her career, finishing seventh with 342.75 points. She qualified third in prelims. A four-time Pac-12 winner on the board, Ishimatsu claimed a career-high fourth on 3-meter as a sophomore. She had to withdraw from the event last year after hitting her foot on the board during a dive in prelims.
Sophomore Stina Gardell led a trio of Trojans in the consolation final of the 400y IM. After finishing ninth in prelims in 4:07.10 - one second out of a finals berth - Gardell clocked a 4:05.47 to win the heat, holding off Georgia's Melanie Margalis (4:05.89). Gardell also was a 200y IM finalist Thursday.
Sophomore Meghan Hawthorne continued to drop time as well, taking fourth in the consolation final (12th overall) in 4:07.55 for another PR while senior Tanya Krisman was sixth in the heat (14th overall) in 4:09.24. Hawthorne, who didn't finish higher than 39th last year in two events at the NCAAs, now has scored in two events this year after taking seventh last night in the 200y IM.
Krisman has now scored in two events at an NCAA championships for the first time in her career. She entered the meet with two career consolation finals appearances in the 200y fly (the past two seasons). She was 12th yesterday in the 200y IM to compliment her efforts today in the 400y IM. In fact, this is the first season Krisman has raced in the 400y IM in the postseason. She was a Pac-12 finalist in the 400y IM three weeks ago, leading up to today's efforts. She will look to make it three second swims in a row Saturday when she swims in the 200y fly, an event in which she finished a career-best second at the Pac-12s.
USC's 200y medley relay of junior Christel Simms, sophomore Kasey Carlson, junior Yumi So and junior Lindsay Parrish finished eighth in the championship final heat in 1:37.96. The Trojans qualified for the final's berth when So, Carlson, Hosszu and Simms posted a season-best 1:36.97 in prelims.
Sophomore Jessica Schmitt finished 21st in the 400y IM (4:11.78) while Anderson took 23rd (4:12.06). Anderson, fresh off a title in the 500y free Thursday, will be the top seed in the 1650y free Saturday. Among her rivals in the event is Georgia senior Wendy Trott, the three-time defending champion in the race.
Carlson, like Gardell, finished ninth in prelims in the 100y breast (59.63), denied a berth in the final by 0.02. In fact, only 0.06 separated the sixth-place finisher and Carlson in ninth. In the consolation final, she Carlson finished second in 59.79 (10th overall).
Lim led USC in the 200y free, finishing 26th in a PR 1:45.98. Smith was 30th in 1:46.52, also a PR. So finished 25th in the 100y fly in 53.22 while Parrish was 39th (54.05), lowering her PR by more than half a second in her first NCAA individual swim. So also swam in the 100y back, finishing 26th (53.40) while Simms was 32nd (53.56).
The meet concludes Saturday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. PT.
Click here for the 2012 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving home page.
Host school Auburn will stream live coverage of Saturday's prelims while WatchESPN.com will stream Saturday finals.
Click here for Saturday prelims.
Click here for Saturday finals.
There will also be a taped delay broadcast on ESPNU on March 21 at 4 p.m. PT.