Women's Swimming & Diving
    Carlson, Gardell Lead Troy On Night Two Of NCAAs

    Junior Kasey Carlson finished a career-best second in the NCAA 100y breast on Friday.

    March 22, 2013


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    Junior Kasey Carlson battled to the wire en route to second place in the 100y breast while junior Stina Gardell took fourth in the 400y IM and both the 200y medley and 800y free relays swam to sixth-place finishes to lead USC on the second night of finals at the 2013 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium/IUPUI Sports Complex in Indianapolis, Ind., on Friday (March 22).

    The Trojans, in a fight for a top 5 finish, remain in sixth after day two with 194 points. Georgia leads with 300 with two-time defending champion Cal in second with 285. Tennessee (263.5) is third and is followed in the top 10 by Arizona (246), Texas A&M (216), USC (194), Stanford (189.5), Florida (189), Texas (115) and Minnesota (99).

    Carlson churned out her best NCAA finish to date with a lifetime best in the 100y breast of 58.36, 0.73 off Texas A&M's Breeja Larson, who defended her 2012 title in 57.63. Carlson, who won the Pac-12 title in the race, swam stroke for stroke with Larson over the first 50, the pair turning together at 27.17. The Trojan junior was still close with 25 to go before Larson edged in front for the win.

    Carlson's time is second only at USC to that of Rebecca Soni, the two-time NCAA champion in the race who owns the school mark at 58.10. Carlson's finish was USC's best in the race since Soni's last title in 2009.

    "It was a great race and hopefully I pushed her (Larson) as much as she pushed me," Carlson said. "My goal was to go out as fast as I could and hang on."

    Gardell, after taking fourth in the 200y IM Thursday, made her first appearance in an NCAA 400y IM and swam to fifth in a stacked field, touching in 4:04.66. Half of the eight-woman final from last year returned in this year's final, including three of the top four finishers.

    Junior Meghan Hawthorne, also a finalist in the 200y IM last night, notched her best finish in the 400y IM as well by winning the `B' final in 4:06.03, which lowered her PR by almost a second. Senior Haley Anderson made her second career appearance in the `B' final of the event as well and finished a career-best 13th in 4:09.96.

    Freshman Kendyl Stewart missed the 100y fly `A' final out of prelims by 0.01, but came back in the night session to tie for first in the `B' final in 51.89.

    USC's 200y medley relay entered the evening session after a morning prelim school record. At night, the foursome of senior Christel Simms, Carlson and Stewart and freshman Kasia Wilk finished sixth in 1:36.17. The same group went 1:35.72 in prelims to break the school mark of 1:36.03 set against UCLA in February. USC's morning swim would've been fourth in the `A' final.

    The Trojans finished the night with an All-American performance in the 800y free relay as junior Lynette Lim, Gardell, freshman Jasmine Tosky and Anderson swam a 7:02.49, good for sixth in the three-heat timed final. USC was in the second heat and had to sweat it out to see if its time would hold up for a top 8 finish, which it did with a good second to spare. Lim's leadoff 1:46.14 was a season-best.

    Tosky finished 17th in the 100y fly in prelims in 52.79, missing a spot in the `B' final by 0.25. Senior Jessica Schmitt tied her career best of 19th in the 400y IM (4:10.89) and sophomore Andrea Kropp's 1:00.28 in the 100y breast was a PR by 0.30 and 0.18 out of the `B' final.

    Other USC finishers in the morning included Stewart in the 100y back (24th, 53.24), senior Yumi So in the 100y fly (40th, 53.83) and the 100y back (44th, 54.15) and freshman Joanna Stenkvist in the 100y back (tied for 31st, 53.63).

    Sophomore Haley Ishimatsu finished 21st on 3-meter with 302.90. She will compete in her specialty, platform, on Saturday. She won the event at the 2013 Pac-12 and NCAA Zone E Championships.

    The meet finishes Saturday with prelims at 8 a.m. and finals at 4 p.m. PT.