Women's Swimming
    Anderson (1650y Free), Ishimatsu (Platform) Win Titles To Close NCAAs

    March 23, 2013

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    Senior Haley Anderson capped a brilliant career with USC's first ever title in the 1650y free, sophomore Haley Ishimatsu won the platform for her first career crown while sophomore Andrea Kropp and freshmen Kendyl Stewart and Jasmine Tosky all posted final appearances to cap the Trojans' efforts at the 2013 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium/IUPUI Sports Complex in Indianapolis, Ind., on Saturday (March 23).

    The Trojans finished seventh overall, their fourth straight NCAA top 7, which includes third-places the previous two years. Georgia won the team title with 477 points, ending Cal's two-year title streak. The Bears finished second with 393. Tennessee was third (325.5) and was followed in the top 10 by Texas A&M (323.5), Arizona (311), Florida (305), USC (291), Stanford (246), Texas (186) and Minnesota (141).

    Anderson won her second straight NCAA title in the 500y free on Thursday, but had not finished better than third in the 1650y free - until tonight. Swimming a tactical race, she led wire-to-wire while fending off three challengers during the race to win in 15:45.98.

    Swimming in lane 2, Anderson was followed out by Georgia's Amber McDermott in lane 1 for the first 500 yards, McDermott getting as close as 0.05 but never passing Anderson. Florida's Jessica Thielmann then challenged Anderson out of lane 3 and closed to within 0.39, but again Anderson fought her off.

    Texas A&M's Sarah Henry, who entered the race as the top seed, took over second down the stretch and pulled to within 0.81 with 50 yards to go and nudged closer over the final 25, but Anderson beat her to the wall for a 0.43 win.

    "I knew she (Henry) could finish hard so I was trying to stay as far ahead as I could over the last 100," Anderson said. "The first 500 felt very easy, so it was nice, but after that I was just struggling to stay on. It would have been nice to go faster, but it's all about the win and all about getting the points for the team."

    Ishimatsu dominated the platform with an NCAA record 396.75 points, running away with the title with a 68.15 point cushion. She was second after her first dive but took over the lead on her second dive with a 79.05 on an armstand forward 2 somersault, 1 twist free. She extended the lead from there and clinched it with her best score of the competition on the final dive, scoring 84.80 points with a back 2 ½ somersault 1 ½ twist pike.

    She is just USC's third NCAA title-winning diver, joining her sister, Victoria, who won the 1-meter title last year, and five-time champion Blythe Hartley. One of Hartley's five titles came on platform.

    "My goals were to do the dives like I was practicing and focusing on one dive at a time and the end result would be there, and I did that," Ishimatsu said. "My confidence going in was good compared to springboard because platform is my event and it's what I've done my whole career, so it was really nice to perform well tonight."

    Said USC Diving Coach Hongping Li: "It was awesome. She was very relaxed and enjoyed what she was doing. She performed every dive up to her standard and at her very best. It was great to see her put everything together, which is not easy under this pressure."

    Stewart lowered her PR by more than a second in the 200y back prelims to earn her first final appearance and then lowered it further in finals, taking fourth in a school-record 1:51.28. She shattered Presley Bard's 2010 standard of 1:51.80, going toe-to-toe in a stacked field that included Cal winner Elizabeth Pelton, who established an American record with the win (1:47.84). Stewart also tied for first in the 100y fly consolation final on Friday.

    Tosky clinched her first individual scoring berth by throwing down the fastest prelim swim in the 200y fly, a 1:54.03 that was just 0.05 off her PR. She was a bit off the pace in the final but still posted a strong 1:55.11 to take fifth for her first NCAA individual points.

    Kropp finished seventh in the 200y breast in 2:07.62, a 0.01 off her prelim effort, which was a PR by 0.01. She also was a consolation finalist in the 200y IM on Thursday.

    .Junior Kasey Carlson, second in the 100y breast Friday and seventh in the 50y free Thursday, earned another second swim in the 100y free, qualifying for the `B' final in 48.31, 0.11 out of the `A' final. She was eighth in the `B' final in 48.74. She was also a consolation finalist in the race as a freshman.

    Junior Stina Gardell, fourth in 200y IM and fifth in the 400y IM earlier in the meet, squeaked into the 200y breast `B' final with a 2:10.05 in prelims, 16th overall in the morning. She improved upon that to a 2:05.86 in the consolation final, good for second and 10th overall. Senior Jessica Schmitt just missed the `B' final in the race, finishing 18th in 2:10.24.

    USC closed the meet by finishing 13th in the 400y free relay as Carlson, seniors Christel Simms and Kate Shumway and freshman Kasia Wilk swam a 3:16.89. Today's relay prelim and consolation final were Shumway's first NCAAs swims since her freshman year.

    Other USC finishers in prelims included freshman Joanna Stenkvist in the 200y back (32nd, 1:55.49), Wilk in the 100y free (t-42nd, 49.57), junior Meghan Hawthorne in the 200y breast (40th, 2:13.10) and senior Yumi So in the 200y fly (41st, 1:59.23).

    Said USC Coach Dave Salo: "We found out in a tight meet we can't have any mistakes and that relay on the first day kind of cost us a little bit. But the women did a great job coming back and I'm really proud of their effort. It was the tightest meet we've seen in probably six years or so and if we do a little bit better here, a little bit better there, we have a good chance at another top 3. I think we've grown up a lot."

    USC's men's team will compete in the NCAA Championships Thursday through Saturday (March 28-30) at the same pool. Prelims will begin at 8 a.m. PT each day with finals at 4 p.m. PT.

    USC's 2013 NCAA All-Americans
    Haley Anderson: 500y free, 1650y free, 800y free relay
    Kasey Carlson: 50y free, 100y breast, 200y free relay, 200y medley relay
    Stina Gardell: 200y IM, 400y IM, 800y free relay
    Meghan Hawthorne: 200y IM
    Haley Ishimatsu: Platform
    Andrea Kropp: 200y breast
    Lynette Lim: 800y free relay
    Christel Simms: 200y free relay, 200y medley relay
    Kendyl Stewart: 200y back, 200y free relay, 200y medley relay
    Jasmine Tosky: 200y fly, 800y free relay
    Kasia Wilk: 200y free relay, 200y medley relay

    'B' Final Scoring
    Haley Anderson: 400y IM
    Kasey Carlson: 100y free
    Stina Gardell: 200y breast
    Meghan Hawthorne: 400y IM
    Andrea Kropp: 200y IM
    Kendyl Stewart: 100y fly
    Kasia Wilk: 50y free
    400y free relay (Carlson, Wilk, Stewart, Kate Shumway in prelims)
    400y free relay (Carlson, Simms, Shumway, Wilk in finals)