Women's Swimming and Diving Takes Fifth
March 22, 1998
MINNEAPOLIS-- Behind the strength of five All-American performances, the defending national champions, USC, finished fifth at the 1998 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Minnesota's University Aquatic Center.
Stanford won the event, which concluded on March 21, with 422 points. It was followed by Arizona (378), Georgia (368), SMU (339) and USC's (277). Last year USC won with 406 points.
Junior Lindsay Benko, the two-time defending champion in the 200 back, finished fifth in the final of the event this year in 1:55.59. Freshman Corrie Murphy also earned All-American honors in the event, taking eighth in 1:59.09. For Benko, it marked her third championship final appearance of the meet and Murphy's second.
Junior Karen Cambell, who finished second in the 200 fly in 1997, finished eighth on Saturday in the same event in 1:59.97. It was Cambell's second All-American swim of the meet. Senior Jean Ellis Todisco, who took third in the 200 fly in 1997, won the consolation finals (ninth overall) this year in 1:59.40 in her final NCAA race as a Trojan.
Freshman Alexis Binder posted her first All-American performance, finishing sixth in the 1650 free in 16:17.35, her best time of the season. The time was also less than six seconds off of USC's school record set in 1984.
"I think some of our better people got worn out because they were pulling double and triple duty all weekend. But overall, I feel we had a good effort from everyone," said USC head coach Mark Schubert. "I was very encouraged with the performance of three of our freshmen. Binder's swim was exciting and Connie made her second final of the meet today. Brittany White also swam very well here.
"The hardest thing is seeing Jean Ellis Todisco graduate. She has been such a big part of our team the last four years and our emotional leader. Even though it was in the consolation finals, it was good that she could go out a winner.
Senior Natalya Chikina, who finished sixth in the platform event in 1997, improved to fourth this year with 623.60, less than 10 points out of second place. It was her second All-American performance of the meet. Junior Dorte Lindner, who didn't compete in the platform, also earned a pair of All-American nods this meet.
"I'm proud of what Natalya accomplished," said USC head diving coach Jeff Shaffer. "She missed her front 3 1/2, but everything else was really solid. I'm really happy with what both she and Dorte did this weekend."
The Women of Troy 400 free relay team of Benko, sophomore Kim Black, sophomore Paige Francis and Cambell reached the consolation final and finished 15th in 3:23.73.
Other USC finishers included sophomore Kelly McPherson (16:50.55 - 28th) in the 1650 free, Francis (2:02.44 - 36th) in the 200 back, Black (50.85 - 38th) in the 100 free, freshman Brittany White (2:16.16 - 17th) in the 200 breast and Emily Ayers (2:02.32 - 29th) in the 200 fly.
USC, which had 15 individual All-American performances in it's title run of 1997, matched that same number in 1998.