Feb. 13, 2014
The No. 5 USC women's swimming and diving team, led by senior All-Americans Kasey Carlson, Meghan Hawthorne and Stina Gardell, complete the regular season with its annual dual meet against crosstown rival No. 17 UCLA in a rare Monday (Feb. 17) match-up at the Bruins' Spieker Aquatics Center at 11:30 a.m.
The meet, to be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network beginning at noon, will actually kickoff with diving at 10 a.m. before the swim portion of the meet begins at 11:30 a.m. with the 1000y free and the 200y medley relay.
The Trojan women are 6-1 overall, 5-1 in the Pac-12 and also boast a win at the SMU Classic. In its last action, USC upset top-ranked California on Jan. 31 before falling to Stanford on Feb. 1 in its final home event of the season. UCLA is 8-3, 5-3 and was swept by the Bay Area schools that same weekend.
The Trojans hold a 23-16 edge against the Bruins and have won six in a row. USC won a series-best 10 in a row from 1994 to 2003. The Trojans' current win streak includes a 167.5-132.5 win last year at USC. The previous year in Westwood, USC won 170-130 during a meet in which Trojan swimmers broke a combined 10 Bruin pool records. That followed a 176-124 victory at USC in 2011, a 164.5-136.5 win at UCLA in 2010, a 160-140 rain-soaked 2009 home win and a 158-142 decision in Westwood in 2008. UCLA last won in 2007 when the Bruins clinched victory during the meet's final relay at McDonald's Swim Stadium. USC hasn't lost to UCLA in Westwood since 2004.
Scouting the Bruins
The winner of the USC-UCLA dual meet scores five points toward the Crosstown Gauntlet, a trophy awarded annually to the school with the most successful athletic year against the other. Points are awarded to the winner of each Trojan-Bruin head-to-head contest (57.5 points is the magic number). USC captured the inaugural trophy in 2001-02, UCLA won it in 2002-03, USC recaptured it in 2003-04, UCLA won it back in 2004-05, USC claimed it in 2005-06, UCLA was victorious in 2006-07 and, for the first time in the competition's history, a school won it five consecutive years when USC captured it in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. UCLA ended the streak in 2012-13.
UCLA is led by senior Ting Quah, the Bruins' record holder in the 100y fly who earned All-American honors in the event last year, and senior Lauren Baker, the school record holder in the 1650y free and a top 10 finisher in the race as a junior at the NCAAs. Baker is currently ranked ninth nationally in the race.
Trojans in the Top 25
Trojan senior Kasey Carlson is the top-ranked swimmer in the country in the 100y free (47.22), is second in the 100y breast (58.61), third in the 50y free (21.90) and 21st in the 200y breast (2:10.62). Sophomore Kendyl Stewart is ranked fourth in the 100y fly (51.39), eighth in the 200y back (1:53.10) and 12th in the 100y back (52.29). Sophomore Jasmine Tosky is second in the 200y fly (1:53.84), 15th in the 200y IM (1:57.21) and 23rd in the 100y fly (52.96). Senior Stina Gardell is ranked fourth in the 400y IM (4:03.56), seventh in the 200y IM (1:55.60) and 14th in the 200y breast (2:09.75). Senior Meghan Hawthorne is No. 7 in the 400y IM (4:07.28) and 12th in the 200y IM (1:56.62). Junior Andrea Kropp is 15th in the 200y breast (2:09.82) and 19th in the 200y IM (1:57.74). Sophomore Kasia Wilk is 24th in the 50y free (22.45). Freshman Chelsea Chenault is ninth in the 200y free (1:44.68) and 11th in the 500y free (4:38.96). Senior Lynette Lim is 15th in the 500y free (4:41.07). Sophomore Joanna Stenkvist is 21st in the 200y back (1:54.86). USC's freestyle relays are all top 4 while its medleys are top 8.
Trojans with NCAA `A' Cuts
Trojan women with NCAA `A' cuts this year include senior Kasey Carlson (21.90 in the 50y free, 47.22 in the 100y free, 58.61 in the 100y breast), senior Stina Gardell (1:55.60 in the 200y IM, 4:03.56 in the 400y IM in the 200y breast), sophomore Kendyl Stewart (51.48 in the 100y fly) and sophomore Jasmine Tosky (1:53.84 in the 200y fly). Among others with strong `B' cuts are senior Meghan Hawthorne (1:56.62 in 200y IM, 4:07.28 in the 400y IM), Stewart (52.29 in the 100y back, 1:53.10 in the 200y back) and freshman Chelsea Chenault (200y free, 1:44.68, 500y free, 4:38.96). Junior diver Haley Ishimatsu has qualified for the NCAA Zone E meet on all three boards while sophomore Sam Adams has done so on both springboards and sophomore Natalie Kalibat has done so on 3-meter. The women also have clocked NCAA `A' cuts in all five relays and have set school records in the 200y and 400y freestyle relays. Carlson's 50y free time tied her school record and her 100y free broke her school record.
The women's squad, which finished seventh at the 2013 NCAA Championships, returns nine All-Americans, including seniors Stina Gardell (200y IM, 400y IM, 800y free relay), Lynette Lim (800y free relay), Kasey Carlson (50y free, 100y breast, 200y free relay, 200y medley relay) and Meghan Hawthorne (200y IM), juniors Haley Ishimatsu (platform) and Andrea Kropp (200y breast) and sophomores Kendyl Stewart (200y back, 200y free relay, 200y medley relay), Jasmine Tosky (200y fly, 800y free relay) and Kasia Wilk (200y free rely, 200y medley relay).
The USC women also set a school-record last year at the Pac-12 Championships with 1418.5 points, 21 behind first-place Stanford in the closest finish in conference history. The last time Troy had finished second was 2002.
USC lost two All-Americans from last year who graduated, including three-time NCAA title winner Haley Anderson (she won the 500y and 1650y freestyles last year at the NCAA Championships) as well as relay stalwart Christel Simms. Other NCAA point scorers who graduated include Jessica Schmitt and Yumi So as well as relay contributors Lindsay Parrish and Kate Shumway.
Trojans Get a New Home - Uytengsu Aquatics Center
The USC men's and women's swimming and diving teams and the men's and women's water polo programs are weeks away from moving into the new Uytengsu Aquatics Center, which is scheduled for a grand opening on Feb. 21. The project owes its biggest debt of gratitude to an $8 million lead gift from former USC swim captain Fred Uytengsu. Uytengsu, a former walk-on who captained the Trojans' men's team as a senior in 1983, is now president and CEO of Alaska Milk Corp., the leading publicly listed dairy company in the Philippines, as well as an active tri-athlete. The $16 million Uytengsu Aquatics Center, which had a ceremonious groundbreaking on Nov. 2, 2012, will include a new stadium entrance, diving and dryland training areas, men's and women's locker rooms, coaches' offices, meeting rooms, a new scoreboard, permanent seating and renovation of the diving tower and pool deck. Uytengsu's $8 million gift was the largest ever made to the USC athletic department by a former student-athlete. At Uytengsu's request, the pool will be named the Peter Daland Pool, after USC's legendary men's swim coach who directed USC to nine NCAA team and 93 individual and relay titles between 1958-1992.
Trojans In The Duel In The Pool
Trojan senior Meghan Hawthorne competed in the 200m IM and the 400m IM while sophomore Kendyl Stewart raced in the 100m and 200m back and the 100m fly and helped the U.S. score a dramatic 132-131 win over a European all-star squad in the two-day 2013 Duel in the Pool that finished Dec. 21 in Glasgow, Scotland. Hawthorne was fifth in both the 200m IM (2:10.13) and the 400m IM (4:30.22) while Stewart was third in the 100m fly (57.63) and fifth in both the 100m back (58.62) and the 200m back (2:06.14).