Feb. 25, 2014
The No. 2 USC women's swimming and diving team (7-1, 6-1), led by senior All-Americans Kasey Carlson, Meghan Hawthorne and Stina Gardell, begins the postseason at the 2014 Pac-12 Championships, Feb. 26-March 1, at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. Additionally, the Pac-12 will host the men's diving championships concurrently with the women's competition.
The Pac-12 Championships are annually the toughest conference meet in the nation and this year is no different. This year's event features No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 USC, , No. 5 California, No. 11 Arizona, No. 16 UCLA as well as Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington State and Utah.
USC is after its first-ever Pac-12 team title. The Trojans took second last year in the closest finish in conference history, finishing 21 points behind first-place Stanford, 1439.5 to 1418.5. USC's total was its most in conference championship history and its second-place finish was its first since 2002 (and the sixth time overall in conference action). USC finished third the previous three seasons. `
The Pac-12 Network will televise a delayed telecast on March 3 at 9 p.m. PT.
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE, TICKET INFO, RESULTS
Events begin on Wednesday (Feb. 26) with timed finals of the 200y medley and 800y free relays that begin at 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (Feb. 27-March 1), prelims begin at 11 a.m. and finals start at 6 p.m. each day. Thursday's schedule features the 500y free, 200y IM, 50y free, and 200y free relay. Friday features the 400y IM, 100y fly, 200y free, 100y breast, 100y back and 400y medley relay. Saturday's finale includes a timed final of the 1650y free, 200y back, 100y free, 200y breast, 200y fly and the 400y free relay.
Men's 3-meter prelims are scheduled to follow the swimming prelims on Thursday (Feb. 27) while the women's 1-meter prelims and finals begin at 3 p.m. and the men's 3-meter final will begin before the final relay that night. Women's 3-meter prelims will follow the prelim lineup Friday (Feb. 28) while the men's 1-meter prelims and finals will begin at 3:30 p.m. that day. The women's 3-meter final will take place before Friday's final relay. The women's platform prelims begin at 10 a.m. Saturday (March 1) with finals before the evening's final relay. The men's platform prelims and finals will begin at 1:15 p.m. Saturday.
* Results will be posted at Pac-12.com.
* Click here for the Pac-12's Women's Swimming and Diving and Men's Diving Championships home page.
USC'S PAC-12 SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
USC has won at least two Pac-12 titles (including diving) in six straight years and in 12 of the past 13 seasons and has won at least one title in 19 of the past 20 seasons ... USC won five titles last year, including two by departed senior Haley Anderson, who became the first woman to win the 1650y free four consecutive years. She also won her third straight 500y free crown ... USC returns three defending title holders, including senior Kasey Carlson (100y breast), junior Haley Ishimatsu (platform) and sophomore Kendyl Stewart (100y fly) ... Carlson owns the top seed not only in the 100y breast (58.61) but in the 100y free as well (47.22), where Arizona defending champion Margo Geer is the second seed (47.35). Carlson is also the third seed in the 50y free (21.90). USC has never won the 50y or 100y free at the conference meet. ... Stewart is the top seed in the 100y fly (51.39) and will look to become a multi event finalist at the Pac-12s for the first time ... Sophomore Jasmine Tosky is the top seed in the 200y fly (1:53.84), where she was third last year. She was also a finalist in the 100y fly last year ... Senior Stina Gardell was a three-time top 3 finisher as a junior (after three top 4s as a sophomore), taking second in the 200y breast and third in the 200y and 400y IM. She owns the second-fastest Pac-12 time in the 400y IM this year (4:03.56), second-fastest in the 200y breast (2:09.75) and fourth-fastest in the 200y IM (1:56.60) ... Junior Andrea Kropp, a three-time finalist last year, enters with the third-fastest 200y breast time (2:09.82) ... Senior Meghan Hawthorne is a three-time career finalist in the 200y and 400y IM and looking to improve upon her career best finishes of fifth in the 200y IM and fourth in the 400y IM (something she did each of the last two years) ... Freshman Chelsea Chenault is USC's highest seeded newcomer, entering with the fourth-fastest 200y free (1:44.68) and third-fastest 500y free (4:38.96) ... Other finalists back for USC include sophomore Kasia Wilk (50y free) and sophomore Joanna Stenkvist (200y back) ... USC enters the meet with the top-seeded 200y medley relay, looking for its first ever relay title in the race. Troy has four conference relay titles, claiming the 800y free relay in 2003 and 2010 and taking the 400y medley relay in 2006 and 2009.
USC's 26 Pac-12 women's diving titles (12 on 1-meter, 11 on 3-meter, three on platform) are second most in conference history (behind Stanford) and most have come under the direction of 15th-year diving head coach Hongping Li. Carrying the torch for USC women's diving is junior Haley Ishimatsu, defending champion on platform. Sophomore Sam Adams was a two-time finalist on platform and 3-meter ... Leading the men's contingent is sophomore Collin Pollard, who, as a freshman at Cal last year, was a three-time finalist. Junior Jordan Gear has finished fourth on platform each of the past two years. On the men's side, USC has won 28 conference titles.
Trojans in the Top 25
Trojan senior Kasey Carlson is the top-ranked swimmer in the country in the 100y free (47.22), is fourth in the 100y breast (58.61) and eighth in the 50y free (21.90). Sophomore Kendyl Stewart is ranked fourth in the 100y fly (51.39), 11th in the 200y back (1:53.10) and 17th in the 100y back (52.29). Sophomore Jasmine Tosky is third in the 200y fly (1:53.84), 18th 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), eighth in the 200y IM (1:55.60) and 20th in the 200y breast (2:09.75). Senior Meghan Hawthorne is No. 11 in the 400y IM (4:07.28) and 13th in the 200y IM (1:56.62). Junior Andrea Kropp is 21st in the 200y breast (2:09.82). Sophomore Kasia Wilk is 21st in the 50y free (22.24). Freshman Chelsea Chenault is 14th in the 200y free (1:44.68) and 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 and 200y medley relay are all 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), sophomore Kendyl Stewart (51.39 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 celebrated the grand opening of the new Uytengsu Aquatics Center 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, includes 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 was renamed 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).