National Champions Take On The World
July 11, 2011
A solid set of members of USC's men's and women's NCAA championship teams will transition to international waters this summer for some high-powered competition overseas. The illustrious FINA World Championships are on tap for seven Trojans representing four different countries. Three Trojans are in line for action on Team USA's World University Games squads, looking to add international honors to their respective NCAA titles. And three current Women of Troy are booked for the FINA Junior World Championships with the U.S. Junior National Team in September.
First on the docket is the 2011 FINA World Championships, coming up fast in Shanghai for action running July 17-30. On the women's side, Team USA has Tumua Anae, Kami Craig and Lauren Wenger on the roster, with Anae making her World Championship debut while Craig and Wenger already boast World Championship gold medals. For Canada, recent grad Joelle Bekhazi will make another run at the World Championships with her Canadian teammates. And Russian veteran Sofia Konoukh will again lead her country into action at the prestigious tournament. On the men's side, USC sends two Trojans to Shanghai. The United States men have called in the assistance of Shea Buckner for his first World Championship appearance since 2005. Meanwhile, current Trojan and three-time NCAA champion -- two of which he shared with Buckner -- Joel Dennerley will cap up for Australia to do battle at the 2011 FINA World Championships.
Also potential additions to international rosters are former Trojans Ilse van der Meijden (Netherlands) and Aniko Pelle (Hungary). In that group of Trojan men and women, seven have been members of national championship teams for USC: Pelle won USC's first women's national championship in 1999; Anae, Bekhazi and Craig won the women's title in 2010; Wenger won one with the women in 2004; Buckner won with the men in 2008 and 2009; and Dennerley has a set of three now as a Trojan with men's crowns in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Another important international competition is also set to take place in China this summer, as Shenzhen, China, is the host site for the 2011 World University Games from August 11-23. The United States has enlisted the help of three Trojans -- all NCAA champs -- for the push to gold. For the U.S. women, recent grad Forel Davies and current Trojan Nadia Dan -- both 2010 NCAA winners -- are on the roster for Team USA. For the men, two-time NCAA champ Matt Sagehorn is lined up for compete for the U.S. men's squad.
And for the younger members of the Trojan nation, September will bring a trip to Italy for the 2011 FINA Junior World Championships. From September 11-17 in Trieste, Italy, three current Women of Troy will team up in red, white and blue with the U.S. Women's Junior National Team. Already an NCAA champion and soon to be junior for USC, Dominique Sardo has two Trojan teammates by her side for action with Team USA. After their first seasons at USC, Colleen O'Donnell and Madeline Rosenthal are back on the U.S. junior squad. All three won bronze together at the 2009 Junior World Championships before combining forces as Trojans. USC sophomore goalie Flora Bolonyai also will be in Italy representing the Trojans as a member of the Hungarian Junior National Team. On the men's side of the Junior Games, incoming Trojan Konstantinos Genidounias is on the roster for the Greek team, and returning two-meter man Jeremy Davie is lined up to play for Australia.
USA Men: Matt Sagehorn *
FINA JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (Sept. 11-17 Trieste, Italy)
* -- member of a USC national championship team