Today, the #7 USC Women's Swim & Dive team will compete in the 2012 NCAA national championships in Auburn. Leading the team of 13 women is senior Katinka Hosszu, a three-time NCAA individual champion; World Championship gold medalist; and member of the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Hungarian Olympic Swim Team. In 2011, she received the Honda Award, given out to the best female athlete in each college sport. This year, she hopes to join fellow swimmer Kristine Quance (1996,1997) and women's basketball star Cheryl Miller (1984, 1985) as the third USC athlete to win the award twice. She will have her chance to make her case this weekend, as she competes in the 200yd IM, 400 yd IM, and 200yd fly. All three of Hosszu's individual titles came from these events at last year's National Championships.
Another swimmer of note is junior Haley Anderson, who will be competing in the 500yd and 1650yd freestyle as well as the 400 IM. Anderson has three school records as a freestyle swimmer and holds five conference titles, including three-consecutive in the 1650yd free. On Saturday, Anderson will attempt to become the first USC swimmer to win an NCAA title in that event, but to do it, she will have to take down Georgia senior Wendy Trott, who is trying to win her fourth straight national title at 1650 yds.
On the diving side is senior Victoria Ishimatsu. She is a seven-time conference champion and the first woman in Pac-12 swimming history to win the same an event four years in a row, dominating the 3-meter springboard in all four years of her eligibility. She has yet to compete in this event at the National Championships, as she injured her foot last year and was unable to compete in the springboard comps.
USC enters the National Championships with a 6-2 record and a 3rd place finish at the Pac-12 championships and seven individual conference titles (three from Hosszu and two from Ishimatsu and Anderson). 12 of the 13 swimmers have competed in previous NCAA championships, and eight of them have earned All-American honors. USC is one of only 8 women's swim teams to win a team national championship, with their sole title coming in 1997.
All the events will be streamed on Auburn's website and, beginning on Friday, on ESPN3.com. All finals will begin at 5 PM PT.