USC women's swimming and diving continues to impress this season, after being part of the grand opening ceremony for Uytengsu Aquatics Center last month, and are prime for a deep NCAA Tournament run.
USC, as a team, finished third overall with 1327 points over the weekend. Cal, one of the nation's top programs coming in, won the team title with 1552.5 points while Stanford was second (1364). UCLA took fourth (936.5) and was followed by Arizona (933.5), Utah (758), Arizona State (461.5), Washington State (346) and Oregon State (309).
Check out some of our senior performers before what would be their final Pac-12 meet as Trojan competitors. Following this weekend's performance, we will certainly remember the star-studded Class of 2014 in the vast record books.
The Women of Troy followed the spectacular effort from Haley Ishimatsu, who became the first Pac-12 woman to repeat as champion on platform in almost a decade. Ishimatsu became the first Pac-12 woman to repeat on platform since Arizona State's Trish Tumlinson did so in 2004 and 2005. Her 340.20 points, more than 40 better than second place, were a Pac-12 Championships meet record and 5.40 off the conference record.
Senior Kasey Carlson, in her second 100y free final, finished a career best fourth in 47.92. Sophomore Kasia Wilk won the `B' final in 48.37. The Women of Troy pretty much dominated this event from top to bottom thanks to the efforts from sophomore Sam Adams reached her third final and was fifth with 264.50.
Sophomore Jacqui Suitt just missed a spot in finals and was ninth (221.50) while sophomore Natalie Kalibat was 14th (203.40). That placed USC in prime position to finish among the top three teams, and then the stars put together quite the showing in the top event of the weekend.
The big race worth note over the weekend was the women's 500 yard freestyle, which has traditionally been dominated by Olympic medalist Missy Franklin of Cal. After winning the same heat over at Uytengsu Aquatics Center back on January 31st, freshman sensation Chelsea Chernault came up just short of back-to-back victories finishing third behind Franklin and also Bonnie Brandon of Arizona State.
USC showcased its improving depth in the water when Jasmine Tosky and freshman Chelsea Chenault finished 6th-and-7th respectively in the 200y fly. The Trojans will now compete at the NCAA Tournament March 20th-22nd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, looking to build upon a team-oriented showing in the rigorous Pac-12 Championships.
"We are disappointed that we came up short of finishing second, but I am proud of our women for consistently battling for the team championship. Stina Gardell and Kasey Carlson did a great job leading the team and we are excited about the leadership that is coming from our underclass. It was also another great day by our divers. Now we turn our attention to the NCAA championships where we hope to battle it out for another top 4 team performance." -USC Swim/Dive Coach Dave Salo told usctrojans.com
For those not to familiar with the NCAA Swimming and Diving Meets, all we can say is that they are filled with jammed-packed action, and that plenty of the next great Olympic competitors don these pools with fierce rivalries on the line. Here is a link to some of the top times USC has posted, and you will see plenty of top-flight women in the pool.