No. 5 USC Hosting No. 1 Cal, No. 4 Stanford

    Senior Lolo Blair

    Jan. 28, 2014

    The No. 5 USC women's swimming and diving team continues its winter Pac-12 slate of action when it hosts Bay Area rivals No. 1 California on Friday (Jan. 31) at 3 p.m. and No. 4 Stanford on Saturday (Feb. 1) at noon.

    The Trojan women are 5-0 overall, 4-0 in the Pac-12 and also boast a win at the SMU Classic. The top-ranked Bears are 6-0, 4-0 while Stanford is 7-0, 4-0. Both Bay Area squads are coming off of home sweeps of Arizona and Arizona State last weekend.

    In a weekend of action that will rival any regular season meets in the nation for top talent, the three teams feature swimmers who own the NCAA's top times in six individual events and in three relays and have posted another nine individual and six relay performances that rank in the top 4.

    Senior Day
    This weekend will mark the final home meet for five Trojan seniors, including redshirt senior Lolo Blair as well as fourth-year senior All-Americans Kasey Carlson, Stina Gardell, Meghan Hawthorne and Lynette Lim. The group has a combined 22 All-American honors.

    Scouting the Bears
    The Bears are led by freshman Missy Franklin, who began her collegiate career already with five Olympics medals (including four gold) and nine career World Championships golds. She owns the NCAA's top 200y free time this year by more than two seconds (1:41.40), boasts the top 500y free (4:34.63) time and is third in the 100y free (47.42). Cal also features sophomore national teamers and 2013 NCAA champions Elizabeth Pelton (200y back) and Rachel Bootsma (100y back) as well as freshman national teamer Celina Li. Senior Cindy Tran won the NCAA titles in the 100y back in 2011 and 2012. Pelton (51.27) and Tran (51.34) are 2-3 in the 100y back while Pelton is first in the 200y back (1:49.59). Bootsma is top 8 in the 100y back and 200y fly.



    Scouting the Cardinal
    Stanford is paced by senior All-American Maya DiRado, who owns the nation's top time in the 200y IM (1:53.50) and is No. 2 in the 400y IM (4:00.88) with top 10 times in the 100y back and 200y fly. Junior All-American Maddy Schaefer is tied for first nationally this year in the 50y free (21.78) and is No. 6 in the 100y free (47.75). Senior All-American Felicia Lee owns top 10 times in both backstroke events. The Cardinal also own the nation's top times in all three freestyle relays and are second in the 200y medley relay.

    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 is 21st in the 200y back (1:54.86). USC's freestyle relays are all top 4.

    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).