March 14, 2016
USC Women's Swimming and Diving Postseason Notes
The No. 4 USC women's swimming and diving team (8-2, 6-1) – coming off the program’s first ever Pac-12 Conference title three weeks ago – takes a shot at its second national title at the NCAA Championships, Wednesday through Saturday (March 16-19), at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION
* Prelims will begin at 7 a.m. (PT) each day with finals at 3 p.m. (PT).
* Click HERE for host Georgia Tech’s home site.
* Click HERE for live results.
* Click HERE for links to live streaming coverage of Wednesday and Thursday finals and Thursday, Friday and Saturday prelims.
* Click HERE for the psych sheet.
* Click HERE for a links for ESPN3’s live coverage of Friday’s finals and HERE Saturday’s finals.
* Tape delayed coverage of the championships will be broadcast on ESPNU at 4 p.m. PT, March 29 for the women’s championships and at 4:30 p.m. (PT), April 6, for the men’s championships.
Events begin on Wednesday (March 16) with the timed final of the 800y free relay that start at 3 p.m. (PT). Thursday through Saturday (March 17-19), prelims begin at 7 a.m. (PT) and finals start at 3 p.m. (PT) each day. Thursday's schedule features 200y free relay, 500y free, 200y IM, 50y free, 1-meter diving and 400y medley relay. Friday features the 400y IM, 100y fly, 200y free, 100y breast, 100y back, 3-meter diving and 200y medley relay. Saturday's finale includes a timed final of the 1650y free, 200y back, 100y free, 200y breast, 200y fly, platform diving and the 400y free relay.
NCAA SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
No. 4 USC, under 10th-year head coach Dave Salo, is one of only eight schools to have won an NCAA swimming and diving team title (1997). The Trojans are one of only four teams to finish in the top 8 in each of the past six years, joining Georgia, California and Stanford. They are coming off of an eighth-place finish at the 2015 NCAAs. The Trojans have finished third three times at the NCAAs, fourth four times and fifth three times among 27 top 10 finishes in 34 appearances since the first NCAA Championships in 1982 (including top 10s in 20 of the past 22 years). Troy owns 55 combined individual AIAW and NCAA titles (including one relay). Among those, 41 are NCAA titles, seventh most in the country ... USC has 298 All-American honors in program history and at least one All-American each season since 1975 (when USC’s women’s records begin) ... Junior Anika Apostalon is the seventh seed in the 50y free (where she finished as a freshman at SDSU) and ninth in the 100y free. She was a five-time individual NCAA scorer in two years as an Aztec ... Senior Kendyl Stewart, a two-time Pac-12 champion in the 100y fly, is the sixth seed in the race as she looks to repeat as an ‘A’ finalist. She’s also 17th in the 200y back, where she was fourth as a freshman ... Freshman Kirsten Vose is the fifth seed in the 200y free and eighth in the 200y breast and will try to also score in the 200y IM … Freshman Riley Scott is 10th in the 100y breast and will swim the 200y breast and 200y IM as well ... Freshman Elizabeth Stinson, the Pac-12 champ in the 1650y free, is seeded eighth in the race and will also swim the 500y free ... Senior Kasia Wilk, who has two NCAA career individual scoring efforts, is seeded sixth in the 100y free (she was a career best 10th last year) and is top 20 in the 50y (she finished 16th there as a freshman) and 200y free ... Junior Chelsea Chenault is eighth in the 500y free, 11th in the 200y fly and 15th in the 200y free. She set USC’s school record in the 200y free prelims last year at NCAAs and was sixth in the final ... Like Chenault, freshman Madison Wright will swim the tough 500y frree-200y free-200y fly trio, freshman Hanni Leach will swim both backstrokes while freshman Allie Wooden will swim the 200y, 500y and 1650y free ... Senior Lucy Worrall is looking for her second career NCAA individual scoring swim and is seeded 22nd in the 100y fly, where she was 13th at Miami in 2013 ... Senior Joanna Stenkvist is back as an NCAA individual swimmer and will swim the 200y and 500y free and 200y back … Sophomore Hannah Weiss is seeded 23rd in the 100y back, where she won the NCAA B final last year in a USC record 51.60. She will also swim the 200y back ... Junior Evan Swenson returns for her third NCAAs, this time as a relay swimmer ... Freshman diver Madison Witt is making her NCAA Championships debut and will compete on 3-meter and platform ... USC enters the meet with the top seed in the 800y free relay (6:55.17), ninth in the 200y free relay (1:28.57), seventh in the 400y medley (3:30.29) and 200y medley (1:35.90) relays and second in the 400y free relay (3:11.87).
USC WINS FIRST-EVER PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP
USC sent 21 swimmers and six divers to the 2016 Pac-12 Championships and each one scored over the four-day meet as the No. 4 Trojans won the program's first ever Pac-12 title at the 2016 Pac-12 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. USC's previous best Pac-12 finish was second, something it did six times, most recently in 2013 when it scored a then-program best 1418.5 points and lost by 21 to Stanford in the closest finish in conference history. But a new chapter was written as the Trojans finished with a program-best 1481 points while Stanford took second (1344) and Cal, the defending Pac-12 champion, was third (1306). Arizona was fourth (1125) and was followed by UCLA (995), Utah (538.5), Washington State (477), Arizona State (472.5) and Oregon State (291). The Trojans won only three races – Chelsea Chenault (500y free), Elizabeth Stinson (1650y free) and the 800y free relay. USC, however, did total 30 A finalists (including diving and the timed mile) and 24 B finalists as well as a handful of scoring C performances, making everyone count. Chenault was one of three Trojans who reached three A finals apiece, taking fourth in the 200y free and 200y fly to complement her win in the 500, accounting for a team-best 50 points. Freshman Riley Scott posted a pair of runner-up finishes in the 100y and 200y breast to go with her eighth in the 200y IM while freshman Kirsten Vose was second in the 200y free, third in the 200y IM and seventh in the 200y breast. They each scored 45 points. USC’s 800y free relay of Vose, two-time sprint third-place finisher Anika Apostalon, Chenault and freshman Allie Wooden shattered USC’s school record with a 6:55.17 for the top time in the country while its second-place 400y free relay of senior Kasia Wilk, Vose, Chenault and Apostalon lowered the USC record to 3:11.87. USC had not won a conference title of any kind since 1985. That year, the Trojans won the Western Collegiate Athletic Association crown for the fourth time. Two seasons later, the Pac-10 began holding women's swimming and diving championships.
This season in dual meet competition, USC won its season-opener at Utah, downed Hawaii and lost to North Carolina State in a two-day home meet, followed with a home win over Oregon State. The Trojans then swept Arizona and Arizona State on the road before resuming competition with a win over Wisconsin on Jan. 12. USC completed its home schedule with an upset over No. 3 Cal, 153-147, and then fell to No. 2 Stanford, 152-148. The Trojans closed out the dual meet season with their ninth-straight win over UCLA, 181-119.
The USC women are captained by seniors Lucy Worrall and Kendyl Stewart. Stewart joins seniors Kasia Wilk and Joanna Stenkvist, junior Chelsea Chenault and sophomore Hannah Weiss as All-American returners. Swimmers and divers with NCAA experience also back include senior diver Sam Adams, junior Evan Swenson, and Worrall. Key USC newcomers for the women's side include junior transfer Anika Apostalon from San Diego State, an All-American specializing in the sprint free and back, and a large freshmen class including (but not limited to) butterflyer Madison Wright, breaststroker Riley Scott, distance stalwart Elizabeth Stinson, versatile breaststroker Kirsten Vose and 400 IM and 500y free specialist Sydney Lofquist. The Trojans featured nine swimmers and three divers who posted NCAA consideration results as well as one junior transfer. The total complements the 12 veteran swimmers and divers who have also turned in NCAA cuts.
* Newcomers have had a huge impact for the Trojans. Junior transfer Anika Apostalon has 10 dual meet event wins, including seven in the 100y free and three in the 50y free. Freshman Riley Scott has a USC-best 14 dual meet wins, six in the 100y breast, seven in the 200y breast and one in the 200y IM. Three of Scott’s wins came in USC’s upset of Cal. Freshman Allie Wooden has seven dual meet wins, ranging from the 100y free to the 1000y free. Sophomore Hannah Weiss has seven dual meet wins, five in the 100y back and two in the 200y back. Junior Chelsea Chenault has six dual meet wins, including three in the 200y free, two in the 500y free and one in the 200y fly.
* Freshman Kirsten Vose has just three dual meet wins, but she made them count. Two came against UCLA, where she won the 200y breast (2:08.76) and 200y free (1:44.07, USC season best) in meet and pool records. Vose was also a standout at the Texas Invitational, where she won 100y (59.58) and 200y breast (2:07.46) with times among the fastest in the nation. Vose has twice been named CollegeSwimming.com’s Pac-12 Swimmer of the Week, coming on the heels of her efforts at the Texas Invitational and UCLA meets. Chenault also won twice at the Texas Invitational, capturing the 200y (1:44.62) and 500y free (4:39.94) with strong NCAA ‘B’ cuts.
* USC had a conference-best 10 swimmers and divers on the Pac-12 All-Century Women's Swimming & Diving team -- the same conference-leading total as it had on the Men's Team. USC's 10 women named to the team included Cynthia "Sippy" Woodhead (Freestyle Sprints), Haley Anderson and Lindsay Benko-Mintenko (Freestyle Distance), Rebecca Soni (Breaststroke), Katinka Hosszu (Butterfly), Kristine Quance-Julian (Individual Medley and Butterfly), Kaitlin Sandeno (Butterfly), Blythe Hartley (1-Meter, 3-Meter), Victoria Ishimatsu (1-Meter), Haley Ishimatsu (Platform). Quance-Julian was one of four swimmers who made the squad in more than one specialty.
* The Trojans were well represented at the 2015 FINA World Championships. Trojans who won medals included junior Reed Malone (silver, 800m free relay), senior Kendyl Stewart (silver, 400m medley relay), junior Chelsea Chenault (gold, 800m free relay) and junior Santo Condorelli (bronze, 400m mixed free relay, Canada). Other current Trojans who competed included junior Michael Domagala (Poland), junior Dylan Carter (Trinidad and Tobago), senior Kasia Wilk (Poland) and sophomore Ralf Tribuntsov (Estonia).
* USC Head Assistant Coach Catherine Vogt was named the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Open Water Head Coach on Sept. 30. She recently coached the U.S. at the 2015 FINA World Championships, where she led the Americans to the Open Water team title. She also was the head coach at the 2013 World Championships, among other international assignments.
* USA Swimming announced its list of the "30 Most Influential People in Swimming over the Past 30 Years" in July of 2015 and USC swimmers and coaches -- led by current head coach Dave Salo -- accounted for an impressive six members of the elite squad. In addition to Salo on the list are legendary Trojan head coaches Peter Daland and Mark Schubert, former USC All-American and current Cal head women's coach Teri McKeever, former USC assistant coach, Trojan graduate and all-time swimming great Janet Evans and former volunteer assistant coach Jon Urbanchek.
* Senior Collin Pollard reached the final on platform to cap off the USC men’s and women’s efforts at the 2015 USA Diving Winter Nationals. He finished 12th in the platform final with 992.60 points, 669.80 carried over from the semifinals. Freshman Madison Witt and senior Sam Adams reached the semifinals on women’s platform, finishing 17th (434.40) and 19th (382.35), respectively.
* Senior Kendyl Stewart competed at the 2015 Duel in the Pool for the U.S., taking fourth in the 100m fly (56.67). Incoming freshman Becca Mann raced twice for the Americans, finishing third in the 800m free (8:12.43) and fifth in the 400m IM (4:31.14). Former Trojan great Katinka Hosszu led Europe’s efforts at the Duel in the Pool with wins in the 200m and 400m IM and the 200m back while fellow Euro teammate and former USC NCAA champ Vladimir Morozov posted top 3 efforts in the 50m and 100m free. Stewart, at the 2015 U.S. Winter Nationals, took third in 58.45.
TROJANS IN THE COMMUNITY
The Trojans’ swimming and diving teams have developed a strong presence in the community, involved in a variety of ways.
* The entire team has adopted the South L.A.-based Bethune Middle School and has worked with its students for the past year to not only overcome fears of water while learning to swim but to develop important life skills as well. The program, kick-started by USC junior and former Trojan swimmer Jamie Christy, includes weekly visits to the school by various USC swimmers. On Nov. 21, in conjunction with the Trojan Swim Club, USC held a fundraising event – the Fall Challenge -- for the program. The day before, USC swimmers visited the school for a clinic with students and their parents.
* For the fourth year in a row, USC’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams packaged 10,000 meals (on Nov. 10) at Uytengsu Aquatics Center that went directly to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. The entire swim and dive team turned out for the event and packaging meals assembly style to give back to the youth of Los Angeles. “As student-athletes, these kids understand the role they have in helping other people less fortunate than they are,” said Head Assistant Coach Catherine Vogt. “We are just happy to be able to be good representatives of the sport and of USC.” The Trojans partnered with Feeding Children Everywhere, a non-profit organization that works to provide meals to hungry children throughout the world. Student-athletes worked together to measure, package and seal the meals for delivery to the food bank.
* Senior Brianna Weinstein was one of two USC representatives at the Pac-12’s SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) conference in November to discuss various conference issues. In addition to the meetings, the Pac-12 athletes spent time with Special Olympians, unifying in some competitive bowling and heartfelt camaraderie.
* USC’s swimmers and divers annually participate in and raise money for Troy’s multi-million-dollar benefit, Swim With Mike, that raises money for college scholarships for student-athletes with physical challenges. The annual swim-a-thon was established in 1981 and was originally scheduled to be a one-time event. It was organized by friends and teammates on behalf of Mike Nyeholt, a three-time All-American swimmer who was paralyzed from the chest down following a motorcycle accident suffered in January of 1981. More than $58,000 was raised in the first swim and the total has since swelled to close to $17 million with nearly 200 total scholarships granted to 90 universities, representing 60 sports. While USC’s annual event is set for April 2, fundraisers have sprouted to many schools, including Cal, UConn, Hawaii, Stanford, Arizona and UC Santa Barbara. For more information, go to SwimWithMike.org.
* USC was one of 10 NCAA teams that participated in the new CSCAA Adopt-A-Team Program where schools volunteered their time and energy to get to know and work with a local Atlanta classroom. Throughout the year the Trojans and other schools have written letters, sent cool gear and video chatted to develop relationships. The Trojan women got to visit their “adopted” classroom two days before the championships, meeting their pen pals and sharing time with the great students at Centennial Academy in Atlanta.