Salo Named Pac-12 Women's Swimming Co-Coach Of The Year|
April 7, 2016
Dave Salo, who led the USC women’s swimming and diving team to its first ever Pac-12 title this season and a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, was named the Pac-12’s Women’s Swimming Co-Coach of the Year today.
Salo, in his 10th year at the helm of both the men’s and women’s programs, guided the women’s team to the Pac-12 championship in February with a program-record 1481 points, well ahead of second-place Stanford (1344). Stanford Coach Greg Meehan joined Salo as Co-Coach of the Year.
The Pac-12 Women’s Coach of the Year honor is USC’s third and the first since Mark Schubert won it in 1996 and 1997.
USC, which finished the regular season ranked No. 4, sent 21 swimmers and six divers to the Pac-12s and each one scored over the four-day event. 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.
A new chapter was written, however, as the Trojans topped the conference meet for the first time. USC won only three races – Chelsea Chenault (500y free), Elizabeth Stinson (1650y free) and the 800y free relay. But it was the Trojans high quality depth throughout the meet that kept stacking the points. USC totaled 30 A finalists (including diving and the timed 1650y free) and 24 B finalists as well as a handful of scoring C performances, making everyone count.
The Trojans went onto finish sixth at the NCAA Championships and are one of only four teams to have finished in the top 8 at the NCAAs in each of the past seven years.
USC’s highlight of the meet came in the final race as the Trojans won their first-ever NCAA title in the 400y free relay, the group of senior Kasia Wilk, freshman Kirsten Vose and juniors Chenault and Anika Apostalon clocking a school-record 3:09.69. The time lowered the school-record set in prelims and was just 1.15 off the NCAA record.
USC's relay title was just its second overall in NCAA swimming and the first since the 1994 Trojans won the 800y free relay.
Stanford freshman Ella Eastin was named Pac-12 Swimmer and Freshman of the Year. Stanford sophomore Gracia Leydon-Mahoney was named Pac-12 Women’s Diver of the Year. UCLA’s Eloise Belanger was tabbed Pac-12 Women’s Diving Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, and Stanford diving coach Patrick Jeffrey was named diving coach of the year.