Flash! Sandeno Chooses USC

LOS ANGELES, April 25. OLYMPIAN Kaitlin Sandeno, the nation's most sought-after high school senior, made her college decision yesterday, signing a letter of intent with the University of Southern California.
"I am so excited and very happy," she said.

"I'm a happy man," said USC head coach Mark Schubert. "It was exciting recruiting Kaitlin," he said. "She's an incredibly versatile swimmer, and getting better," he said. "But beyond her swimming she's a vibrant girl, a strong team person and a great addition to our program."

Sandeno's decision boosts USC's chances of winning an NCAA title. The last time the Trojans won the national collegiate title was in 1997, during the Kristine Quance era. USC finished a strong sixth this year.

Known for her boundless energy and versatility, Sandeno could contend for NCAA titles in the 500 and 1650 yard free, 200 fly and 200 and 400 IM, and will add significnt strength to USC's already-strong relays.

Schubert says she's even more verstile than that. "She's always been a strong freestyler and breaststroker. Last year she improved her fly enough to make the Olympic team and then final (she finished sixth in 2:08.81, making her the fourth fastest American all-time). This season her backstroke improved–she went a 1:57 for 200 yard unshaved–and really improved her walls and underwater."

"Kaitlin's coaches, Vic and Renee Riggs, have done a spectacular job with her," Schubert acknowledged. "It is an honor for me to continue their great work."

Earlier this year, Sandeno had narrowed her choice to three of the nation's top swimming schools: USC, Arizona and Georgia, which this year won its third consecutive NCAA title.

"It was a tough decision," Sandeno told swiminfo,
"because all three schools and coaches are great!" I am so excited and very happy!"

Sandeno made the 2000 Olympic team in three of the toughest events–800m free, 200m fly and 400m IM. She finalled in all three events and won a bronze medal in the 800.
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