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AUBURN, Alabama, March 16. IN one of the few times a highly hyped matchup lives up to the predictions, Southern California's Katinka Hosszu crushed the U.S. Open and NCAA record in the 400-yard IM, while California's Caitlin Leverenz tracked down the American standard at the NCAA Division I Women's Championships.
Hosszu shot right through 3:57 to move the distance medley U.S. Open and NCAA record to another stratosphere with a shocking 3:56.54. With the epic outing, Hosszu not only defended her title, she wiped out the previous record of 3:58.23 set by Julia Smit of Stanford in February 2010. Hosszu provided USC with its sixth victory in the event history, only one back of Stanford's NCAA record seven. Previous Trojans to win are Kristine Quance (1994, 1996, 1997) and Kaitlin Sandeno (2004).
California's Caitlin Leverenz put on a show in the breaststroke leg, but could not deny Hosszu in the freestyle, settling for the American record with a 3:57.89, becoming only the second ever under 3:58. Florida's Elizabeth Beisel ripped off a 3:59.37, now the seventh fastest time ever. Beisel has been faster with the now fourth-best ever with a 3:58.35 from the Southeastern Conference Championships last month.
Stanford's Maya DiRado also joined the sub-4:00 club with a scorching time of 3:59.88, becoming just the fifth swimmer to break 4:00 ever.
Indiana's Allysa Vavra (4:01.73), Florida's Teresa Crippen (4:04.83), Texas A&M's Cammile Adams (4:05.41) and Georgia's Jana Mangimelli (4:05.76) placed fifth through eighth in the epic finale.
Southern California's Stina Gardell notched the consolation heat victory with a 4:05.47, while Georgia's Melanie Margalis took second with a 4:05.89. California's Shelley Harper (4:07.49), Southern California's Meghan Hawthorne (4:07.55), Georgia's Amber McDermott (4:07.89), Southern California's Tanya Krisman (4:09.24), North Carolina's Carolyn Blalock (4:09.73) and Florida's Jennie Smith (4:13.59) finished third through eighth in the B final.
California remained in the lead with 195 points, while Southern California stood second with 177 points. Stanford (159), Arizona (141) and Texas A&M (129) held third through fifth.
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