LOS ANGELES, CA, November 21. THE USC and ASU women's teams tied at 150-150 at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium on Saturday, leading USC Coach Mark Schubert, a longtime collegiate veteran, to say, "It's the first time I've seen it in college."
The USC men, who trailed the Wildcats after Friday's first half of the two-day meet, rallied to win, 182-170, and rolled past the Sun Devils, 262-91, to improve to 3-0 in dual-meet action.
The men had a two day meet as the women from the Arizona schools faced UCLA on Friday (ASU) and Saturday (UofA), but UCLA provides no competition for men. They abandoned a long and honorable history of men’s swimming and diving long ago, in what has continued ever since as a black eye for the university. The Bruins had even won the Men’s NCAA Championship just a few seasons earlier.
It would have been a loss for the USC women if not for Trojan freshman Olympian Rhi Jeffrey, who threw in a :49.23 anchor leg, erasing a deficit of almost two-seconds on the final 50 yards of the women's 400y free relay to give the Trojans a victory in the race and the necessary points to catch the Sun Devils, 3:23.94 to 3:24.41.
The Sun Devil women got off to a quick start with a 1-2 sweep in the 1650. Sarah A Fischer and Kathryn Hennessy claimed the top two spots in 16:47.30, with Hennessy at 16:49.49. Olympian Kalyn Keller is just beginning to round into shape after coming back from Athens and finished third at 17:03.96
The Sun Devils were lead by freshman Caitlin Andrew, who had two individual victories in the 100 backstroke (:56.68) and 100 butterfly (55.45). They also got wins from Florencia Szegeti in the 100 free (:50.96), Heidi Schmidt in the 100 breast (1:02.94) and Sally Brown in the 200 IM (2:05.13).
USC junior diver Blythe Hartley swept the springboard events for the second consecutive day (v. Arizona on Friday) and was complemented by wins by senior Joanna Fargus (200y free, 1:50.04), sophomore Cait Connealy (200y fly, 2:02.46), Jeffrey (50y free, 23.51), freshman Renee Viveros (200y back, 2:05.27), sophomore Kristina Sieper (200y breast, 2:18.13) and freshman Whitney Hentzen (500y free, 4:54.49).
Olympic 1500 Meter freestyle silver medal winner Larsen Jensen, back at USC after spending 2004 with coach Bill Rose at the Mission Viejo club program, rebounded from a 3rd place finish in the 500 the previous day to lead the Trojans back to the team victory with a win in the 1650y free (15:25.01). Other top performances for the Trojans came from sophomore Viktor Bodrogi (100y back, 48.61, and 200y fly, 1:47.00), sophomore Mihaly Flaskay (100y breast, 54.21; 50 breast relay split, :23.72) and junior Ous Mellouli (200y IM, 1:49.27).
Arizona continued with some outstanding swims, even though the Trojans passed them in the team race.
Simon Burnett, former NCAA champion and Olympic finalist for Great Britain, won his specialty event, the 200 freestyle, in 1:34.19. Lyndon Ferns followed Burnett at 1:36.93 in the 200 and won the 50 in :20.05(:19.94 relay lead-off Friday). They also had a solid 4 x 100 free relay at 2:56.73, with bookend swims from Ferns and Burnett at :43.89(lead-off) and :43.63, respectively.
The best Sun Devil performance was probably the 15:32.67 1650 from freshman Lucas Azevedo, finishing third behind Jensen and Arizona’s Tyler DeBerry (15:31.55).
Men and women from all three schools are next in action at the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas, Dec. 2-4.