LOS ANGELES, California, January 31. IN what would be described as a minor upset in college swimming, the Southern California women’s swim teams defeated California in fairly dominating fashion.
Southern California, ranked No. 5 in the College Swim Coaches Association of America’s poll this week, won 12 of the 16 events over the top-ranked Golden Bears. California had its top swimmers of the meet and had just one event win each for Missy Franklin, Celina Li and Elizabeth Pelton as the Trojans used a strong freestyle roster and top-end talent in the strokes to overpower Cal.
Franklin swam the 1000 free for the third time this season, winning the event in a close race with Southern Cal’s Meghan Hawthorne, who is also not a regular in the long freestyle. Hawthorne led for 550 yards before Franklin took over and won with a 9:47.44, her best time of the season by eight seconds. Hawthorne was second with a 9:47.70.
Though Franklin is no stranger to finishing second in races, she found herself in that position today in the 100 free as her 49.75 couldn’t beat USC’s Kasey Carlson, who won with a 49.24. Franklin also had a race in the 500 free, leading for 450 yards before Chelsea Chenault nipped her at the finish, 4:46.88 to 4:47.14.
Carlson got another individual event win today, leading a 1-2 USC finish in the 100 breast as she touched in 1:00.94 with Andrea Kropp second with a 1:02.94. Chenault also picked up a second victory with her 1:46.84 in the 200 free, finishing ahead of teammate Stina Gardell’s 1:48.92.
Another double winner for Southern California was Kendyl Stewart. The sophomore took the 100 back with a 53.34 and the 100 fly in 53.74.
Jasmine Tosky and Celina Li, expected to be in the championship final of the 200 fly at the NCAA championships, dueled in that event today. The two never separated by more than seven tenths of a second, with USC’s Tosky taking the win in 1:58.00 to Li’s 1:58.62. Li, a freshman at Cal, would have another big battle in the 200 IM with USC’s Stina Gardell. Li led from start to finish, with her lead as small as 14-hundredths of a second, and posted a 1:58.93 to Gardell’s 1:59.11.
Other winners for Southern California included Kasia Wilk in the 50 free (22.89) and Gardell in the 200 breast (2:12.55). The Trojans also won both relays, taking the 200 medley relay with a 1:39.26 and the 400 free relay with a 3:19.89.
Besides the wins from Franklin and Li, Cal got victories from Pelton in the 200 back with a 1:57.00 and Anne Kastler in 1-meter diving with 285.05 points. Southern California’s Natalie Kalibat won the 3-meter diving with 302.50 points.