LOS ANGELES, California, February 21. LESS than a year and half after its groundbreaking, USC held the grand opening of the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on Friday (Feb. 21) and celebrated the historic day with the first competition at the new facility, a six-event abbreviated meet against Utah to be followed by a full schedule Saturday at noon.
Fred Uytengsu, the former Trojan walk-on swimmer and 1983 swim captain whose $8 million lead gift for the UAC was the largest ever by a former USC student-athlete, was on hand to deliver remarks along with USC Athletic Director Pat Haden, USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett and senior co-captain Chase Bloch.
Making up the close to 1,000 in attendance were many former swimmers, divers and water polo players, including former NCAA title winners and Olympic gold medalists Rebecca Soni, Kaitlin Sandeno and Lenny Krayzelburg.
The Trojans won the first ever event raced in the new center as juniors Luca Spinazzola and Sergio Lujan Rivera, sophomore Maclin Davis and senior Dimitri Colupaev won the 400y medley relay in 3:10.34, just 0.45 off the pool record set in 2006. Spinazzola’s leadoff 100y back of 46.64 came within 0.09 of the pool record set in 2002.
The only event that will count toward the scoring of Saturday’s dual meet with the Utes was the 1000y free, which was captured by sophomore Ted Singley in 9:04.09. He edged Utah’s Bence Kiraly (9:05.52) while Trojan junior Cary Wright took third (9:13.07).
Trojan freshman Dylan Carter took the first of three sprints as he touched first in the 50y fly in 21.37 while sophomore Morten Klarskov was second (21.95). Junior Kevin Carroll won the 50y back (23.21) with sophomore Kevin Khojasteh second (23.30) while sophomore Ridge Altman (25.47) junior Andrew Malone (25.54) took 1-2 in the 50y breast.
USC closed the first date of competition at the UAC with a win in the 200y free relay as freshman Santo Condorelli, Carter and seniors Jack Wagner and Cristian Quintero won in 1:19.32.
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