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USC Keeps Hold of Top Spot in CSCAA NCAA Women's Division I Swimming and Diving Rankings

Published:December 5, 2012

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 5. THE College Swim Coaches Association of America has released its latest NCAA Women's Division I rankings, with Southern California remaining on the top of the mountain. Midseason invitationals really impacted the voting this time around, while some teams made serious moves.

The goal of the CSCAA rankings committee this year will be to produce an in-season poll of the 25 best performing teams in rank order at the time of each poll. The poll is not designed to predict the results of the NCAA Championship, but rather which teams would win head-to-head against other teams in the country.

Specifically, the poll committee does not differentiate between the types of meets, or the status of a specific team in terms of rested vs. unrested, when considering votes. Further, rankings are only based on performances that have taken place up to that point in the season.


Notably, Swimming World has been invited as a media member as part of the polling process, and now has a vote in each poll. Jason Marsteller is serving as Swimming World's representative on these calls.

#1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (5-0, Pac 12 4-0)
Last Poll: 1


Results
W, Utah, 165-88
W, San Diego, 157.5-125.5
1st, SMU Classic
W, Washington State, 137-58
W, #9 Arizona, 155-134
W, #16 Arizona State, 118-116
---Since last poll---
Arena Cup
U.S. Winter Short Course Nationals

USC's ability to beat pretty much anybody in a dual meet has kept them at the top of the rankings, even if a few other squads might be a bit stronger in terms of championship scoring. Overall, the Trojans have a ridiculous wealth of riches when it comes to top level performers. Olympic medalist Haley Anderson, a senior leader on the squad, ranks second in the 1000 free (9:41.32), fourth in the 1650 free (15:55.91), fifth in the 500 free (4:36.87) and 10th in the 400 IM (4:08.60). Additionally, freshman Jasmine Tosky is making an impact as second in the 200 fly (1:53.98), fourth in the 100 fly (52.19) and ninth in the 200 IM (1:56.43).

Meanwhile, junior Kasey Carlson is second in the nation in the 50 free with a 21.90, while also standing fourth in the 100 breast (59.10) and fifth in the 100 free (48.28). Classmate Stina Gardell is fifth in both the 200 IM (1:55.32) and 400 IM (4:03.79), while another junior Meghan Hawthorne is seventh in the 200 IM (1:56.21) and eighth in the 400 IM (4:07.21) to give USC a bevy of medley points. Freshman Kendyl Stewart stands second in the 100 fly with a 51.89. Also, freshman Andrea Kropp ranks fifth in the 200 breast (2:07.62), while senior Jessica Schmitt is 10th in the 200 IM (1:56.49).

#2 TEXAS A&M (4-0, SEC 2-0)
Last Poll: 4


Results
W, @South Carolina, 190-102
W, North Carolina, 174.5-123.5
W, @SMU, 153-103
W, @ #11 Florida, 196-104
---Since last poll---
1st, Phill Hansel Invitational

The Texas A&M Aggies have one of the best cores of top-end talent in the nation. At the Phill Hansel Invitational, Olympian Breeja Larson set a pair of American records in the 100 breast (57.53) and 200 breast (2:04.48), while the Aggies also own two other top-ranked times in the nation. Olympian Cammile Adams is atop the 200 fly heap with a 1:53.97, while also rankings second in the 400 IM (4:01.56) and fourth in the 500 free (4:35.66), while sophomore Sarah Henry has the top 500 free time in the country (4:33.07) along with ranking second in the 1650 free (15:51.28), third in the 400 IM (4:03.03), seventh in the 1000 free (9:45.50) and eighth in the 200 IM (1:56.22).

Plenty of other Aggies are among the top 10 as well. Sophomore Lili Ibanez Lopez is seventh in the 50 free (22.33) and ninth in the 200 free (1:44.96), while junior Caroline McElhany is third in the 200 fly (1:55.60). Freshman Ashley McGregor stands 10th in the 200 breast (2:08.79), while senior Maureen McLaine is third in the 1000 free (9:42.54) and seventh in the 1650 free (16:04.52).

#3 GEORGIA (5-0, SEC 3-0)
Last Poll: 3


Results
W, @Georgia Tech, 176-115
W, @Arkansas, 187-113
W, Florida, 188-110
W, Missouri, 186-106
---Since last poll---
W, Emory, 111-86
Georgia Invitational

Georgia has one of the deepest groups in the nation with 22 swimmers charting at least one top 100 time, providing the Bulldogs with a healthy set of dual meet lineup choices. They also have some of the strongest top-end swimmers in the NCAA with Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt ranking second in the 200 free (1:42.25) and seventh in the 100 free (48.42) and 500 free (4:38.28), while senior Megan Romano is fourth in the 100 free (47.99) and sixth in the 50 free (22.32). Junior Shannon Vreeland is sixth in both the 200 free (1:44.46) and 500 free (4:38.27), while also owning 10th in the 100 free (48.69). Junior Melanie Margalis is also a force for Georgia, ranking third in the 200 IM (1:54.68), fifth in the 100 breast (59.34), sixth in the 400 IM (4:05.26) and ninth in the 200 breast (2:08.70).

Several other Bulldogs are in the top 10 as well. Sophomore Madeline Locus is 10th in the 50 free with a 22.41, while sophomore Jordan Mattern is ninth in the 500 free (4:39.66). Sophomore Amber McDermott ranks fourth in the 1000 free with a 9:44.63, while freshman Chantal Van Landeghem is 10th in the 50 free with a 22.41. Meanwhile, freshman Annie Zhu is fifth in the country in the 200 breast with a 2:07.62.

#4 CALIFORNIA (4-0, Pac 12 1-0)
Last Poll: 2


Schedule
1st, Early Bird Invitational
W, @BYU, 158-118
W, @Utah, 184-115
W, #7 Texas, 172-128
W, #23 Wisconsin, 170-110
---Since last poll---
1st, Arena Cup
Arizona Diving Invitational
2nd, Georgia Invitational

Elizabeth Pelton has been a revelation in her maiden season at California. Not only did she break the American record with a sterling time of 1:48.90 in Athens a few days ago, she also leads the nation with a 1:53.39 in the 200 IM. Meanwhile, she's third in the 100 back with a 51.26, while being fourth in the 200 free with a 1:44.04.

California also has one of the deepest 100 backstroke groups in NCAA history. NCAA titlist Cindy Tran leads the 100 back nationally with a 50.42, while freshman Rachel Bootsma is second in the event with a 50.54. Additionally, Melanie Klaren is 13th in the 100 back with a 52.86, while Hoi Shun Au is 14th in the stroke with a 52.92.

Tran also stands sixth in the 100 fly with a 52.41, while also ranking eighth in the 200 back with a 1:53.24. Bootsma is third in the 100 fly with a 52.16, while also standing fourth in the 200 fly with a 1:55.69.

Also, even with such a dynamic backstroke crew, the Golden Bears also have a sterling leader in senior Caitlin Leverenz. Leverenz is second in the 200 IM with a 1:54.30, while standing third in the 200 breast (2:06.46). Also, Leverenz is fourth in the 200 fly (1:55.69) and 400 IM (4:03.07).

#5 TEXAS (3-1, Big 12 0-0)
Last Poll: 5


Results
4th, SMU Classic
W, Indiana, 172-128
W, Michigan, 217-83
L, @ #3 California, 172-128
W, @ #5 Stanford, 151.5-148.5
---Since last poll---
Phill Hansel Invitational
U.S. Winter Short Course Nationals (split squad)
Ohio State Invite (split squad)

Senior Laura Sogar grabbed the spotlight in her home pool at the U.S. Winter Short Course Nationals with a pair of near-American records in the 100 breast (58.32) and 200 breast (2:05.04) to rank second behind Texas A&M's Breeja Larson in both events. Junior Sarah Denninghoff is seventh in the 100 back (52.55) and ninth in the 200 free (1:44.96), while classmate Ellen Lobb ranks fourth in the 50 free with a 22.28. Sophomore Kaitlin Pawlowicz is ranked eighth in the 1000 free with a 9:45.76.

#6 ARIZONA (4-2, Pac 12 1-2)
Last Poll: 13


Results
W, Hawaii, No score reported
W, Washington State, 121-76
W, UNLV, 188-105
W, Denver, 204-86
L, @ #1 USC, 155-134
L, @ #15 UCLA, 157-141
---Since last poll---
Arizona Diving Invitational
U.S. Winter Short Course Nationals

Arizona dominated relay action at the U.S. Winter Short Course Nationals, pushing the team up seven spots from 13th to just on the outside of the top five. Junior Margo Geer scorched the pool with a top-ranked 21.82 in the 50 free, while ranking third in the 100 free (47.16) and fifth in the 200 free (1:44.43).

Freshman Bonnie Brandon moved to second in the 200 back with a 1:51.49, while senior Ellyn Baumgardner ranked third in the 100 breast with a 58.86. Additionally, senior Lauren Smart moved to seventh in the 100 fly with a 52.49, and eighth in the 100 back with a 52.57.

#7 STANFORD (2-1, Pac 12 0-0)
Last Poll: 6


Results
W, San Jose State, 162.5-135.5
W, #23 Wisconsin, 159-130
L, #7 Texas, 151.5-148.5
---Since last poll---
Arizona Diving Invitational
2nd, Ohio State Invitational

Stanford took a minor drop in the polls with Arizona making the huge jump. Junior Maya Dirado is one of the most versatile swimmers in the country, ranking fifth in the 200 back (1:52.52), sixth in the 200 IM (1:56.19), seventh in the 400 IM (4:06.48) and eighth in the 200 free (1:44.95). Sophomore Maddy Schaefer is ranked third in the 50 free (22.18) and sixth in the 100 free (48.36). Meanwhile, senior Andi Murez ranks seventh in the 200 free (1:44.83).

#8 VIRGINIA (3-0, ACC 0-0)
Last Poll: 10


Results
W, Navy, 168-118
W, @Pittsburgh, 155-131
W, South Carolina, 161-124
---Since last poll---
W, @ #11 Indiana, 226-126
W, Penn State, 210-141
3rd, Georgia Invitational

Olympian Lauren Perdue has definitely begun to find her way back after an exciting summer that included the 2012 Games. Perdue now ranks third in the 200 free with a 1:43.62, while also ranking eighth in the 50 free with a 22.37. Freshman Courtney Bartholomew is in the top 10 in the 100 back with a fifth-ranked 52.28 and sixth-ranked 1:53.03 in the 200 back. Additionally, junior Rachel Naurath is ranked eighth in the 500 free with a 4:38.48, and 10th in the 1000 free (9:46.90).

#9 FLORIDA (1-3, SEC 1-2)
Last Poll: 11


Results
1st, All Florida Invitational
3rd, SMU Classic
L, @Georgia, 188-110
W, @South Carolina, 176-119
L, #4 Texas A&M, 196-104
---Since last poll---
L, Florida State, 157-143
1st, Ohio State Invitational

Shortly after lighting up the red carpet in a stunning green dress with Matt McLean at the Golden Goggles, Olympian Elizabeth Beisel rocked the Ohio State Invitational. Beisel checked in with the first near sub-4:00 time of the year in the 400 IM with a 4:00.61 to lead the NCAA, and also now stands third in the 500 free (4:34.45) and 200 back (1:52.00). She also turned in a ninth-ranked 52.73 in the 100 back and 10th-ranked 1:56.85 in the 200 fly. Freshman Jessica Thielmann also ranks third in the 1650 free (15:52.34) and 10th in the 500 free (4:39.97), while junior Ellese Zalewski checked in with a fifth-ranked 52.26 in the 100 fly.

Freshman Natalie Hinds is another strong member of the Gators, now ranking eighth in the 50 free (22.37) and ninth in the 100 fly (52.76), while classmate Ashlee Linn is ninth in the 200 back with a 1:53.56. Junior Alicia Mathieu also checked in with a sixth-ranked 1650 free (15:59.32), while Canadian Olympian Sinead Russell returned to the fold with a seventh-ranked 200 back (1:53.20) after battling through an arm injury.

#10 TENNESSEE (5-0, SEC 1-0)
Last Poll: 7


Results
W, @UNC-Wilmington, 195-99
W, @Kentucky, 201-98
W, Indiana, 183-117
W, Louisville, 190-107
W, Ohio State, 191-109
---Since last poll---
1st, Tennessee Invitational

Tennessee, the only top 15 team yet to suit up and throw down its best effort, slipped a few spots to 10th. With teams like Arizona showing a royal flush at the U.S. Winter Short Course Nationals, the Lady Vols are keeping their cards close as they host the U.S. Junior Winter Short Course Nationals. Senior Kelsey Floyd is the top swimmer on the team with an eighth-ranked 200 fly (1:56.53), while junior Lindsay Gendron is among the top 15 in the 1000 free (9:47.40).

#11 AUBURN (3-0, SEC 2-0)
Last Poll: 9


Results
W, Alabama, 182-62
W, LSU, 218.5-78.5
W, Notre Dame, 166-132
W, @ Kentucky, 212.5-87.5
---Since last poll---
Georgia Invitational
Auburn Diving Invitational

Auburn sustained a bit of a drop as well, but still has junior Olivia Scott as the top 100 flier in the country with a 51.83. Senior Katie Gardocky (1000 free: 9:45.42) and senior Micah Lawrence (200 breast: 2:08.23, 100 breast: 59.69) also are among the top 10 in their respective events.

#12 PENN STATE (3-1, Big Ten 1-0)
Last Poll: NR


Results
W, West Virginia, 146-97
W, Villanova, 177-116
---Since last poll---
W, Indiana, 207.5-144.5
L, Virginia, 210-141
5th, Georgia Invitational

The most upwardly mobile team in the nation this time around, the Nittany Lions rocketed to 12th in the nation with a versatile team with depth at nearly every event. Junior Gabi Shishkoff (400 IM: 4:09.92) and freshman Alyson Ackman (500 free: 4:42.36) rank among the top 15 in their events, while senior Paige Whitmire is 12th in the 50 free with a 22.43.

#13 UCLA (8-0, Pac 12 5-0)
Last Poll: 12


Results
W, Oregon State, 197-92
W, UC Santa Barbara, 198-110
W, Utah, 211-83
W, UC-Davis, 136-119
W, Washington State, 15-97
W, #16 Arizona State, 190.5-108.5
W, San Diego, 198-92
W, #9 Arizona, 157-141
---Since last poll---
Arena Invitational
Phill Hansel Invitational (diving)
U.S. Winter Short Course Nationals

UCLA dipped a spot in the rankings, but still boast some seriously strong talent. Sophomore Noelle Tarazona is ranked sixth in the 200 fly with a 1:55.95, while junior Kathryn Murphy is ninth in the 100 free with a 48.68.

#14 MINNESOTA (5-0, Big Ten 3-0)
Last Poll: 8


Results
W, @Michigan, 196-99
W, Iowa State, 144-140
W, @Kansas, 179-119
W, Wisconsin, 183-112
W, Iowa, 192-103
---Since last poll---
Minnesota Grand Prix
Jean Freeman Invite

The Golden Gophers wound up taking a tumble in the rankings, down six spots to 14th. The team is led by freshman Kierra Smith, who ranks seventh in the 200 breast (2:08.11) and 15th in the 100 breast (1:00.43).

#15 OHIO STATE (4-1, Big Ten 0-0)
Last Poll: 16


Results
W, Cleveland State, 179-110
W, Kenyon, 168-119
W, Denison, 178.5-110.5
L, @ #8 Tennessee, 191-109
W, @ Ohio, 182-112
---Since last poll---
3rd, Ohio State Invitational

The Buckeyes moved up a spot in the rankings this time around with a team largely based on depth. The top-ranked swimmer on the team is junior Kelly Ann Baird, who is 18th in the 1650 free with a 16:21.88.

#16 NORTH CAROLINA (2-1, ACC 1-0)
Last Poll: 15


Results
W, @South Carolina, 198-99
L, Texas A&M, 174.5-123.5
2nd, SMU Classic
W, Virginia Tech, 175-120
---Since last poll---
2nd, Nike Cup
4th, Ohio State Invitational

North Carolina might have fallen a spot, but the Tar Heels have a few of the best swimmers in the country. Junior Stephanie Peacock is the top distance swimmer in the NCAA, downing her NCAA record in the 1650 free with a 15:37.06. She also leads the nation in the 1000 free with a 9:28.92, and is second in the 500 free with a 4:34.42. Junior Cari Blalock is a formidable swimmer, ranking ninth in the 200 fly (1:56.63) and 400 IM (4:07.51). Senior Katie Nolan also ranks 10th in the 100 fly with a 52.82.

#17 LOUISVILLE (2-1, Big East 1-0)
Last Poll: 17


Results
W, Xavier, 183-73
5th, SMU Classic
L, @Tennessee, 190-107
W, #18 Notre Dame, 162-138
---Since last poll---
2nd, Purdue Invitational
U.S. Winter Short Course Championships

The Cardinals stayed put at No. 17, and are led by sophomore Tanja Kylliainen. She is ranked 12th in the 200 fly (1:56.95) and 17th in the 400 IM (4:10.24).

#T18 FLORIDA STATE (10-0, ACC 3-0)
Last Poll: 24


Results
2nd, All Florida Invitational
W, @Florida Gulf Coast, 173-122
W, @Miami, 184-115
W, @Florida Atlantic, 181-114
W, Florida International, 189-101
W, Virginia Tech, 179-120
W, UNC-Wilmington, 246-54
W, Duke, 203-91
W, Florida Southern, 179.5-91.5
W, Emory, 185-102
---Since last poll---
W, Florida, 157-143
1st, Georgia Tech Invitational

Every balloting process within the rankings always seems to have a conundrum. Are the overall times during a two-week period more important than head-to-head battles? With rankings in a sport where teams can be completely different entities just in a matter of a week, it gets pretty difficult to make this vote. This vote's dilemma -- Florida State beating Florida head-to-head, with Florida then turning up the heat at the Ohio State Invitational a week later. The way the voters seemed to handle it this time around was to honor Florida's strong Ohio State swims, while also rewarding Florida State with a bump from 24th to an 18th-ranked tie. The Seminoles are led by junior Tiffany Oliver, who is fifth in the nation in the 50 free (22.30) and eighth in the 100 free (48.57).

#T18 ARIZONA STATE (2-2, Pac 12 1-2)
Last Poll: 18


Results
W, Grand Canyon, 179-80
W, Washington State, 170-88
L, @ #15 UCLA, 190.5-108.5
L, @ #1 USC, 118-116
---Since last poll---
2nd, Arena Cup
Arizona Diving Invitational

The Sun Devils stayed put in the No. 18 spot. ASU's leading swimmer thus far is junior Tristin Baxter, who is ranked eighth in the 1650 free (16:09.53) and ninth in the 1000 free (9:46.79).

#20 MISSOURI (3-2, SEC 1-2)
Last Poll: NR


Results
1st, Show-Me Showdown
W, Missouri State, 176-66
W, Kentucky, 164-135
W, Southern Illinois, 215-84
L, Arkansas, 197-103
L, Georgia, 186-106
---Since last poll---
1st, Missouri Invitational

Missouri has weathered the storm of moving to the Southeastern Conference quite well, jumped to No. 20 after being on the outside looking in last poll. Senior Dominique Bouchard is a backstroke star, ranking fourth in the 100 (52.24) and 200 (1:52.15) events. Classmate Cassie Cunningham is sixth in the 100 back (52.54).

#21 NOTRE DAME (1-3, Big East 1-1)
Last Poll: 21


Results
1st, Dennis Stark Relays
L, @Auburn, 166-132
L, #24 Purdue, 152-148
W, Pittsburgh, 188-112
L, #19 Louisville, 162-138
---Since last poll---
1st, Kansas Women's Classic
Hawkeye Invitational (diving)
5th, Ohio State Invitational

Emma Reaney shined for the Fighting Irish at the Ohio State Invitational, punching her ticket to the NCAAs as she turned in fourth-ranked times in the 200 breast (2:07.60) and 200 IM (1:55.05) as well as seventh in the 100 breast (59.38).

#22 INDIANA (2-4, Big Ten 1-1)
Last Poll: 14


Results
W, @Kentucky, 189-111
L, Tennessee, 183-117
W, Michigan, 223-77
L, @Texas, 172-128
---Since last poll---
L, Penn State, 214.5-137.5
L, Virginia, 235-117
U.S. Winter Short Course Nationals (split squad)
Ohio State Invitational (split squad)

An ill-timed illness during a big-time battle with Penn State and Virginia really hurt the Hoosiers, nearly dropping them out of the top 25. In the end, Indiana fell eight spots to No. 22. Junior Lindsay Vrooman is the early star of the squad, ranking fifth in both the 1000 free (9:45.42) and 1650 free (15:56.81).

#23 SMU (1-1, CUSA 1-0)
Last Poll: NR


Results
3rd, Razorback Relays
6th, SMU Classic
L, Texas A&M, 153-103
W, Rice, 156-106
---Since last poll---
Phill Hansel Invitational

SMU cracked into the top 25 for the first time this year, based largely on their relay strength. The team is ranked eighth in the 200 free relay (1:30.08), the 400 free relay (3:16.51) and 200 medley relay (1:38.77).

#24 MICHIGAN (1-3, Big Ten 1-2)
Last Poll: 22


Results
W, Wisconsin, 157-143
L, Minnesota, 196-99
L, Indiana, 223-77
L, @Texas, 217-83
---Since last poll---
Purdue Invitational
Hawkeye Invitational

The Wolverines held onto a spot in the top 25, even though the team dropped two spots. Senior Adrienne Bicek leads the way for Big Blue with 12th in the 1650 free (16:13.51) and 19th in the 1000 free (9:55.08).

#25 ARKANSAS (3-1, SEC 2-1)
Last Poll: 23


Results
1st, Razorback Relays
L, Georgia, 187-113
W, Southern Illinois, 244-56
W, Kentucky, 212-88
W, @Missouri, 197-103
---Since last poll---
Phill Hansel Invitational

The Razorbacks clinched the final spot in the top 25, and are led by sophomore Nikki Daniels. Daniels is ranked 12th in the 100 breast (1:00.12) and 15th in the 200 breast (2:10.73).

Also received votes: Purdue, San Diego State, Harvard, Wisconsin
Dropped out: LSU, Purdue, Wisconsin
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