The rivalry between the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins has been typically one-sided in pool, where the ladies of Troy had previously won ten straight in the series. But in a Friday afternoon matchup at UCLA, the two teams tied at 150.
According to USC sports information, the tie is the first-ever between the two teams after USC had won 27 of the previous 43 match-ups. The meet looked like a 28th victory for USC and an 11th straight before Bruin victories in the final two events pushed them over the top.
Individually, the top performance came from USC’s Maddie Wright, who recorded a season-best time of 1:53.74 in the 200 fly. That time ranks fifth in the country behind Stanford teammate Katie Drabot and Ella Eastin, Wright’s fellow Trojan Louise Hansson and Virginia’s Jen Marrkand.
The Trojans opened the meet with a comfortable win in the 200 medley relay, as Hannah Weiss, Riley Scott, Hansson and Tatum Wade won by more than three seconds in 1:36.95, but UCLA won the meet’s first two individual events, with Sandra Soe (16:11.22) and Margaux Gourson (16:20.09) finishing 1-2 in the 1650 free and Kenisha Liu winning the 200 free (1:45.62).
USC then finished 1-2 in three straight events. Weiss (52.39) edged out Hansson (52.47) in the 100 back, and then Maggie Aroesty (1:00.36) touched out Scott (1:00.39) in the 100 breast. Wright and Caitlin Tycz (1:55.57) then topped the 200 fly.
Hansson picked up her first win of the day in the 50 free, touching in 22.28, and she added a win in the 200 back (1:54.43). But UCLA put up wins in three of the first four events after the first break: Lexie Malazdrewicz won the 100 free (49.79), Emma Schanz won the 200 breast and Gourson in the 500 free (4:45.62).
Tycz won the 100 fly in 52.56, but Eloise Belanger finished first in both diving events (300.38 on 1-meter and 291.38 on 3-meter), and then the Trojans ended the meet with a bang.
Schanz dominated the 200 IM, recording a time of 1:56.82, and then the team of Liu, Katie Grover, Sarah Kaunitz and Amy Okada easily won the 200 free relay and finished in 1:28.91 to secure the tie.