USC Sprints to 1-2-4 Finish in 100 Free, Sends Coach Dave Salo Out on High Note

Laticia-Transom-Pac-12-100-Free-Podium
Laticia Transom hugs Dave Salo on the podium after winning the 100 freestyle. Photo Courtesy: McKenna Ehrmantraut

USC sprinters Laticia Transom, Marta Ciesla and Tatum Wade made their move at the 2020 Pac-12 Women’s Championships on Saturday night, and sent coach Dave Salo out with a huge final night to his Pac-12 career.

The meet may have gone to Stanford, but the 100 free went to the Trojans.

Transom claimed the top spot with a time of 47.85, leading a 1-2-4 finish.

“Honestly, it was kind of unexpected. This whole week has been really cool. I’m super happy to be here and swim well for my team,” Laticia Transom told Swimming World.

Coming in right behind Transom was Ciesla with a time of 48.02, followed by Stanford swimmer Amalie Fackenthal (with a time of 48.19), and in fourth with a 48.35 was Wade.

All three USC girls said the excitement and fun of the race was boosted by their close bonds to one another. As Ciesla said, “All three of us being in the same final was really telling of how hard we work and how hard we’ve been working this season. Swimming with them takes the pressure off just a little bit because you’re doing it with your best friends.”

Pac-12-100-Free-Podium

Marta Ciesla, Laticia Transom and Amalie Fackenthal. Photo Courtesy: McKenna Ehrmantraut

Wade agreed.

“We all train together, we work hard together, we have fun together, and we get to swim the final together,” she said.

The USC team placed third overall, which is quite a feat considering they only have 16 swimmers — eight short of the maximum 24 swimmers a team can bring to PAC-12s.

“I think in terms of the team standing, considering that we have a small team we try not to focus on the overall standing a lot, and focus more on the individual performances. We focus more on how we can amp up the team morale and better the team energy,” Transom said.

Ciesla, Transom, and Wade swam not only for their team tonight, but also for one of their coaches, Dave Salo, who announced this would be his last season coaching for the University of Southern California. Ciesla said after the race, “We just know we wanted to do it for Dave, it’s his last season so it was super exciting.”

While NCAAs is coming up, it was the last PAC 12 for both Coach Salo and Wade. Wade was overjoyed to be part of the family that is USC swimming.

“I’m a senior so I’ve gotten to be on this team for four years now,” she said.  This year has definitely been the most special, there’s something about everyone stepping up this year, like we said, doing it for Dave, doing it for our whole team, and just really representing our school the best we can.”​

Laticia-Transom-and-Marta-Ciesla-Pac-12-100-Free-Podium

Marta Ciesla, Laticia Transom. Photo Courtesy: McKenna Ehrmantraut