The USC women’s swim team won 132-116 in their first dual meet of the season against Oregon State on Friday.
Sophomore Ella Kidron swept both breastroke events, a USC tradition previously held by former Trojan and U.S. Olympian, Rebecca Soni. Kidron stepped up to the challenge and won the 100 meter breaststroke with a time of 1:05.25, a hair before Oregon State’s Ellie Bradley (1:05.49).
The rising sophomore took control in the 200 breaststroke, once again finishing strong with a 2:19.64, followed by sophomore teammate Ania Kowalczyk (2:22.10), who later went on to win the 200 meter individual medley (2:04.75).
“When I was swimming the 200 [breaststroke] I started to get really excited about the rest of the season,” Kidron said. “I think that helped … I was really happy with my swims.”
Kidron is establishing herself as the Women of Troy’s top competitor in the breaststroke.
“Ella stepped up and got her first dual-meet wins as a Trojan,” coach Jeremey Kipp said. “It was pretty special.”
Sophomore Katinka Hosszu started off the individual events with a come-from-behind win in the 1000 meter freestyle, breaking away from the field in the second half of the race and finishing in 9:58.07. Freshman distance specialist Haley Anderson took second (10:10.11) followed by freshman Chelsea Wild (10:12.30).
The 200 meter fly may prove to be one of USC’s most competitive events this season. The Women of Troy swept the top three places and each achieved NCAA ‘B’ cuts, which puts them into consideration for the NCAA championships. Hosszu won in 1:56.48, followed by junior transfer All-American Lindsay DePaul (1:57.49) and sophomore Tanya Krisman (1:59.90).
“Three of the top times in the country,” Kipp said, “that’s going to be a great race for us this season.”
Hosszu’s final win was in the 200 backstroke (2:00.03), demonstrating her versatility by representing the Women of Troy for the first time in this event. DePaul, who came in second (2:00.69), is also not used to the event.
DePaul posted her second NCAA ‘B’ cut of the day in the 200 freestyle in 1:49.09, with freshman Yumi So taking second (1:52.27) and the Beavers’ Whitney Iverson taking third (1:52.49). So also went on to win the 100 meter fly in 55.22.
Freshman Lili Shiota out-touched senior captain and senior All-American Dina Hegazy in the 100 meter backstroke, with Shiota clocking 57.60 and Hegazy finishing in 57.95.
Freshman Christel Simms won back-to-back sprint events, with a 23.90 splash-and-dash 50m free and clocking 51.13 in the 100 freestyle, with freshman teammate Kate Shumway coming in second (52.43).
“I felt good off my start in the 50,” Simms said. “I had a good break out [and] tried to hold my breath and just made sure I got my hand to the wall first.”
USC’s distance women once again swept top three in the 500 meter freestyle, with junior Ellie Doran leading the field until the last 50 yards when Anderson kicked and managed to out-touch her teammate by .41 seconds. Anderson clocked 4:55.54, with Doran closely behind in 4:55.95 and Wild taking third (4:59.47).
The Pac-10 opener showed off USC’s potential but didn’t reach the speed standard head coach Dave Salo was looking for.
“We’re going to have to be a lot faster if we want to beat Arizona,” Salo said, “but it’s good the women are getting the opportunity to practice dual meet format.”
The women’s team lost the opening Medley relay for the first time in nearly three years after the loss of last year’s senior relay team Kristen Lahey, Katy Houston, Rebecca Soni and Rachael Waller.
“We started off a little slow on the relay,” Kipp said. “But I think the girls quickly realized the Pac-10 is a place where you can’t start off slow.”
The team’s focus now turns to Arizona and Arizona State, who they face on Nov. 6.
“I think our attitude was the highlight,” senior captain Krissy Forelli said. “That’s what’s really going to help us when it comes to the tougher teams like Arizona.”