The men’s and women’s swimming teams flexed their muscles on Friday with commanding victories at the USC Invitational.
A number of swimmers set NCAA qualifying marks at the invitational, which included a dual meet and sprint session. Both squads took on Cal State Bakersfield during the dual meet, with the men winning 111-85 and the women posting a 141-52 victory. The Women of Troy also defeated University of San Diego 140-59 in the dual meet.
Senior Lyndsay DePaul said it was important for the team to post qualifying marks early in the season.
“We want to qualify for NCAAs hopefully by this December,” DePaul said. “That way it takes the pressure off us and allows us train for and focus on the NCAAs.”
DePaul starred for the No. 9 women’s team, notching wins in four different events and bettering the NCAA “B” cut in the 200-yard butterfly (1:56.45) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:15.03). Sophomore Tanya Krisman also set a qualifying mark in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:57.75.
“I think we’re doing better than we thought we’d be doing,” DePaul said. “Coach [Dave] Salo has been comparing us to the times we posted last season around this time, and we’re significantly faster across the board.”
Several other swimmers came up just short in their bid for a qualifying time. Freshman Kasey Carlson missed the NCAA “B” standard by six-tenths of a second in winning the 100-yard freestyle (50.91). She also took first in the 50-yard breaststroke (28.90). Sophomore Yumi So almost gave USC a third NCAA championship qualifier in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:01.47.
“We did pretty good considering the conditions,” DePaul said. “It was a long meet and we swam a lot of races.”
On the men’s side, freshman Vlad Morozov and sophomore Clement Lefert each won three races in their first meet of the season. Morozov set an NCAA “B” mark in the 50-yard freestyle (20.05), while Lefert, a member of the French national team, set “B” marks in the 200-yard freestyle (1:37.66) and the 200-yard butterfly (1:47.87).
“I was pretty happy about my results,” Lefert said. “I tried to give my best in every race to get closer to my times [from last season].”
Freshman Alex Lendrum won the 200-yard IM (1:53.06) and 50-yard backstroke (23.58) in his USC debut.
“We have a great incoming freshman class,” Lefert said. “They have been training hard, and it was time for them to experience a dual meet. They will definitely provide great support for our relays this season.”
USC had a significant advantage in numbers for most of the races, with several heats featuring exclusively Trojan swimmers. Still, DePaul said the team is happy with the outcome.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in the pool with us,” she said. “We’re going to race and we’re going to swim as fast as we can. We know that our team in some cases is our biggest competition because we have a lot of depth.”
The men’s team beat Cal State Bakersfield 104-40 during the sprint session. Scores were not kept for the women’s team during this part of the meet.
Next up for the teams is the Distance Swim Challenge on Saturday in Manhattan Beach, Calif.