The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will host two meets this weekend at USC’s McDonald’s Swim Stadium. USC will face the Arizona today at 4 p.m. and Arizona State on Saturday at noon.
Today’s meet will be a rare evening event, with the two Trojan teams swimming underneath stadium lights because of the late start time. The USC swimmers, however, are not worried about swimming in the dark.
“I think because of the time change and the weather it’ll be harder, but I think we can still perform to the best of our ability,” said freshman Kasey Carlson. “It’ll be fun because it’s our first real meet with real competition.”
The No. 6 Women of Troy and No. 14 men’s squad, with rankings based on the first College Swimming Coaches Association of America/Collegeswimming.com Top 25 poll of the season, are resuming conference action with the Arizona and Arizona State meets after about a two-week break for both teams. The men and women’s diving teams, however, had a successful diving competition last weekend.
“We’ve got some of the best divers in the country, and what makes it nice is we are really balanced, men and women, swimming and diving,” USC coach Dave Salo said. “We’re one of the very few teams that when we make it to the NCAA championships we’ve made a commitment to diving.”
Throughout the men’s and women’s seasons thus far, USC swimmers have posted high scores and performed well at their meets, and Salo is confident they will not disappoint this weekend.
“We’re just really balanced and I don’t think we are getting the respect that we should out of the Pac-10 teams or nationally, but I think after our meet against Arizona [today] we will show them they need to take USC seriously,” Salo said.
Going up against highly acclaimed Arizona, which is ranked No. 5 in men’s swimming and No. 7 in women’s, USC hopes to pull out all the stops to defeat the Wildcats.
“We always take this dual meet really seriously just because it’s really good competition. I’m really excited for it. I know we are going to post some really great times,” sophomore Haley Anderson said.
Despite being ranked below their opponents, the men’s squad is certain that it has enough strength to help it succeed.
“We really haven’t had to prepare out of the box [for today] because this year the team is so positive and has so much depth that we really don’t need to change much that we do,” junior captain Jeff Daniels said.
The teams’ next meet will be in Tucson, Ariz., next weekend. They will travel together to participate in the Wildcat Invitational, hosted by Arizona. The three-day competition will be their last before the U.S. Nationals in December.
“Hopefully [these meets] will awaken all the other teams and coaches across the country that we shouldn’t be underestimated,” senior captain Lyndsay DePaul said.