After consecutive losses, the USC women’s swimming and diving team bounced back in a big way, winning its final dual meet of the season.
USC qualified two swimmers for the NCAA Championships and managed to break several pool and dual meet records, on its way to a 176-124 victory over UCLA.
The temperature reached a high of 79 degrees in McDonald’s Swim Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the USC swimmers took on their crosstown rivals.
No. 6 USC (9-2, 4-2) was coming off losses against Cal and Stanford, but managed to make a statement against No. 21 UCLA (9-4, 3-4).
The last time the Women of Troy had nine wins in their dual meet season was in 1997, when they won the only NCAA title in team history.
“[This win] really bodes well for the rest of the season,” said USC coach Dave Salo. “We did well, we put up some really good times and were in control of the meet the whole time.”
Although the Bruins were successful in breaking a couple of pool records and posted fast times in several races, the Women of Troy won all but three of the day’s events.
Senior Lyndsay DePaul broke her own pool record and set a new personal best in the 200-yard fly, while freshman Stina Gardell and junior Katinka Hosszu broke pool records previously held by DePaul in the 400-yard IM and 100-yard free, respectively.
Gardell’s time in the 400-yard IM was recorded as third-best in the country.
DePaul, one of the team’s co-captains, was pleased with the results.
“After our losses against Cal and Stanford the team morale was kind of low,” she said. “After seeing those times we set, we had no idea we could post those up. They definitely made a statement to us and to those who were watching.”
According to Salo, the pivotal moment of the meet was not a certain record broken, but when three USC swimmers placed first, second and third in one event.
“The turning point of the meet was when we went 1-2-3 in the 100 backstroke,” Salo said. “Any time you can go 1-2 [or] 1-2-3, it is a significant change of events. That really set the tone for the rest of the meet.”
Overall, the team found the records set and goals that it reached in its final dual meet of the season pleasing and a bit unexpected.
“We are all pretty surprised with the results,” DePaul said. “Very few of us were rested, but we worked really hard. It was exciting, it was fun and we did much better than we anticipated.”