The No. 5 USC men’s swimming and diving team finished its regular season on a good note, beating Pac-12 rival Utah 157-138 on Saturday at McDonald’s Swim Stadium.
The USC squad (4-3, 2-3) was led by freshman Cristian Quintero, a spring semester addition who made his debut by winning the 500-yard and 1,650-yard freestyle. USC also started the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay, with junior Nick Karpov, freshman Sergio Lujan Rivera, junior Matt Voell and senior Jeff Daniels winning in 1:28.50. Utah finished second with a time of 1:29.42.
Quintero followed the opening win by dominating the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:02.59. His time was the 10th best in the NCAA this season, an NCAA “B” cut, and the 10th-fastest in USC history. Freshman Cary Wright took second with a time of 15:32.57.
USC next swept the 200-yard freestyle, with sophomore Mike Godbe (1:37.86), sophomore Jack Wagner (1:38.98) and junior Spencer Di Dio (1:40.63) finishing first, second and third, respectively.
Sophomore Vladimir Morozov won the 100-yard backstroke in 47.46 while sophomore Chase Bloch took second in 48.65. Utah junior Austin Fiascone finished third with a time of 50.39.
Utah junior Karson Applin won the 100-yard breaststroke in 55.32, with freshman Andrew Malone charging hard for second with a time of 55.76. Sophomore Blake Cushing finished third in 55.78.
Junior Justin DiFederico won the 200-yard butterfly in 1:45.70, a season-best effort that ranks in the top 15 nationally. Sophomore Dimitri Colupaev took second (1:47.08) while Voell finished third (1:54.80).
Utah’s Nick Soedel won the 50-yard freestyle in 20.13. Senior co-captain Jack Ostler was second (21.22), while Utah’s Alex Brown finished third (21.31). After the diving break, Soedel won again in the 100-yard freestyle (44.18). Karpov took second (45.61), while Utah’s Winter Heaven was third (45.63).
Freshman Chad Bobrosky led the 200-yard backstroke after 50 and 100 yards, with the Utes’ senior Major Robinson challenging in the middle of the race. Morozov took second after 150 yards, but Bobrosky had more than enough space to win in 1:46.16, an NCAA “B” cut. Morozov finished second in his first 200-yard backstroke of the season (1:47.66), and Wright snuck ahead of Robinson to finish third (1:49.07).
Quintero doubled up in the 500-yard freestyle to win in 4:24.00, posting his second NCAA “B” cut of the day. He was briefly overtaken by senior Julian Bonse, who ultimately finished second in 4:24.38, a personal record.
Applin claimed the 100-yard butterfly in 48.02 with Bloch second (48.42) and Godbe third (49.74).
In the diving pool, freshman Jordan Gear won the 3-meter with 330.30, edging Utah junior Nelson Foo (328.35). Gear would also finish second in the 1-meter (287.85), with Utah sophomore Caleb Herrick finishing first (293.10).
Junior Alex Lendrum, in his first 400-yard IM of the season, had little trouble in the off event, winning in 3:50.22, a top 25 time nationally, a “B”cut, and USC’s best time of the season. Di Dio took second (3:54.69), while senior Will Orlady was third (3:55.07).
USC closed the meet with a valiant effort in the 400-yard freestyle relay as Daniels, Morozov, Colupaev and Wagner won in 2:55.81, falling only .51 short of the 2006 pool record.