USC’s men’s and women’s swim teams are headed off to the Lone Star State this weekend to compete in the Texas Invitational in Austin, Tex.
The tournament will mark the first time the swimmers have competed since early November, when they, along with their diving teammates, swept Arizona and Arizona State to maintain an undefeated fall season.
Senior Meghan Hawthorne impressed on the women’s side, winning four combined individual events against the Wildcats and Sun Devils, while senior Dimitri Colupaev stepped up for the men’s team, also winning four individual events. Seniors Kasey Carlson and Stina Gardell, along with sophomores Kendyl Stewart and Jasmine Tosky, have also been instrumental in leading the women’s team to success, and juniors Cristian Quintero and Luca Spinazzola have complemented Colupaev’s success on the men’s side.
Last year, the annual Texas Invitational was called the USA Swimming Winter National Championships. The Women of Troy won the event, while the men’s team took third.
At the Texas Invitational this weekend, USC will face competitors from Texas, BYU, Arizona, UC Santa Barbara, Wisconsin, Harvard, Penn State, University of the Incarnate Word and Oklahoma Baptist — the winners of last year’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship. UCLA will also compete, but only on the women’s side.
USC’s women’s team enters the tournament ranked No. 6 in the nation by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, while the men are ranked No. 7. Texas and Arizona are the only other ranked men’s squads, at No. 4 and No. 15, respectively. On the women’s side, Arizona is ranked No. 13, UCLA is ranked No. 19 and Penn State is ranked No. 24.
Though the tournament comprises individual competitions, USC will be sending nearly its whole team to compete. The meet will feature all 18 of the swimming events contested at the NCAA championships, so it provides a great chance for the Trojans to sharpen their skills after a fairly light fall season.
The Texas Invitational begins Thursday and runs until Saturday.