Trojan athletes dominated the Pac-12 All-Century Men’s Swimming and Diving Team, which was announced Monday night. The list of 32 athletes included 10 Trojans — the most of any Pac-12 school. Stanford had seven athletes and Cal had five.
Included on the list was Joe Bottom (1974-77), Bruce Furniss (1976-79), Murray Rose (1959-62), John Naber (1974-77), Lenny Krayzelburg (1997-98), David Wharton (1988-91), Steve Furniss (1971-75), Erik Vendt (2000-2003), Hongping Li (1986-89) and Brian Earley (1991-94). The selected Trojans represented a wide range of events, from long distance swimmers to platform divers.
Nine of the 10 Trojans chosen for the team were Olympians and retired as well-decorated athletes. Rose was a six-time Olympic medalist who formerly held the world record for the 400-, 800- and 1500-meter freestyle. Naber was a five-time Olympic medalist with four golds who formerly held six world records, and now serves as an Olympic ambassador for the United States. Steve Furniss won a bronze medal in 1972 and held the record for the 200-meter individual medal until 1975, when his brother Bruce succeeded him. Krayzelburg won four gold medals in his time as an Olympic backstroker. He won three at the 2000 games in Sydney for the 100- and 200-meter backstroke as well as the 4×100 medley relay. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, Krayzelburg won another gold medal in the 4×100 medley relay. He also broke the world records for the 50-, 100- and 200-meter backstroke in 1999.
Wharton also won a silver medal and held a world record for the 200- and 400-meter individual medley. Vendt brought home two silver medals and one gold from the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Li, who was a NCAA champion and two-time Olympian, is now in his 16th year as the head diving coach at USC. These athletes represent the highlights of the last century of USC swimming and diving, which has been a dominating force both nationally and internationally. Early was an NCAA champion platform diver in 1992 and 1994.
The All-Century Team also named USC men’s swimming head coach Peter Daland as the Men’s Swimming and Diving Coach of the Century. In his legendary 35 years at USC, the Trojans won nine NCAA team championships and took second 11 times. Daland’s team also notched 17 league championships, and his swimmers won a combined 93 NCAA and 155 Pac-10 individual and relay titles. Out of those 35 years, he saw 20 undefeated seasons.
Outside of USC, Daland coached the U.S. men’s swimming team for the 1972 Olympics and the women in 1964, leading the men to nine gold medals and the women to six golds. His All-Century Award serves as a crown jewel of a lifetime of accomplishments for the USC swim and dive program. The disctinctions USC earned as a whole cemented their place as the leader of the Pac-12 men’s swim and diving.