After finishing third overall at the Pac-12 Championships at the beginning of the month in Federal Way, Wash., the
No. 13 men’s swimming and diving team now preps for the NCAA Championships, which begin on Wednesday in Indianapolis.
USC enjoyed a strong showing at the conference championships, highlighted by senior Steven Stumph, who became the first-ever Trojan to win three consecutive 200y breaststroke titles. Sophomore Carsten Vissering also posted a school-record time of 51.45 seconds en route to earning the first 100y breaststroke championship of his career, and junior diver Dashiell Enos rounded out the Trojans’ Pac-12 champions, successfully defending his 3-meter springboard title.
Beyond the title winners, Stumph and redshirt junior Dylan Carter were three-time finalists for the first time in their careers during USC’s trip to Federal Way, and Carter set a new school record in the 200y freestyle with a time of 1:31.98. Redshirt junior Santo Condorelli also made three finals — the second time he has done so as a Trojan.
Riding this momentum, USC now sets its sights on the national stage, as the NCAA Championships run from Wednesday through Saturday of this week at the Indiana University Natatorium. Though the Trojans do not have any national champions on their roster, they have won at least one NCAA title in nine of the last 16 seasons, and as a whole, USC owns nine NCAA team titles — good for fourth all-time. Its 120 combined event titles (98 individual, 22 relay) is also good for fourth-most nationally.
The Trojans’ last team championship may have come in 1977, but they have been knocking on the door in recent years, finishing fourth in 2013 and 2015. USC will also enjoy the return of two Olympians this season, as Carter and Condorelli sat out the previous campaign to train for the Rio Games with Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, respectively. The Trojans boast four top-10 seeds in the field, including Carter, who is seeded fourth in the 200y freestyle. Stumph is seeded sixth in the 200y breaststroke, and Vissering is the fourth seed in the 100y breast. Sophomore Patrick Mulcare is the Trojans’ highest seed overall as the third seed in the 200y backstroke. All five of USC’s relay teams are also seeded either ninth or 10th.
The 800y freestyle relay kicks off proceedings at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. After that, from Thursday through Saturday, prelims start at 7 a.m. before finals at 3 p.m. Thursday will feature the 200y freestyle relay, 500y freestyle, 200y IM, 50y freestyle, 400y medley relay and 1-meter diving, and the events scheduled for Friday are the 400y IM, 100y butterfly, 200y freestyle, 100y breaststroke, 100y backstroke, 200y medley relay and 3-meter diving. The championships will wrap up on Saturday with the 1650y freestyle, 200y backstroke, 100y freestyle, 200y breaststroke, 200y butterfly, 400y freestyle relay and platform diving.