Strong start for USC with weekend win

The goal for the USC women’s swimming team is simple.

“We want to win every dual meet,” senior co-captain Lyndsay DePaul said.

Big push · Senior captain Lyndsay DePaul was part of a USC relay team that finished with the lowest time in the 200-yard medley. - Tim Tran | Daily Trojan

The Women of Troy took the first step to accomplishing that goal Friday, defeating Oregon State 141-112 at McDonald’s Swim Stadium.

A USC swimmer or team relay posted the lowest time in every event of the afternoon.

“The competition today really came more from ourselves than it did from Oregon State,” USC coach Dave Salo said.

The Women of Troy got off to a fast start in the day’s first event, the 200-yard medley relay. USC’s top team featured three returning All-Americans — DePaul, senior Presley Bard and junior Katinka Hosszu — and freshman Kasey Carlson. They finished in 1:40.68, nearly five seconds faster than the runners up.

The same team ended the meet with the lowest time in the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 3:22.63.

“Our relays did great,” DePaul said.

Hosszu went on to win the 200-yard butterfly in 1:56.78 and the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:14.85, while Bard finished first in the 100-yard backstroke in 54.32.

DePaul posted the fastest time in the 100-yard butterfly at 53.22.

The day’s biggest star, however, was sophomore Haley Anderson, who won the 200-yard (1:49.54) and 500-yard (4:48.79) freestyle events in convincing fashion.

“Haley Anderson did an outstanding job,” Salo said. “She showed some real sprint speed that we didn’t think we had out of her, so she’s going to be a player.”

Salo also left the meet impressed with the performances of some of his top freshmen.

Freshman Meghan Hawthorne captured victories in the 200-yard individual medley (2:03.45) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:01.88), and Carlson won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.21.

“It’s tough for freshmen to understand what the whole dual meet environment is like because it’s very, very quick and they’re not used to that,” Salo said. “So for freshmen to come in and win events, I think is pretty good. So we’re real happy with it.”

Senior Ellie Doran won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10:07.85, sophomore Jessica Schmitt placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:03.63, and sophomore Christel Simms won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.49.

“We wanted to put up some times that anyone across the nation would look at this early in the season and know that our program is serious and is focused on being a top-five program at NCAAs this year,” Salo said. “I think we did that.”

The Women of Troy will next compete at their own USC Invitational on Friday at McDonald’s Swim Stadium. Salo, however, is already looking forward to the team’s first big challenge.

“Our next big push is toward Arizona, and they’ve always been one of the top three or four teams in the country the last few years,” Salo said about the Nov. 12 meet. “We want to see if we can’t mix it up with them come the beginning of November.”