Trojans stumble on NorCal roadtrip
Last weekend, the USC women’s swimming and diving team fell to California and Stanford in two consecutive dual meets.
The men’s team traveled to Northern California on Friday hoping to avoid a similar fate, but the Trojans lost to both Cal, 160-133, and Stanford, 162-116.
The No. 8 Trojans (6-3) faced the No. 1 Golden Bears on Friday, and though the team had a few key victories, they were not enough to take home a win.
Two key USC swimmers in the Cal dual meet were senior diver Steven Starks and sophomore Charlie Charlesworth, who won two events each.
Starks won both the one- and three-meter diving events, while Charlesworth won the 500 and 1000-yard freestyle.
Senior Clement Lefert also placed second in the 500-yard freestyle.
“We weren’t really expected to win [against Cal], but we could have put up a better fight,” said senior co-captain Dillon Connolly. “We took a lot from it.”
The day following their loss to Cal, the Trojans went up against the No. 2 Cardinal hoping to salvage the trip, by earning a split.
USC sophomore Alex Lendrum was a force to be reckoned with on Saturday against Stanford, winning the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstoke and 200-yard IM for the Trojans.
Despite Lendrum’s performance, however, Stanford proved to be too much to handle.
The Cardinal placed two of its swimmers in the top three in 11 of the 12 events of the meet and broke a pool record in the 200-yard free relay.
USC coach Dave Salo, who went up to face the two Northern California teams with the Women of Troy last weekend, as well, acknowledged some of the issues USC faced against both teams.
“Stanford was a meet that had we been just a little bit tougher at the end of races we might have pulled out a win,” Salo said. “We matched up with them pretty well, but like Cal, we let a few races get away from us and let Stanford defeat us with momentum.”
The Trojans are optimistic that they will do better at the Pac-10s with some preparation.
“We have a few weeks to prepare for the Pac-10 championships and we need to take care of the little mistakes if we want a chance at challenging for a top three team finish,” Salo said.
Senior co-captain Emmett Walling said he is happy with the team as a whole, even if it didn’t win this weekend.
“I’m super proud of the team. Just keeping our spirits up throughout the Stanford meet was our biggest strengths,” Walling said. “And I think that’s what makes a championship team, keeping our spirits up when things aren’t going our way.”
The next time the USC swim and dive team competes will be at the Pac-10 Diving Championships on Feb. 24 and then at the Pac-10 Swimming Championships in March.