USC swimming takes third at Pac-12 Championships

The No. 5 women’s swim team made a splash in Washington this weekend, finishing third in the Pac-12 Championships behind No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Cal. On the way, sophomore Riley Scott and freshman Louise Hansson both picked up their first Pac-12 titles.

After winning the Pac-12 Championship last year, the Trojans only fell to the two top-ranked teams in the nation. Stanford finished in first with 1,587.5 points and Cal took second with 1,392 points. The Trojans ended with 1,075.5 points, edging out UCLA (1,002 points) to take the third-place spot on the podium.

USC started out in third place on the first day of competition, but fell to fourth on the second day behind the Bruins. A surge on Sunday gave the Trojans a strong finish to solidify their spot at the top of the Pac-12.

Hansson brought home the first title of the weekend for the Trojans on the second day of competition, winning the 100-yard fly in 50.39 seconds. Hansson, who competed for the Swedish Olympic team in 2016, broke the school record twice on her way to winning the title. Her final time is the second fastest posted in the nation this year. The next night, Hansson followed her title win up with a tie for the third-place finish in the 100-yard free,
finishing neck-and-neck with Cal
senior Farida Osman in 47.36 seconds.

Scott rounded up the Trojans’ second title win after she scrapped back to overcome fellow sophomore Kirsten Vose, posting a personal record of 2:06.20 minutes to win the 200-yard breaststroke race. Vose finished close behind in third. Scott took home second in both 100-yard and 200-yard breast last year.

Sophomore Maddie Wright also finished on a high note in individual events from the weekend. Wright posted her second personal record of the night to lead a group of three Trojans in the 200-yard fly event. She took home second place with a time of 1:52.67 minutes, barely closing behind Stanford sophomore Ella Eastin’s 1:51.85-minute finish. In the same event, freshman Catherine Sanchez took seventh in 1:57.97 minutes, with freshman Tatum Wade finishing just behind at eighth in 1:58.05 minutes.

The Trojans anchored the final day of the meet with a second place in the 400-yard free relay, as Hansson, Vose, freshman Stanzi Moseley and senior Anika Apostalon broke the school record with a 3:09.57 finish. Hansson scooped up her final school record of the weekend by breaking the school mark of 47.22 for a 100-yard finish.

Despite dropping two places in this year’s finish after last year’s championship victory, the weekend was a victory in the light of this year’s stacked Stanford program, which picked up its 20th Pac-12 championship on the backs of Olympic champions Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel. The Trojans will now look ahead to the NCAA Championships on March 15.