The No. 11 USC women’s swim and dive team travels to Salt Lake City on Friday to take on Utah in its first Pac-12 meet of the season. The Women of Troy look to take down the 0-2 Utes a week after a second-place finish at last weekend’s SMU Classic and first-place wins for individuals at the Trojan Invitational.
At the Trojan Invite earlier this month, the hosting Trojans showed out thanks to wins from seniors Alex Valente and Riley Scott and All-American junior Louise Hansson.
USC swept the women’s 100-yard breaststroke, with fast times from defending Pac-12 champion Scott (1:00.55), redshirt junior Kirsten Vose (1:01.12) and sophomore Maggie Aroesty third (1:01.39).
The Trojans continued their dominance in the breaststroke standings, with four top-performers in the 200-yard breaststroke in Scott (2:08.13), Aroesty (2:12.89), Odgers (2:14.04) and junior Piper Brockley (2:15.36).
Hansson returns to Troy this season after winning the 100-yard fly in last season’s NCAA Championships and finishing third in the 200.
Hansson followed up wins at the Trojan Invite in the 100-yard fly and 100-yard free with even better performances at the SMU Classic, a tournament USC won in 2017.
This year, the Women of Troy finished with 312 points. The team was only bested by Louisville, which captured the title with 358. Virginia came in third (299) with Iowa in fourth (236.5), Miami in fifth (227.5) and SMU sixth in (226).
Scott, who won the 100-yard breaststroke on Friday, doubled up with a win in the 200-yard IM on Saturday with a time of 1:59.52, a full second ahead of the competition.
Hansson added to her 100-yard backstroke victory by posting a win in the 200-yard back (1:53.10.)
Saturday’s affair started with the 200-yard medley relay as USC took second with Hansson, Scott, junior Catherine Sanchez and sophomore Marta Ciesla in 1:38.51.
Ciesla, who took the 50-yard free on Friday, finished second in the 100-yard free in a season-best NCAA B time of 48.95 while senior Kirsten Vose finished second in the B final in 50.22.
On the other side of the laplines, Utah comes into Friday’s meet after two-straight Pac-12 losses to top-ranked Stanford and Cal last weekend.
Despite Utah’s 191-101 loss at Stanford, the Utes won a couple of individual and team events over the Cardinal.
Utah’s senior captain Darby Wayner captured the 200-yard IM in 2:05.51 and sophomore Emma Ruchala won the one-meter dive with a score of 248.1, while Utah’s combination of freshman Aryanna Fernandes, senior Gillian St. John, freshman Audrey Reimer and junior Sarah Lott pulled off another win in the 200-yard free relay with a time of 1:35.72.
At Cal, the Utes fell in similar fashion to the Golden Bears, this time by a count of 111.5-184.5.
While Cal won a majority of the races, junior Genny Robertson’s 2:15:39 in the 200-yard breast and junior Jordan Anderson’s 4:21:85 in the 400-yard IM were good enough to seal victories for Utah.
As Utah’s lone swimmer in the NCAA tournament and school record holder in the 400-yard IM, Anderson is expected to anchor a Utah squad which went 5-4 last year and finished seventh in the Pac-12 tournament.
Not to mention, the Utes finished second in nine races, including 200-yard breaststroke where the top three finishers — Roberston, Wayner and junior Mariah Gassaway — wore the red and black.
Top-three performances from first-year swimmers Reimer, freshman Emma Lawless and Fernandes signal promise for a Utah team that sports a blend of old and new talent.
This won’t be the last time the Women of Troy and Utes will compete this season. Utah will travel to Los Angeles for the multi-team Trojan Diving Invitational on Nov. 10 and 11.