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Trojan swimmers prepare for nationals

first_imgThe USC swim and dive team is in Columbus, Ohio this weekend to participate in the AT&T Short Course National Championships. The championships, which take place from Dec. 2-4, are being hosted by Ohio State University at Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatics Pavilion.Both swim teams (men and women) are sending most of their swimmers to participate on behalf of USC — the USA National Championships are open to all swimmers who meet national time standards, meaning all but a small fraction of the team went to compete.The team has been preparing for Nationals for quite some time, and now that they have arrived, anticipation is high.“This meet is important, in that if we can secure top 20 times individually [top-10 relay times] then we can focus our attention this coming semester on the NCAA championships [in March],” USC head coach Dave Salo said.After the Women of Troy swept Arizona and Arizona State three weeks ago, and the Trojans defeated Arizona State as well, the team set its sights on Nationals. Salo expressed the importance of the National Championships and the implications of the results for the team.“Our goal for this competition is to come away with relays ranked in the top four in the country while individually we want to secure athletes in the top-20 spots leading into the conference championships in February,” Salo said.Since they have had three weeks to rest since their last meets, the teams expect to perform even better at Nationals.“I think the team will do really well, we rested a little but not all the way, so some people will be really fast and the others will have to race a little harder to make it back for finals,” senior women’s captain Presley Bard said. “Overall we should do really well as a team and even win a few relays. Our goal is to get as many A and B cuts possible.”The biggest competition that the Trojans will face, according to coach Salo, will come from Michigan, California, Ohio State and the University of Minnesota. There will also be several USA National Team members that will be competing.The National Championships are a short course yards meet that will set the tone for the rest of the season and the Trojans hope to use it as an indicator of how they will do at the rest of their meets.“This meet is really a gauge to see where we are at and a stepping stone to the rest of the season,” Bard said.After this meet concludes, the team’s main focus will be on the NCAA Championships. Salo is hopeful that the rest of the season will be as successful as its beginning.“Our women’s team is shaping up to be one of the top five teams in the country based on our results thus far,” Salo said. “I think [the men’s swimmers] can position themselves to be a top eight team this year.”last_img

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