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Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - February 1, 2013

Palo Alto grad Tosky returns home with USC swim team

by Keith Peters

It was only a year ago that Jasmine Tosky was splashing her way into the record books while finishing up her senior year at Palo Alto High. The versatile Tosky capped a sensational prep career with the seventh and eighth individual Central Coast Section titles of her career.

Tosky will be back in town on Saturday, just across the street from where she rewrote the Palo Alto swimming record book. The freshman is a member of the nationally No. 1-ranked USC women's swim team, which will face No. 8 Stanford at noon at Avery Aquatic Center.

"So excited!" Tosky said. "Even more excited to go home for for a bit."

Tosky and the Trojans (4-0, 8-0) first will take on host and two-time defending NCAA champion California on Friday (1 p.m.), where Tosky will meet up with former Gunn rival and Cal freshman Rachael Acker.

The No. 3-ranked Bears moved to 2-1 in the Pac-12 Conference (5-1 overall) last week after falling to Arizona but defeating Arizona State on the road. They are led by lone senior Caitlin Leverenz, a two-time NCAA champion last year (200y IM, 200y breast) who went on to win bronze for the U.S. in the 200m IM at the 2012 London Olympics.

Junior Cindy Tran is the two-time defending NCAA champion in the 100y back while freshmen teammates Rachel Bootsma (an Olympic gold medalist) and Elizabeth Pelton are All-American caliber backstrokers, as well. Tran, Bootsma and Pelton, in fact, are currently ranked 1-2-3 in the country in the 100-yard back.

Cal leads the series, 18-14. The teams have split the past four meetings. Last year at USC, the Bears defeated the Trojans, 162-138.

Stanford (2-0, 5-1) is coming off victories over Arizona and Arizona State and is led by junior Maya DiRado, a career nine-time All-American who posted three top-four finishes at the 2012 NCAA Championships and was fourth in both the 200- and 400-meter IM at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

The 2011 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year swam for the U.S. at the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships, taking fifth in both the 200m and 400m IM. Sophomore Maddy Schaefer was the 2012 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, earning All-American honors in the 100y free and helping Stanford to NCAA titles in the 200- and 400-yard free relays. Schaefer ranks No. 3 in the nation in the 50 free (22.18) and No. 5 in the 100 free (48.36) for Division I.

Tosky and Schaefer are long-time teammates at Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics.

Stanford leads the series, 32-2. USC's last win over the Cardinal came in 1996, 153-147. Stanford won at USC last year, 160.5-139.5

Tosky hopes to reverse USC's recent efforts against Stanford. Despite her youth, Tosky is one of the country's top swimmers with a pair of World Championship relays golds already to her credit.

Tosky's versatility makes her a dynamic addition to the Trojans and helps fill the void of the departed do-everything Katinka Hosszu.

Tosky currently ranks No. 2 in the nation in Division I for the 200-yard fly (1:53.98), is tied for No. 4 in the 100 fly (52.19 and is No. 9 in the 200 IM (1:56.43). She's also ranked among the top 15 in the 200 free (1:45.14) and 500 free (4:42.34).

At the annual SMU Classic in October that featured small, elite groups from different teams around the country in a unique invitational format, USC won the team title and Tosky was named the swimmer of the meet. She set two pool and three meet records in four individual swims.

Tosky, a national team member since 2011, also claimed gold as part of the U.S. 800-meter free relay at the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships in December. Tosky swam in the prelims as the Americans qualified first for the final, ultimately winning gold.

Tosky won a title in the 200-yard fly (1:54.38) at the 2012 U.S. Winter Nationals and was also fifth in the 100 fly (52.42), sixth in the 200 IM (1:56.67) and fifth in the `B' final of the 200 breast (2:12.86). She also swam on Troy's winning 800y free relay.

For helping the Trojans win the team title at Winter Nationals, Tosky was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month for December.

At Palo Alto, Tosky became the most accomplished female swimmer in CCS history with her eight individual titles. She also set a national public school record in the 100 fly in the prelims of the 2011 CCS finals. Her time of 51.92 erased the old high school record in the books, previously held by Misty Hyman, who went on to win Olympic gold while at Stanford.

In 2011, Tosky was named the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Female High School Athlete of the Year in addition to being named Swimming World Magazine Female Co-Swimmer of the Year.

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