Carlson makes it official – she’ll be a Trojan

UPDATED: 4:25 p.m.

Las Lomas High and Concord Terrapins swimmer Kasey Carlson, bronze medalist at the 2009 FINA World Championships and multiple North Coast Section record-holder, has orally committed to continue her career at USC.

Carlson, a senior at Las Lomas, informed USC coach Dave Salo of her decision Monday afternoon.

Long considered one of the top swimmers in the California prep ranks, Carlson exploded onto the national scene with her 100-meter breaststroke performance in Rome this summer. She also made the finals in the 50-meter breaststroke, breaking the American record in a preliminary heat before Rebecca Soni broke it again to win the gold medal.

“I think just how I fit in with the whole team and the school (made the difference),” Carlson said. “I felt like I fit in there really smoothly.”

Carlson chose the Trojans over Cal and UCLA. She said one big factor in her decision was the opportunity to swim for Salo, whom she said is known for coaching the breaststroke. She said she’s also excited to train with Soni, who trains at USC.

“I just wanted to get it over with and be done with it,” Carlson said. “I think I can take the next step in other things in high school now and I can put everything behind me until the summer and see where it goes.”

Carlson owns the national high school record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a mark of 58.75 seconds. She owns NCS records in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke, and is also part of two record-setting relay teams.

As far as events go, Carlson said she will continue to swim the freestyle until she finishes her high school career, but added that she’s not sure yet if she’ll continue to swim both events in college.

Ben Enos