Cristian Quintero is going to be busy the next three days.
The championships begin Thursday.
"He's going to be the cornerstone for us," USC Coach Dave Salo said.
Quintero, an applied math major who came to USC from Venezuela, will try to repeat the feat he accomplished at the
The 6-foot-5 Quintero, the defending NCAA champion in the 500-yard freestyle, won the 500-, 200- and 100-yard freestyle races to lead USC to its first men's title since 1979. Quintero became the first man in Pac-12 history to pull off the triple in the championship meet. He also anchored the winning 400-yard free and medley relays and the 800-yard free relay.
Quintero, 22, will compete in the 100, 200 and 500 and three relays at the NCAA championships.
Last year, he won the 500, was a part of the winning 800-yard relay, and finished second in the 200 and third in the 100.
"The 100, for sure, is going to be the hardest to win," he said.
Quintero said the Trojans -- who have 13 swimmers competing at the championships -- are primed to make a run at the title.
"We're going to keep building and building," he said.
Quintero competed in the
This summer he will compete in the
He will return to USC in the fall to finish his degree.