Nov. 15, 2002
Gainesville, FL. – The University of South Carolina was narrowly defeated by the University of Florida Friday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium. The women’s team lost to the No. 5-ranked Gators 136-102, while the men were downed by the seventh-ranked team in the country by a score of 130-104.
Florida looked every bit the team that has come to be associated with Southeastern Conference swimming and diving. The women’s team is the defending SEC champions and the men were runners-up at last year’s competition. The Gamecocks had their work cut out for them from the start.
Before leaving for Florida, head men’s and women’s coach Don Gibb said “Florida will be tough, but it’s important to go in there and compete so we can see what its going to be like against other SEC opponents and more importantly, for the swimmers going to SEC’s and NCAA’s, it’s a chance to match their skills and times against some of the best in the country.”
There was, in the loss, a ray of sunshine for the team- the diving. Diving coach Todd Sherritt’s athletes put together another stellar performance and came away with victories in all but one of the diving events. Sophomore Andy Bradley continued to shine as he again won both the 1- and 3- meter boards for the fifth time in as many meets. The women were helped along by Allison Brennan and Holly Hodges, who placed 1-2 in the 1-meter board. Brennan also finished in third place on the 3-meter.
The solitary winner for the swim program before Florida began swimming exhibition came during the women’s 50-meter freestyle. South Carolina’s Anna Nyiry won the event with a time of 23.59 followed by Gamecock Heather Skaggs, who finished second.
The Gamecocks will return to action in the Auburn Invitational from Dec. 5-7 in Auburn at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center.