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Feb. 18, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla.–Eleven members of the University of South Carolina Swimming and Diving Team advanced to tonight’s finals of the swimming part of the SEC Championships in Gainesville, Fla. The women saw swimmers qualify for the finals in every preliminary event while the men placed swimmers in three of the five events.

In the men’s 400-yard individual medley, junior Tim Farrington swam into the consolation finals with a season-best 4:01.98. He placed 13th overall, while his brother, junior Mike Farrington, finished two spots out of the finals at 18th with a time of 4:08.97. Both swimmers moved up a spot after an Auburn swimmer in their heat was disqualified.

On the women’s side, freshman Carly Hensel came into the preliminary competition with the seventh-fastest time in school history in the 400 individual medley at 4:24.67. With a time of 4:21.50 in the preliminary heat, she not only moved up to third on the school record list, but also qualified for the finals by placing 16th overall. Her time made the qualifying NCAA provisional cut.

In the 100-yard butterfly, the lone men’s Gamecock swimmer, freshman Alex Holtkamp, improved his season-best time by over two seconds to finish 30th at 51.89.

For the women, freshman Christy Williams will swim in the consolation finals after placing 15th with a season-best time of 55.39. With her time, she also captured the sixth spot on the all-time school record list. Three other Gamecock women posted season-best times during the preliminary heats. Senior Carolynn McHugh improved to 55.55 with an 18th-place finish, sophomore Kendel Fiorentino swam into 26th place with a time of 57.00 and freshman exhibition swimmer Amanda Sowell posted a time of 58.69.

“Today was definitely an improvement on what we did yesterday,” stated head coach Don Gibb. “We have a lot kids with the opportunity to move up tonight, especially the kids in 15th and 16th place because there really is only one place to go and that is up. We can only improve from a point standpoint.”

Junior Reid Duff was the only Gamecock men’s swimmer to advance to the finals in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing 15th with a time of 1:38.01. Teammate Dan White improved his time to 1:38.26, which was good for 18th place. Just four one-hundredths of a second separated junior Tamas Bathazi and freshman Christian Robledo as Bathazi edged out Robledo’s 1:38.76 with his own time of 1:38.72. Sophomore Colby Mack, swimming in the final preliminary heat, put up a time of 1:39.41 to place 25th, just ahead of freshman Kyle Cormier who finished 26th at 1:39.56. Rounding out the 200-yard freestyle for the men were freshmen Evan Barnes and Michael Burke, who posted times of 1:42.69 and 1:43.92 to place 33rd and 35th, respectively.

Four men swam time trials in the 200-yard freestyle in an attempt to make the NCAA provisional cut. Mack made the cut by improving his earlier time to 1:38.00, but none of the other three- Bathazi, White and Cormier- posted faster times than their previous ones today.

Three South Carolina women advanced to the consolation finals in the 200 freestyle, taking the last three qualifying spots. Freshman Lauren Fayssoux placed 14th with a season-best time of 1:50.51, while junior Haley Skaggs improved to 1:50.60 and finished 15th. The final qualifier was sophomore Stephanie Margalis, who swam 1:50.77 to place 16th. Freshman Diana Lopez placed 23rd with a time of 1:53.01 and teammates Kelli Hobbs and Mallory Deighan swam times of 1:53.92 and 1:54.28 to finish 26th and 28th, respectively.

Three Gamecocks competed as exhibition swimmers in the 200 freestyle, all posting season-best times. Freshman Kelly Giese put up a time of 1:53.02, sophomore Kaelon May improved to 1:53.43 and freshman Jessica VanAssen posted a 1:54.69.

Three South Carolina swimmers moved on to the finals in the 100-yard breaststroke, one for the men and two for the women. Junior Justin Kata improved his season-best mark to 57.04 to take 15th place. Freshman Mandee Cregar posted a time of 1:04.95 to finish two spots ahead of freshman Aunya Nance in 14th. Nance took the final qualifying spot with a time of 1:05.91 while freshman Alyssa Cady finished in 20th with a swim of 1:08.30.

In the 100-yard backstroke, freshmen Sean Murray and Dane Patching finished out of the finals at 21st and 22nd with times of 52.70 and 53.42, respectively. The lone South Carolina women’s swimmer in today’s preliminary backstroke, freshman Kasey Tamkun, squeaked into the consolation finals by finishing 16th with a time of 58.00.

“Everybody’s up,” said Gibb. “The kids are a lot more excited today than they were yesterday, so we should score a lot of points tonight.”

The finals begin tonight at 5:30 p.m. and include the 200-yard freestyle relay. Full results and a schedule of events can be found at


400-yard individual medley
1. Ryan Lochte Florida 3:46.95
13. Tim Farrington S. Carolina 4:01.98
18. Mike Farrington S. Carolina 4:08.97

100-yard butterfly
1. Gabriel Mangabeiria Florida :47.07
30. Alex Holtkamp S. Carolina :51.89

200-yard freestyle
1. Adam Sioui Florida 1:35.27
15. Reid Duff S. Carolina 1:38.01
18. Dan White S. Carolina 1:38.26
22. Tamas Bathazi S. Carolina 1:38.72
23. Christian Robledo S. Carolina 1:38.76
25. Colby Mack S. Carolina 1:39.41
26. Kyle Cormier S. Carolina 1:39.56
33. Evan Barnes S. Carolina 1:42.69
35. Michael Burke S. Carolina 1:43.92

100-yard breaststroke
1. Vladislav Polyakov Alabama :54.25
15. Justin Kata S. Carolina :57.04

100-yard backstroke
1. Chad Barlow Auburn :47.30
21. Sean Murray S. Carolina :52.70
22. Dane Patching S. Carolina :53.42


400-yard individual medley
1. Kirsty Coventry Auburn 4:10.45
16. Carly Hensel S. Carolina 4:21.50

100-yard butterfly
1. Mary DeScenza Georgia :52.76
15. Christy Williams S. Carolina :55.39
18. Carolynn McHugh S. Carolina :55.55
26. Kendel Fiorentino S. Carolina :57.00
X- Amanda Sowell S. Carolina :58.69

200-yard freestyle
1. Caroline Burckle Florida 1:45.81
14. Lauren Fayssoux S. Carolina 1:50.51
15. Haley Skaggs S. Carolina 1:50.60
16. Stephanie Margalis S. Carolina 1:50.77
23. Diana Lopez S. Carolina 1:53.01
26. Kelli Hobbs S. Carolina 1:53.92
28. Mallory Deighan S. Carolina 1:54.28
X- Kelly Giese S. Carolina 1:53.02
X- Kaelon May S. Carolina 1:53.43
X- Jessica VanAssen S. Carolina 1:54.69

100-yard breaststroke
1. Sarah Poewe Georgia 1:00.93
14. Mandee Cregar S. Carolina 1:04.95
16. Aunya Nance S. Carolina 1:05.91
20. Alyssa Cady S. Carolina 1:08.30

100-yard backstroke
1. Jenni Anderson Auburn :53.76
16. Kasey Tamkun S. Carolina :58.00