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Feb. 19, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla.– The University of South Carolina swimming and diving team advanced six swimmers to the finals of the fourth swimming day of the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in Gainesville, Fla. The Gamecocks will look for both the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle relays to do well in order to gain points in the team standings.

“It was a tough morning,” said head coach Don Gibb. “We have some problems getting going in the morning, but we have a couple of young swimmers who get to swim this evening.”

The first race of the afternoon was the men’s 200-yard backstroke and included two South Carolina swimmers in the first heat. Freshman Sean Murray advanced to the consolation finals by cutting more than three seconds off his season-best time to finish 16th overall at 1:50.95. Teammate Kevin Cargill finished a spot behind Murray in their heat and two spots overall at 18th with a time of 1:51.76.

Two freshmen competed in the women’s 200 backstroke, with freshman Carly Hensel in 17th place, just missing the finals. Hensel trailed Kentucky’s Jill Southerlan halfway through the race, but passed her to finish sixth in the heat with a time of 2:03.21. Freshman Kasey Tamkun placed 30th overall at 2:09.56.

In the men’s 100-yard freestyle, junior Reid Duff led the Gamecocks in the event with his time of :45.20, but did not qualify for the finals as he finished 19th. A good start off the blocks led to a heat win and 22nd-place finish overall by freshman Christian Robledo with a season-best time of :45.34. Sophomore Colby Mack placed 23rd overall with a season-best :45.49 and freshman Dane Patching finished 34th with a time of 47.32. Freshmen Alex Holtkamp and Michael Burke posted season-best times of 47.81 and 47.97 to finish 36th and 38th, respectively.

Junior Haley Skaggs and senior Carolynn McHugh missed advancing to the consolation finals in the 100-yard freestyle, but posted times that made the provisional NCAA qualifying cut. Both women improved their personal bests, with Skaggs swimming a 51.00 and placing 19th and McHugh recording a :51.06 for 20th.

Freshmen exhibition swimmer Kelly Giese made up ground during the last 50 yards of the 100 free to finish second in her heat. Giese and fellow freshman Alyssa Cady, who placed 29th, rebounded after a false start by an Alabama swimmer to post times of :51.82 and :52.57, respectively. Freshman Diana Lopez placed 26th with a season-best time of :52.13.

Rounding out the women’s 100 free were freshmen exhibition swimmers Jessica VanAssen and Amanda Sowell. VanAssen improved her time by almost one second to 54.51 while Sowell posted a time of 55.21.

In the women’s 200-yard breaststroke, freshmen Carly Hensel and Mandee Cregar advanced to the consolation finals by taking the 14th and 15th spots. Hensel finished with a time of 2:19.90 while Cregar posted a time of 2:20.70. Sophomore Kendel Fiorentino posted a season-best time of 2:23.26 to finish 19th, ahead of fellow sophomore Aunya Nance in 20th, whose time of 2:23.55 was just off her fastest. The lone South Carolina men’s swimmer in the 200-yard breaststroke, junior Justin Kata, was disqualified.

Junior Tamas Bathazi squeezed into the consolation finals of the 200-yard butterfly in 16th with a time of 1:50.05. Freshman Kyle Cormier placed two spots out of the finals at 18th, but shaved four seconds off his season-best to improve to 1:51.14, while freshman Evan Barnes placed 21st with a time of 1:54.95.

For the women, both Heather Roffey and Christy Williams will have the chance to improve their preliminary times in the 200-yard butterfly when they swim in tonight’s finals. Roffey claimed 10th place with a season-best time of 2:00.87, while Williams swam a 2:02.20 to finish 12th. Rounding out the women’s competitors in the 200-yard butterfly were Fiorentino at 21st with a time of 2:07.51 and sophomore Meredith Ruka at 26th with a time of 2:11.85.

“We’ll look for the kids to improve on what they did this morning because all of our kids get better at night,” stated Gibb. “We’ve got to get behind those few that made it and finish up strong with that last relay.”

The timed final heats of the 1650-yard freestyle begin this afternoon at 2:35 p.m. Full results and a schedule of events can be found at


200-yard backstroke
1. Ryan Lochte Florida 1:42.00
16. Sean Murray S. Carolina 1:50.95
18. Kevin Cargill S. Carolina 1:51.76

100-yard freestyle
1. Ryan Wochomurka Auburn :43.34
19. Reid Duff S. Carolina :45.20
22. Christian Robledo S. Carolina :45.34
23. Colby Mack S. Carolina :45.49
34. Dane Patching S. Carolina :47.32
36. Alex Holtkamp S. Carolina :47.81
38. Michael Burke S. Carolina :47.97

200-yard breaststroke
1. Vladislav Polyakov Alabama 1:57.91
Justin Kata S. Carolina DQ

200-yard butterfly
1. Gil Stovall Georgia 1:43.74
16. Tamas Bathazi S. Carolina 1:50.05
18. Kyle Cormier S. Carolina 1:51.14
21. Evan Barnes S. Carolina 1:54.95


200-yard backstroke
1. Kirsty Coventry Auburn 1:54.50
17. Carly Hensel S. Carolina 2:03.21
30. Kasey Tamkun S. Carolina 2:09.56

100-yard freestyle
1. Kara Lynn Joyce Georgia :48.78
19. Haley Skaggs S. Carolina :51.00
20. Carolynn McHugh S. Carolina :51.06
26. Diana Lopez S. Carolina :52.13
29. Alyssa Cady S. Carolina :52.57
X- Kelly Giese S. Carolina :51.82
X- Jessica VanAssen S. Carolina :54.51
X- Amanda Sowell S. Carolina :55.21

200-yard breaststroke
1. Vipa Bernhardt Florida 2:12.56
14. Carly Hensel S. Carolina 2:19.90
15. Mandee Cregar S. Carolina 2:20.70
19. Kendel Fiorentino S. Carolina 2:23.26
20. Aunya Nance S. Carolina 2:23.55

200-yard butterfly
1. Tawnie Bethune Auburn 1:55.53
10. Heather Roffey S. Carolina 2:00.87
12. Christy Williams S. Carolina 2:02.20
21. Kendel Fiorentino S. Carolina 2:07.51
26. Meredith Ruka S. Carolina 2:11.85