Dec. 2, 2005
Athens, Ga. – The South Carolina men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams had a successful first day of competition at the Bulldog Invitational on Friday. The evening ended with the USC women’s team setting a school record in the 400 medley relay. The quartet of Christy Williams, Lindsey Tiberio, Kendel Fiorentino and Haley Skaggs finished at 3:44.06, the fastest mark in school history and also an NCAA “B” standard time. Also having a strong first day was senior diver Allison Brennan, who continued her string of first place performances earning the top spot on the one-meter board with a score of 291.90.
“I think this evening we really stepped it up and got better in our performances from earlier in the day,” said USC head swimming coach Don Gibb. “This is what it will take for us later in the year as we compete in meets like the SEC Championships. I’m excited with the way we came out, got in there and butted heads with some of the top swimmers in the country. The last two meets we have done a good job and I think we are starting to come around.”
Williams, Tiberio, Fiorentino and Skaggs finished their 400 medley relay (3:44.06) more than one second faster than the previous mark set back in 1995 of 3:45.95. The 400 medley relay finished fourth in the contest. The Carolina women’s team also finished fourth in the 200 freestyle relay. Williams, Haley Skaggs, Kelly Giese and Aunya Nance finished at 1:34.49, the fastest time on the year for USC.
The men’s 200 freestyle relay also gave a good performance with a season best time of 1:22.09 and a fourth place finish. The event featured Reid Duff, Colby Mack, Christian Robledo and Tamas Bathazi.
USC also had several swimmers on the men’s and women’s side that competed in the championship finals in the evening session. Sophomore Dan White finished in fifth place in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:28.11. The men’s 500 freestyle also featured sophomore Kyle Cormier winning the “B” final and taking ninth place with a time of 4:29.95.
Freshman women’s swimmer Amanda Dunnigan was seventh in the 200 individual medley at 2:03.95, an NCAA “B” qualifying standard. Dunnigan now has NCAA “B” cuts in both the 200 and 400 IM.
The men’s 50 freestyle featured a pair of top season performances from senior Reid Duff and sophomore Christian Robledo. Duff reached the “A” final and went 20.72 to take home fifth place. Robledo competed in the “B” final and placed 10th with a time of 20.77, a personal best in his career at Carolina. The women’s 50 freestyle saw senior Haley Skaggs just miss a new personal best. Skaggs went 23.65 for a 10th place finish in the sprint freestyle event. That time is just .02 seconds behind her sister Heather’s top time in the 50 freestyle. Junior Aunya Nance also went a season best 23.85 with freshman Kassy Kugler also recording a season best of 24.04.
Another contributor for the men’s team was freshman diver David Ovelson, who took home fourth place with a score of 316.65.
Competition will continue on day two Saturday, Dec. 4 with the Bulldog Invite prelims scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and the finals set for 5:30 p.m.