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Jan. 19, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – The Gamecocks will compete in their final regular season meet Saturday at 2 p.m. South Carolina will face SEC competitors, Alabama and Florida, at the Alabama Aquatic Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“This will be the last test before the SECs. We are going to have our hands full, they are both great opponents, so it will give us an opportunity to see where we are and where we might need to make some improvements,” said head coach Don Gibb.

Both South Carolina squads are coming off a victory against North Carolina State on Jan. 13, which improved their season records to 4-4 for the women and 4-3 for the men. The Gamecocks hope to carry their momentum into this weekend’s match and secure a final victory before post-season competition begins.

The South Carolina men will hope to continue turning in strong relay performances on Saturday to prevail over No. 18 Alabama and the No. 11 Florida. They will also need career performances from freestylers, such as Junior Dan White and Senior Kyle Cormier, to compete against Alabama’s Apostolis Tsagkarakis, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the SEC in the 50 free. The Gamecock men will also face tough competition in the backstroke events, with the No. 1 and 2 ranked men in the SEC, Lucas Salatta and Roland Rudolf, swimming for Florida.

The Gamecock women will also face tough competition. The No. 9 Florida team has a number of top SEC competitors including freestylers Caroline Burckle, Natalie Pike, and Katie Ball. Alabama’s Agustina de Giovanni is a triple threat with top 10 SEC times in the 500 free, the 100 breast, and the 200 IM. The Gamecocks will need solid performances from their veterans such as returning All-American junior Christy Williams and senior Lindsey Tiberio, as well as their younger girls, such as sophomore standout Sharntelle McLean.

Following Saturday’s meet the Gamecocks will have several weeks to prepare for the SEC championships being held in Lexington, Ky. Feb. 7-10.