Feb. 2, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina swimming and diving teams competed in their regular-season finale on Saturday, hosting Alabama and nationally ranked Georgia at the Carolina Natatorium on Senior Day. The 12th-ranked Bulldog men defeated Alabama, 170-125 and South Carolina 189-105. The Gamecocks also fell to Alabama, 184-116. The Georgia women, ranked No. 1 in the country, defeated Alabama, 186-109, and South Carolina, 185-109. The Carolina women proved victorious over the Roll Tide, winning by a 155-145 margin.
“We had a great meet today and we swam well,” South Carolina head swim coach McGee Moody said. “The women defeated Alabama which is always a competitive meet, while Georgia is one of the top combined teams in the country. Now its time to fine tune and prepare for the SEC championship.”
For the Gamecock men, sophomore Nicholas Walkotten continued a stellar season for USC, capturing first-place finishes in the 100- and 200- butterfly events for the second consecutive week. His mark of 48.60 in the 100 was a season-best, while his time of 1:47.41 in the 200 was a season-best and NCAA B cut qualifying mark. Sophomore Andrew Atzhorn also turned in a strong performance for Carolina, finishing second in the 400 IM with a time of 4:07.02.
Leading the Carolina women was the duo of seniors Mandee Cregar and Christy Williams. Cregar captured third-place finishes in the 100- (1:05.00) and 200- (2:20.98) yard breaststroke events, while Williams continued to excel in the butterfly swims, finishing third in both the 100 (56.30) and 200 (2:02.74) events.
Freshman Claire Thompson also captured two top-three finishes. Her time of 4:56.67 placed her third in the 500 freestyle swim, while her mark of 10:08.67 in the 1000 free also placed her third. Classmate Megan Sparks also competed well for USC, finishing second in the 200 backstroke with a mark of 2:02.53.
The Gamecock divers turned in strong meets on both the low and high boards. On the men’s side, junior David Ovelson took second on both the one- and three-meter boards, competing against strong SEC competitors. For the women, freshman Taryn Zack competed very aggressively to capture both the low and high board titles for the second consecutive week.
“Taryn (Zack) really did a nice job today, she worked very hard and she was very aggressive on the boards,” head diving coach Todd Sherritt said. “Allison Barr also did a nice job, and Morgan Rickie also dove very steady today.”
The Gamecocks will next compete at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championship meet, held in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Feb. 15-17 (diving) and 20-23 (swimming). Please visit Gamecocksonline.com for the complete schedule of events.