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Feb. 26, 2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – South Carolina junior Nicholas Walkotten has been named to the Second Team All-SEC squad, the announcement came from the league office on Monday. Walkotten set a school record in the 200-yard butterfly as he captured Carolina’s top finish of the 2008 SEC Swimming and Diving Championship, finishing second in the event. This marks the first SEC honor of his career.

Walkotten swam a strong preliminary heat in the morning session, setting a season best during prelims before improving that mark in the finals by more than two full seconds to set the school record of 1:43.83. Walkotten finished ninth last season in the 200 fly at the NCAA Championship. His automatic qualifying time was the first “A”-cut qualifier for the Gamecocks this season. Walkotten broke the record of former USC great Zsolt Gaspar, who set the previous mark of 1:43.85 in 2001.

Auburn’s Richard Quick earned his first SEC Men’s Coach of the Year honor, while there was a tie for SEC Women’s Coach of the Year as Florida’s Gregg Troy and Tennessee’s Matt Kredich were both honored. Auburn also nabbed Men’s Diving Coach of the Year with Jeff Shaffer and LSU’s Doug Shaffer was named Women’s Diving Coach of the Year.

Auburn’s Cesar Cielo was named Male Swimmer of the Year, while Tennessee’s Christine Magnuson was named Female Swimmer of the Year. Georgia’s Chris Colwill donned Male Diver of the Year honors and LSU’s Rachel Ware was crowned Female Diver of the Year. Freshman awards went to Georgia’s Mark Dylla for Male Swimmer and LSU’s Michael Neubacher for Male Diver. On the women’s side, Tennessee’s Aleksa Akerfelds was named Freshman Swimmer and Kentucky’s Jessica Snowden was named Freshman Diver of the Year. Scholar-Athletes of the Year were also announced. Florida’s Kevin Nead was the male recipient, while there were co-recipients on the women’s side with Tennessee’s Magnuson and Auburn’s Kara Denby.