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Nov. 25, 2009

COLUMBIA – For the second time this season, South Carolina freshman Michael Flach has been named the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman of the Week after his performance in last week’s Gamecock Invitational, the league office announced late Tuesday.

Flach, who was named South Carolina’s AgSouth Athlete of the Week on Monday, earned South Carolina’s first NCAA `B’ cut and the first of his career in Thursday’s preliminaries of the 500 freestyle when he swam a 4:22.78, which ranks as the third-fastest time in the country after the weekend. He would also record a tie for second in the 200 butterfly in 1:49.64, a scant one-hundredth of a second behind the event winner. Flach was the top qualifier in 200 backstroke prelims with a 1:49.93, a career-best time, and also took fifth in the 400 IM with a 3:58.37. The native of Annandale, Va., swam the anchor leg of the 800 freestyle relay, posting the fastest split of the night (1:38.74) to earn a second-place finish for the Gamecocks.

As the fall season concludes, Flach ranks third in the SEC in the 500 freestyle, eighth in the 200 butterfly, 10th in the 400 individual medley and 14th in the 200 backstroke. He was previously named the SEC’s Freshman of the Week following his performance in South Carolina’s meet at Tennessee on Nov. 6 when he posted a lifetime-best in the 400 IM.

Other SEC honorees this week included Arkansas’ Yi-Ting Siow (female swimmer), Alabama’s Carrie Dragland (female diver), Tennessee’s Kelsey Floyd (female freshman), Alabama’s Mark Randall and Kentucky’s Tyler Reed (co-male swimmers), and Alabama’s Aaron Fleshner (male diver).

The Gamecocks resume their dual meet season on Jan. 9, 2010, as they travel to the College of Charleston.