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Nov. 19, 2010

Friday Prelims Results |

By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Sophomore Michael Flach added a second NCAA `B’ cut time to his 2010-11 résumé on Friday morning and freshman Gerard Rodriguez earned the first of his career as the South Carolina duo finished 1-2 in 200 freestyle preliminaries at the Nike Cup Invitational.

Flach clocked a 1:37.01 to earn the top seed in the preliminary heats, the third-fastest time of his career and the fourth-fastest in the nation so far this year. He advanced to the NCAA Championships in this event last season, clocking a 1:36.62 at the SEC Championships for his fastest career time and the seventh-best in school history.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, clocked the best of his collegiate career with a 1:37.80 to earn his first career NCAA `B’ cut, easily eclipsing the time standard of 1:38.29. He finished second behind Flach and nearly a full second ahead of the third-place finisher. Flach and Rodriguez will be joined in tonight’s finals by James Crawford, who swam a 1:41.49 to reach the B-final, and Rory Grigull, Matt Columbus and Brooks Ross, who all earned their way into the C-final.

Sophomore Max Heinze turned in a stellar 50.23 in the 100 backstroke to earn the fourth seed in tonight’s championship final, and freshman Jay Warner was close behind with a 50.45 to earn the No. 5 seed. Crawford took 10th and will swim the B-final after a 51.67. Sophomore Bobby Cave will swim the championship final in the 100 breaststroke after earning the No. 8 seed with a 57.34 in the morning prelim. Andrew Seiler will be in the B-final after a 57.86, and Collin Kaden earned a spot in the C-final with a 58.46.

Isaac Badillo and Rodriguez barely missed the A-final in the 100 butterfly with Badillo (49.88) and Rodriguez (49.99) posting ninth- and 10th-place times, respectively. Heinze took 12th with a 50.00, and Kaden was 14th with a 50.16. John Metts earned a spot in the C-final with a 50.72. Juniors Chris Kelly (4:05.13) and Ryan Connolly (4:09.49) will return for evening swims in the 400 individual medley with Kelly in the B-final and Connolly in the C-final.

On the women’s side, freshman Rachael Schaffer earned her way into the championship final of the 400 IM, clocking a 4:22.17 to finish fifth in prelims. Abby Galbreath (4:28.44), Whitney Avers (4:29.05) and Amanda Rutqvist (4:32.51) earned spots in the B-final, and Aileen Atzhorn (4:32.86) will swim the C-final.

Senior Megan Sparks barely missed the championship in the 100 back, posting a 56.93 to finish ninth and earn a spot in the B-final. Lauren Rosenburg (57.11) and Haley Staubach (57.37) also earned spots in the consolation. Schaffer and Rutqvist will both swim the B-final in the 100 breast with Rutqvist posting a 1:04.34 and Schaffer a 1:04.41. Atzhorn (1:07.41) earned a spot in the C-final.

In the 100 butterfly, senior Bridget Halligan posted a 56.53 to grab a spot in the B-final, and Staubach took 17th in 57.27 and will swim the C-final. Kelly Tannhauser was the top Gamecock in the women’s 200 free with a 1:53.23 to take 12th in the prelims, and Matea Peteh, Lindsey Olson and Jordan Gibbs all earned spots in the C-final.

Finals get underway at 6 p.m. from the Koury Natatorium. Live results are available by clicking the link at the top of the page or by visiting