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Jan. 28, 2011

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Alabama/Georgia Meet Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Live Results

By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director

Coach Moody Previews the Weekend

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina will wrap up the 2010-11 regular season on Saturday with a home tri-meet against SEC foes Georgia and Alabama. The meet gets underway at noon at the Blatt P.E. Center with diving set to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Prior to the start of the swimming portion of the meet, 10 Gamecock seniors will be honored as part of Senior Day festivities. Two men – Brett Sexton and Gray Tedder – and eight women – Allison Barr, Shaylyn Blake, Blair Bowers, Bridget Halligan, Stephanie Hellenga, Kelly Kirchler, Megan Sparks and Taryn Zack – will be recognized prior to the final home meet of their Carolina careers.

The Gamecock men, ranked 22nd in the nation, enter the meet at 9-0 overall (1-0 SEC), off to the best start in school history, and have a chance to complete the first undefeated dual-meet campaign in school annals. Even a split with the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs would give Carolina a 10-win season for just the second time ever, matching the efforts of the Gamecocks’ 1966 squad that finished 10-2 in dual-meet action and 4th in the ACC. Georgia’s men are 4-4 overall and ranked No. 9 nationally, and Alabama’s men are No. 16 in the nation with a 4-0 dual-meet mark. Georgia is coming off a dual-meet split last week as they defeated then-No. 12 Indiana but fell at then-No. 10 Tennessee. Alabama

On the women’s side, Carolina comes in at 6-5 overall (1-2 SEC), set to face a Georgia team that is 8-0 for the year and ranked No. 2 in the nation. Alabama’s women will be looking for their first win after an 0-4 start.

South Carolina trails both Georgia and Alabama in both the men’s and women’s all-time dual-meet meetings. The Gamecock men are 8-18 all-time against the Crimson Tide and are 16-26 in the series with Georgia. On the women’s side, Carolina is 8-11 in 19 meetings with Alabama, while the Gamecocks are 4-23 all-time versus Georgia.

Last season in Athens, the Gamecock men put up a tough fight against Alabama but faltered in the next-to-last race to drop a 156-144 decision, while Georgia downed the Carolina men 225-75. On the women’s side, Alabama took a 186-114 victory and Georgia beat the Gamecocks 193-99. The Gamecocks got a strong performance from Michael Flach, who took runner-up honors in the 500 freestyle with an NCAA `B’ cut time of 4:25.89, less than a second behind Alabama’s Mark Randall. He also swam a season-best 1:49.25 in the 200 butterfly, coming in third behind defending national runner-up Mark Dylla and Alabama’s Denes Zubcseck. On the women’s side, Sharntelle McLean took a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle with a 23.60, while Bridget Halligan was fourth, equaling her season-best with a 23.66. Megan Sparks took second place in the 200 backstroke with a 2:02.68.

This will be one of the premier meets across college swimming this week as it is the only meet in the country that features three top-25 men’s teams. With that comes several individual showdowns that will be closely watched around the nation. In the men’s meet, the races to watch will be the 200 butterfly and the 500 freestyle. The top five swimmers in the Southeastern Conference in the 500 free will go head-to-head South Carolina’s Flach – ranked 4th in the SEC and 11th in the nation – will face Georgia’s Martin Grodzki (1st in SEC, 5th in NCAA), Jameson Hill (2nd in SEC, 9th in NCAA) and Will Freeman (5th SEC/13th NCAA) along with Alabama’s Catalin Cosma (3rd SEC/10th NCAA). Flach was the bronze medalist in the event at last year’s SEC Championships, with Grodzki taking fifth place and Cosma finishing sixth.

In the 200 butterfly, Georgia’s Mark Dylla is the defending SEC Champion and has the fastest time in the league this year and 5th-best in the nation (1:43.88), but Flach is second with a 1:45.36, ranking 11th in the country. Georgia’s Todd McGraw is 5th in the league and Alabama’s Anestiz Arampatzis and Denes Zubcsek rank 7th and 8th in the league, respectively.

On the women’s side, Carolina freshman Amanda Rutqvist leads a field of the SEC’s top four swimmers in the 200 breaststroke as Rutqvist has the top time in the league this year (8th-best in the nation) with a school-record 2:10.35. She will face stiff competition from a trio of Lady Bulldogs – Michelle McKeehan, Sara Nicponski and Melanie Margalis – who are ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively, in the SEC. Alabama’s Kate Shannon Gray is 6th in the league, and the Gamecocks’ Rachael Schaffer is 9th. In the 400 individual medley, Schaffer ranks fifth in the SEC with a school-record 4:14.12, and she will face the No. 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9 swimmers in the league. Georgia’s Margalis and Alabama’s Gray are 2nd and 3rd, respectively, with the Lady Bulldogs’ Wendy Trott, Jana Mangimelli and Shannon Vreeland all in the league’s top 10.

Admission is free to all South Carolina swimming & diving events. Fans unable to make it to the Blatt P.E. Center/Carolina Natatorium can follow live results via, and periodic updates can be obtained via Twitter by following @GamecockSwim.