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March 2, 2011

By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina freshman swimmers Rachael Schaffer and Amanda Rutqvist will represent the Gamecocks at the 2011 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships as the NCAA official psych sheet was released Wednesday. The meet is set for March 17-19 at the Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.

Rutqvist, the SEC Champion in the 200-yard breaststroke, automatically qualified for the NCAA meet with her time of 2:08.56, setting both a South Carolina and Southeastern Conference record at last month’s SEC Championships in Gainesville, Fla. The native of Gothenburg, Sweden, has the nation’s sixth-fastest time in the 200 breast, along with the 15th-fastest time in the country in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.20). She also has a provisional qualifying time for the 200 individual medley (2:01.72).

Schaffer, a native of Baltimore, Md., earned an invitation to the meet by virtue of her times in both the 200- and 400-yard individual medley. She has the nation’s 18th-fastest time in the 400 IM (4:09.33) and the 19th-fastest national time in the 200 IM (1:57.89). She is also provisionally qualified in the 200 breaststroke (2:12.88).

The pair of Gamecocks will be the first women’s swimmers to compete at an NCAA Championship for South Carolina since Christy Williams swam in the 2008 meet.

A total of 322 student-athletes will compete in the championships. Student-athletes qualified for the swimming portion of the championships by meeting the established minimum times for the events in which they entered. Divers will be determined by performances achieved at the Zone Diving meets March 10-13. South Carolina’s divers will compete in the NCAA Zone B meet in Athens, Ga., which runs March 10-12. will stream finals sessions live on Friday and Saturday, March 18-19. Additionally, ESPN2 will air a 90-minute show at 1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 5.