Nov. 18, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The South Carolina swimming and diving teams had one of their best efforts of the season on day two at the Nike Cup Invitational on Friday at Koury Natatorium. The Gamecocks posted 37 times in the preliminaries that qualified for the finals, achieved four NCAA `B’ cuts and had 23 personal bests.
The strong performance left both the Gamecock men and women in third place heading into the final day.
The Carolina women had a stellar showing in the 400-yard IM. Sophomore Rachael Schaffer posted her second NCAA `B’ cut of the week to take first place in the A-final with a time of 4:11.25, which is the third fastest time in the country this season and second best in school history.
Sophomore Abby Galbreath swam a `B’ cut time of 4:18.25 to win the B-final and finish ninth overall, while freshman Annika Jonsson finished 10th overall with a career-best time of 4:20.13. Junior Whitney Avers won the C-final by more than five seconds with a time of 4:25.74 as she finished 17th overall.
Sophomore Amanda Rutqvist achieved the Gamecocks’ third `B’ cut of the night with a time of 1:02.71 to place fourth in the 100 breaststroke. Senior Aileen Atzhorn finished 12th with a time of 1:05.70, and junior Alyssa Hand finished 16th with a time of 1:07.91.
The Gamecocks placed eighth in the women’s 200-yard medley relay, as the team of Matea Peteh, Rutqvist, Meghan Brockington and Rachel Elliott finished with a time of 1:45.96. In the men’s race, Carolina claimed fifth with a time of 1:31.14 from the team of Jay Warner, Graham Kauffman, Isaac Badillo and Andrew Seiler.
In the women’s 100-yard butterfly, Brockington took fourth overall with a PR of 55.05, and freshman Sara Drake finished 14th with a career-best time of 56.76. Sophomore Lauren Raczkowski finished third in the C-final and 19th overall with a PR of 57.16. Badillo was Carolina’s top finisher in the men’s race with a fourth-place showing in a time of 49.57. Junior Max Heinze finished 12th overall with a time of 49.75.
Peteh was Carolina’s top finisher in the women’s 200 freestyle as she claimed fifth in the A-final with a PR of 1:51.43. Junior Lindsey Olson (1:52.49) and freshman Morgan Brooks (1:53.12, PR) placed 13th and 14th, respectively, while sophomore Taylor Josserand swam a 1:54.17 to finish second in the C-final and 18th overall.
Sophomore Gerard Rodriguez led the Gamecock men in the 200 freestyle, finishing second in the B-final and 10th overall with a time of 1:40.20. Freshman Michael Covert placed 15th overall with a time of 1:42.98, while sophomore Tim Berens took fourth in the C-final and 20th overall with a time of 1:42.87.
Seiler claimed second in the B-final and 10th overall in the men’s 100 breaststroke with a time of 57.12, and Kauffman placed 11th overall with a PR of 57.32.
In the women’s 100 backstroke, Peteh led the Gamecocks with a seventh-place showing in the A-final in a time of 56.22. Sophomore Lauren Rosenberg (57.43) and Brooks (57.45, PR) finished 15th and 19th, respectively. Heinze finished sixth for Carolina in the men’s race with a time of 50.31, while Covert swam a 50.96 to take eighth. Warner won the B-final and took ninth overall with a time of 49.14, and senior James Crawford finished second in the C-final and 18th overall in a time of 51.73.
The Gamecocks’ relay team of Schaffer, Olson, Brockington and Peteh finished fourth in the women’s 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:33.57, and the team of Jonsson, Josserand, Raczkowski and Brooks took fifth with a time of 7:34.56. In the men’s race, the team of Kaden, Covert, Grigull and Rodriguez placed fifth with a time of 6:46.67.
On the boards, junior Rylan Ridenour came up just short of winning the men’s one-meter springboard as he finished second with a score of 360.50, which was 3.3 points shy of first place. Freshman Cole Miller placed seventh with a score of 323.90. Senior Courtney Forcucci claimed second on the women’s three-meter springboard with a score of 340.30.
Host North Carolina has 808 points to lead the men’s competition, followed by Duke (499) and the Gamecocks (399.5). The Tar Heels also lead on the women’s side with 965 points, followed by Duke (429) and South Carolina (410).
Saturday’s preliminaries are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. followed by the finals at 6 p.m. at Koury Natatorium. Live results are available at tarheelblue.com.