Nov. 19, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The South Carolina swimming and diving teams had another solid afternoon of preliminaries on Saturday on day three at the Nike Cup Invitational at Koury Natatorium. The Gamecocks sent 41 swimmers and divers to Saturday’s finals, posted one NCAA ‘B’ cut and had 10 personal bests.
Sophomore Amanda Rutqvist posted her third NCAA `B’ cut of the weekend as she took fourth place in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:15.11 to advance to the A-final. Sophomore Rachael Schaffer wasn’t far behind as she finished fifth with a time of 2:16.38. Senior Mallory Cage (2:22.78) and senior Aileen Atzhorn (2:24.13) advanced to the B-final, while sophomore Abby Galbreath (2:26.14, PR), junior Alyssa Hand (2:27.00) and junior Maquala O’Brien (2:30.69) qualified for the C-final.
The Gamecocks got off to strong start in the diving events, as senior Courtney Forcucci finished first on the one-meter springboard with a career-best score of 325.40 to advance to the finals. Freshmen Patricia Kranz (258.70) and Kasey Catalfomo (254.80) also advanced to tonight’s finals. On the men’s side, junior Rylan Ridenour was the lone Gamecock to advance to the finals on the three-meter springboard, as his score of 380.65 was the third best in the preliminaries.
Junior Matea Peteh led the Gamecocks in the women’s 200-yard backstroke as she earned the seventh seed to the A-finals with a PR of 2:00.78. Sophomore Lauren Rosenberg swam a time of 2:02.27 to make the B-final, while freshmen Elisabeth Worrell (2:06.59) and Ellie Skinner (2:08.14) qualified for the C-final. In the men’s race, senior James Crawford (1:51.77), freshman Michael Covert (1:52.28) and sophomore Matt Navata (1:53.57) all advanced to the B-final, while sophomore Jay Warner (1:55.40) claimed the last spot in the C-final.
In the men’s 200 breaststroke, junior Bobby Cave swam the fastest time of the Gamecocks with a mark of 2:04.82 to advance to the A-final. Freshman Alex Vance (2:07.97), junior Collin Kaden (2:08.93) and senior Ryan Connolly (2:10.75) all qualified for the C-final.
Carolina placed five swimmers in the women’s 100-yard freestyle finals. Freshman Rachel Elliott (52.81, PR), sophomore Lauren Raczkowski (52.84) and sophomore Taylor Josserand (52.96, PR) qualified for the B-final, while freshmen Morgan Brooks (52.96, PR) and Sara Drake (53.96) advance to the C-final. Junior Andrew Seiler narrowly missed making the A-final in the men’s race as his time of 45.91 was good enough for ninth. Senior Rory Grigull (46.43) and junior Max Heinze (46.45, PR) also advanced to the B-final.
Seven Gamecocks advanced to the women’s 200 butterfly finals led by Schaffer, who finished sixth with a time of 2:03.07 to make the A-final. Sophomore Meghan Brockington (2:04.41) and junior Lauren Olson (2:04.50) advanced to the B-final, while junior Whitney Avers (2:04.87), freshman Annika Jonsson (2:05.28, PR), freshman Charlotte Ward (2:06.06, PR) and freshman Brooke Obeck (2:06.73, PR) all qualified for the C-final.
In the men’s 200 butterfly, sophomore Gerard Rodriguez finished 13th to qualify for the B-final with a time of 1:52.67, while Covert (1:56.05) and Navata (1:56.18) advanced to the C-final.
Saturday’s Finals begin at 6 p.m. at Koury Natatorium. Live results are available at tarheelblue.com.