March 17, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. — South Carolina sophomore Amanda Rutqvist claimed 15th place in the 200-yard breaststroke consolation final with a time of 2:09.92 on Saturday night to conclude a strong week for the Gamecocks at the 2012 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships.
With the top-16 finish, Rutqvist earned her third career All-America honor. As a team, the Gamecocks wrapped up the week in 29th place with 18 points, which was three points short of a top-25 finish.
“Amanda was good in the 200 breaststroke tonight,” South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. “She was excellent this morning. The event was faster this year, so her times kind of fell off a little bit tonight, but it’s all right. She did a good job and stuck with the strategy. All in all I think it was a very successful weekend. It gives us something to build on.”
Rutqvist advanced to the consolation final with an 11th-place finish in the preliminaries in a time of 2:09.82. Teammate Rachael Schaffer also swam the 200 breaststroke preliminaries and finished 44th overall in a time of 2:14.11.
On the boards, senior Courtney Forcucci closed out one of the best NCAA Championships for a diver in South Carolina history with a 19th-place showing in the platform competition with a score of 237.25. Forcucci came up just 7.35 points shy of becoming the first Gamecock diver to earn three All-America honors at the same NCAA Championship. She finished 15th on the one-meter springboard to begin the week and claimed fifth on the three-meter board on Friday to earn her first two All-America honors as a Gamecock.
“It was quite spectacular,” South Carolina diving coach Todd Sherritt said. “I think we ran out of gas a little bit here at the end of the week, but you just can’t say enough. She’s not a tower specialist, but this whole week has been phenomenal for her, especially wrapping up her senior year and getting those two All-America awards. You can’t ask for anything better than that.”
The Gamecocks will now turn their focus on training for the Olympic Trials for their respective countries.