Nov. 2, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina swimming and diving teams will be on the road for the first time this season as they travel to face ACC power Virginia on Saturday morning.
The swimming portion of the meet is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Aquatic and Fitness Center in Charlottesville, Va. The diving will be split up over two sessions, with one board taking place on Friday at 7:15 p.m. and the second at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
“We talk a lot about how well we perform at home,” South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. “One thing I’ve noticed when we are on the road is we are never as good as we are at home. We’ve been working a lot on routine and what our schedule is going to be like and what our day is actually going to be like once we get up there. I think our objective this weekend is to go up and perform as well as we can on the road. One of our goals this week is to put up some season best times away from our own pool.”
The Carolina men enter the meet at 1-2 on the season after falling to top-ranked Florida last week, while the women are 0-3. The Gamecocks have put up some of the nation’s fastest times through two meets this season. Junior Michael Flach ranks 11th in the 200-yard butterfly (1:48.23), 15th in the 200-yard IM (1:50.95) and 18th in the 200-yard freestyle. Junior Matt Navata has two times in the top 20 as he ranks 18th in the 200 IM (1:51.24) and 19th in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:03.13), while junior Gerard Rodriguez has the 21st fastest time in the 200 freestyle (1:38.77). On the women’s side, junior Amanda Rutqvist has the 15th best time in the 200 breaststroke (2:14.87).
On the boards, the Gamecocks are coming off another stellar effort after sweeping the events against the Gators. Senior Rylan Ridenour earned SEC Diver of the Week honors by claiming first on both the one-meter springboard (359.35) and the three-meter springboard (396.60). Sophomore Patricia Kranz claimed first on both boards for the women as well.
“The divers are always consistent and are always among the best in the country,” Moody said. “Rylan had a little something to prove. He not only won but he won going away. We are really proud of him. Patti Kranz has always been great for us and she’s getting better every day. We’ve got a good situation with our divers, and I think it’s only going to get stronger.”
For the third straight meet, the Gamecocks will be facing one of the nation’s premier programs. Both the Virginia men and women enter Saturday with a 2-0 record after sweeping Navy and Pittsburgh last weekend to open the season.
The Cavalier men aren’t ranked but are coming off its 13th ACC title in 14 years and a 15th place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2012. Three swimmers have top-10 times, as senior Brady Fox is 10th in the 200-yard backstroke (1:47.37), junior Brad Phillips is sixth in the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:07.98) and junior Taylor Grey is seventh in the 200 breaststroke (2:01.17).
On the women’s side, Virginia enters the meet ranked 14th in the country. Senior Lauren Perdue returns to lead the way for the Cavaliers after winning a gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle relay at the 2012 London Games. Perdue currently has the nation’s fastest time in the 50-yard freestyle (22.59) and second fastest in the 100-yard freestyle (49.67).
“There is nothing that they will see this weekend that will catch them off guard,” Moody said. “They’ve seen fast swimming the first two meets this year. The bottom line is we have to make sure our swimmers are set up and prepared to go swim their races the way they need to. The chips are going to fall as they may. We have to control what we can control and we will be fine.”
Live results for the meet will be available by clicking .