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Nov. 16, 2012

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. — The South Carolina swimming and diving teams had another strong showing in the preliminaries on day two of the Virginia Tech Invitational on Friday morning at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.

The Gamecocks qualified for 48 spots in tonight’s finals, including 21 in the championship finals. South Carolina won two of the 10 events on the morning and also had five divers advance to the finals.

Junior Michael Flach followed up Thursday’s performance in the 500-yard freestyle with a stellar effort to win the 200-yard freestyle on Friday. Flach recorded a time of 1:38.80 to win the event and take the top seed in the championship final. Junior Gerard Rodriguez (1:38.96) and freshman Marwan El Kamash (1:39.63, PR) finished second and third, respectively, while sophomore Michael Covert will also be in the championship final after claiming seventh with a time of 1:41.54.

In the men’s 100-yard breaststroke, senior Graham Kauffman posted a personal record of 55.65 to win the preliminary. Sophomore Alex Vance (56.53) and senior Bobby Cave (56.94) will also be in the championship final after finishing fifth and sixth, respectively. In the women’s event, junior Amanda Rutqvist delivered a solid swim to finish third with a time of 1:03.25, securing a spot in the championship final.

The Carolina women will have three swimmers in the 400-yard IM championship final. Junior Rachael Schaffer led the way with a second-place finish in 4:25.63, while junior Abby Galbreath (4:30.92, fifth) and freshman Ellen Johnson (4:32.08, eighth) will join her in the championship final. The Gamecock men sent two swimmers to the championship final in the event, as juniors Matt Navata (4:01.65) and Narayan Naik (4:04.42) claimed fourth and seventh, respectively.

Freshman Casey Papp was the top performer for the Gamecock women in the 100-yard butterfly preliminary as she touched sixth with a mark of 56.27. Junior Meghan Brockington will join Papp in the A final after finishing seventh in 56.30. In the men’s event, senior Collin Kaden led the way with a third-place finish in 48.94, while juniors Alex Fitton (49.66, PR, fifth) and Jay Warner (50.73, eighth) will join him in the championship final.

In the women’s 100-yard backstroke, freshman Alicia Cheripka posted a personal record of 56.34 to claim third and advance to the championship final. She will be joined by fellow freshman Ashleigh Ferguson, who placed seventh with a personal best of 56.69. Sophomore Michael Covert will represent the Gamecock men in the championship final after finishing eighth in 50.51.

On the boards, sophomore Patricia Kranz, senior Chay Malvasio and freshman Lauren Lamendola advanced to the one-meter springboard final, which was contested following this morning’s preliminaries. Malvasio finished fifth in the finals with a score of 258.95, while Kranz (250.45) and Lamendola (221.95) placed sixth and eighth, respectively. In the men’s three-meter preliminary, senior Rylan Ridenour and sophomore Cole Miller advanced to tonight’s final. Ridenour posted a score of 300.15 to claim sixth, while Miller finished eighth with a mark of 275.30.

Tonight’s finals will get underway at 6. Live results will be available by clicking here. Live video will also be available here.