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Jan. 18, 2013

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — With three nationally ranked teams visiting the Carolina Natatorium on Friday, the South Carolina swimming and diving teams were unable to pull off an upset, as the Florida State men’s and women’s team and the Arkansas women defeated the Gamecocks in all three matchups.

The South Carolina men fell in a dual meet with 13th-ranked Florida State, 180.5-117.5, and the Gamecock women dropped a 190-109 decision to the 21st-ranked Seminoles and lost to No. 18 Arkansas, 223-77.

With the loss, the Gamecock men fall to 3-4 on the season and 1-1 in the SEC, while the Carolina women are now 2-6 overall and 0-3 in the conference.

“On the women’s side we knew it was going to be tough,” South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. “Arkansas has been swimming great all year, and Florida State has been top 25 for most of the year. On the men’s side, we knew it was going to be a battle. The score doesn’t necessarily reflect how close the meet was. We lost so many races by one one-hundredth or one-tenth of a second.

“It’s one of those things where we have to make sure we are going the little details right. Today I think that probably cost us. The bottom line is we have to go back to work tomorrow and try to fix the things we didn’t do well tonight. Today was not our best day, but we did have some pretty good races.”

On the night the Gamecocks won five events with a different winner in each event.

South Carolina had a strong showing in the men’s 1,000 freestyle with senior Brooks Ross leading the way. Ross posted a season best time of 9:22.58 to win the event, finishing just ahead of teammate Marwan El Kamash, who took second with a time of 9:24.18.

Two events later, junior Michael Flach nearly gave the Gamecock men back-to-back outright first-place finishes, but Florida State’s Kevin Rogers touched the wall at the same time as Flach in the 200 freestyle to tie for first with a time of 1:39.74. Flach also just missed winning the 200 butterfly later in the meet, as Florida State’s Danny Nguyen pushed ahead of him at the end to win by .31 seconds with a time of 1:49.03.

Junior Jay Warner recorded his first victory of the season by winning the 100 backstroke with a mark of 50.34. Gerard Rodriguez also posted a first-place finish for the Gamecocks with a win in the 500 freestyle, finishing just ahead of El Kamash (4:34.37) with a time of 4:34.08.

On the women’s side, junior Amanda Rutqvist tallied the only win for the Gamecocks as she turned in a NCAA B cut of 2:14.19 to win the 200 breaststroke. Rutqvist nearly swept the breaststroke events as she finished second in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:02.61, just behind Arkansas’ Nikki Daniels (1:02.32). Junior Rachael Schaffer also had a second-place showing in the 200 IM, finishing with a time of 2:04.76.

On the boards, sophomore Patricia Kranz led the Gamecock women, finishing fourth on the one-meter springboard (267.30) and third on the three-meter springboard (301.70). Senior Rylan Ridenour led the Gamecock men with a second-place finish in the one-meter competition (341.65) and a third-place showing on the three-meter board (357.45).

The Gamecocks close out their home schedule next week with a two-session meet against College of Charleston, Queens and Wingate. Friday will be Senior Day for South Carolina with the meet set to get underway at 5 p.m. On Saturday the teams will begin competing at 10 a.m. at the Carolina Natatorium.