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Jan. 26, 2013

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Coach Moody

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina swimming and diving teams wrapped up their home schedule with a dominant performance on Saturday as they swept College of Charleston, Queens and Wingate at the Carolina Natatorium.

On the men’s side, the Gamecocks defeated Wingate 269-59, Queens 221-107 and College of Charleston 281-53. The Carolina women completed the sweep by cruising past the Bulldogs 277-55, the Royals 282-46 and the Cougars 283.5-49.5. With the sweep, South Carolina improves to 6-4 overall on the men’s side and 5-6 on the women’s side.

The Gamecocks swam to first-place finishes in 12 of the 18 events contested on Saturday, giving them a total of 24 wins for the two-session meet.

“I’ve seen a lot more confidence from this team,” South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. “Over the last three weeks, we came off of some really hard training. We swam a tough Duke team and then slipped a little bit last week against Florida State and Arkansas. We talked a lot last weekend about what we needed to correct in order to be a little bit sharper this weekend. I think we saw results of all of that this weekend. I was really happy with the things they did during their races. All in all it was a great weekend for us.”

Junior Matt Navata led the way on Saturday with a pair of wins. He picked up his first victory in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:04.93, finishing just ahead of teammate Bobby Cave (2:04.97). A native of West Orange, N.J., Navata later won the 400 IM by more than five seconds with a time of 3:58.68.

For the second straight day, the Gamecocks got off to a strong start with a sweep in the relays, as both the men’s and women’s teams picked up wins in the 200 medley relay. The Carolina men’s team of Jay Warner, Graham Kauffman, Collin Kaden and Michael Flach swam its second fastest race of the season to win with a time of 1:31.38. In the women’s race, South Carolina’s Matea Peteh, Amanda Rutqvist, Casey Papp and Rachel Elliott claimed first with a time of 1:45.56.

After the Gamecocks just missed out on winning the 50 freestyles, junior Lauren Rosenberg gave South Carolina its next win as she posted a time of 57.39 to win the 100 backstroke. Two events later, the Gamecocks claimed the top three places in the women’s 200 breaststroke. Freshman Ellen Johnson earned her second win of the weekend as she claimed first with a personal record of 2:18.90.

Junior Maryn Bieganski and senior Collin Kaden then gave South Carolina four straight wins by sweeping the 100 butterfly. Bieganski won the women’s race with a personal record of 57.05, while Kaden touched the wall first in the men’s race in 49.31.

South Carolina’s final two individual wins of the day came in the men’s 200 freestyle and the women’s 400 IM. Junior Gerard Rodriguez turned in a time of 1:40.89 to win the 200 freestyle, while junior Rachael Schaffer cruised to a win in the 400 IM with a time of 4:22.35, which is her second fastest time of the season.

The Gamecocks closed out the day in strong fashion by winning both 400 freestyle relays. The South Carolina women’s team of Taylor Josserand, Lauren Raczkowski, Papp and Schaffer claimed first in 3:30.45. On the men’s side, the Gamecock team of Michael Covert, Rodriguez, Kaden and Flach won with a mark of 3:03.87.

South Carolina will close out its regular season schedule next Saturday on the road in a meet against Alabama and Georgia in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The meet is slated to begin at 11 a.m.