Oct. 11, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina will compete against College of Charleston to open the season. The swimming team will head to Charleston, S.C. to compete at the Stern Center at 1 p.m., while the diving team will remain in Columbia, S.C., and host C of C at the Carolina Natatorium at 12 p.m.
Date/Opponent: Saturday, Oct. 12 vs. College of Charleston (diving)
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Carolina Natatorium; Columbia, S.C.
Date/Opponent: Saturday, Oct. 12 at College of Charleston (swimming)
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Stern Center; Charleston, S.C.
The Gamecocks have never lost to the Cougars, posting a perfect 20-0 record all-time
Last Time vs. College Of Charleston
The Gamecocks swept College of Charleston, Queens and Wingate in a two-session meet last weekend to close out their home schedule. South Carolina sent its 13 seniors with 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. The Gamecocks recorded first-place finishes in 24 events on the weekend. Diver Rylan Ridenour won two of those events and set a school record along the way. Ridenour finished first on the three-meter springboard with a school-record score of 446.95. He also won the one-meter competition with a career-high 395.90. Patricia Kranz won both boards for the Gamecock women, and Gerard Rodriguez, Ellen Johnson and Matt Navata also tallied two wins apiece in the swimming events for South Carolina.
Scouting College Of Charleston
For the first time in 19 years, the Cougars will be led by a new coach as Bob Yatagan takes over the program as they move back to the Colonial Athletic Association. Last season, Charleston broke 21 school records at the CCSA Championships.
The Gamecock men went 6-6 a year ago, which was one of the best records in program history, and finished 38th at the NCAA Championships. On the women’s side, the Gamecocks went 6-7
The men’s squad finished eighth at the 2013 SEC Championships, while the women finished 11th.
Until last year, the Gamecocks haven’t had a relay team invited to the NCAA Championships since the 800 freestyle relay team qualified in 2007. That team finished 11th in the event to earn All-America honors. Last year’s 800 freestyle relay team of Gerard Rodriguez, Michael Flach, Marwan El Kamash and Alex Fitton entered the meet with the 19th fastest time in the country of 6:23.99, which is a school record. The team posted a time of 6:24.54 to place 15th at the Championships and earn All-America honors. Rodriguez, Flach and El Kamash are all back this season.
Leader Of The Pack
Senior Michael Flach had a stellar return to collegiate swimming after redshirting two seasons ago to focus on the U.S. Olympic Trials. A native of Annandale, Va., Flach recorded a team-high 12 first place finishes during the regular season. He won silver in the 500 freestyle at the SEC Championships with a school-record time of 4:15.32 and finished fourth in both the 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly. On the national scene, he currently has the seventh fastest time in the country in the 500 freestyle (4:15.32) and the 10th fastest time in the 200 butterfly (1:43.42). Flach put together a performance to remember at the Virginia Tech Invitational in November, posting the then-nation’s fastest marks in the 500 freestyle (4:18.38) and the 200 butterfly (1:45.51) on his way to earning Counsilman Hunsaker National Swimmer Of The Week and SEC Male Swimmer of the Week honors. He recorded a time of 1:44.70 in the 200 butterfly at the NCAA Championships, missing the finals by 0:00.48.
Moody Reaches Century Mark
The Gamecock women’s victory over Alabama on Feb. 2, 2013 gave South Carolina head coach McGee Moody his 100th career victory (men and women combined). Moody, who is in his seventh season in Columbia, has compiled 62 wins with the Gamecocks. Prior to South Carolina, he led William & Mary to 38 wins in three seasons. Overall, Moody has a 100-96-1 record.
The Bigger The Stage, The Better
Senior Amanda Rutqvist has proven time and time again that her best performances come during the biggest meets of the season. Rutqvist earned All-America honors in both the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke at the 2011 NCAA Championships as a freshman. Earlier that year she became the first Gamecock women’s swimmer to win a SEC title by claiming first in the 200 breaststroke with a then-SEC record of 2:08.56. She won silver in the 200 breaststroke at the 2012 SEC Championships and later earned her third career All-America honor at the NCAA Championships with an 11th-place finish in the 200 breaststroke.
Sophomore Marwan El Kamash earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors last season after an impressive collegiate debut against Texas A&M and North Carolina. A native of Alexandria, Egypt, El Kamash helped lead the Gamecocks to a 160-140 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday in a tri meet with the Aggies and North Carolina, turning in four top-five performances. El Kamash won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:31.27. He took runner-up honors in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:21.21. He swam the leadoff leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay and helped the team to second-place finish in 3:02.05. El Kamash also placed fifth overall in the 100-yard freestyle in 46.45.
Senior Amanda Rutqvist and Rachael Schaffer have been leaders of the women’s team since arriving in Columbia, and 2012-13 will be no different.
Rutqvist, who is the Gamecocks’ top breaststroker, earned her third All-America honor in 2012 by finishing 15th in the 200 breaststroke at the NCAA Championships. She is the school record holder in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke with times of 1:00.20 and 2:07.86, respectively.
Schaffer is one of the Gamecocks top all-around swimmers and narrowly missed earning her first All-America honor in 2012, finishing 17th in the 400 IM at the NCAA Championships.
The Tradition Continues
South Carolina head diving coach Todd Sherritt has produced a long line of SEC Champions and All-Americans during his 21-year tenure in Columbia, and juniors Cole Miller and Patricia Kranz look to keep the tradition alive this season.
Kranz won bronze on the one-meter springboard at the SEC Championships last season. Miller looks to build on one of the best freshman campaigns in the conference. A SEC All-Freshman Team selection in 2012, Miller finished fifth on the three-meter springboard and 10th on the platform.