Nov. 23, 2013
BLACKSBURG, Va. – On the final day of the Virginia Tech Invitational, South Carolina added four more NCAA B cut times, moving its three-day total to 13. For the second day in a row, redshirt freshman Kevin Leithold landed atop an event list as he tied the nation’s top time in the 100 freestyle at 43.56.
“Tonight wasn’t our best session, but we were very solid this morning,” head swimming and diving coach McGee Moody said. “We swam well and I was happy with it. It was the end of a very, very long week for us and the team was getting tired, but I felt that they pushed through it pretty well.
“As far as the meet as a whole, I felt that it was one of the best we’ve ever had. We put up not only season-best performances, but lifetime-best performances and some of the top times in the country which is big for us.”
On the men’s side, redshirt senior Michael Flach joined Leithold with a B cut time of his own as he finished second in the 200 butterfly with the tenth-fastest time in the NCAA this season at 1:46.61. In the 200 breaststroke, junior Alex Vance turned in the third-fastest time of the finals by shaving more than three seconds off of his prelim time with a mark of 2:01.28 in the B final. The 400 free relay team of Leithold, Robert Gilchrist, Gerard Rodriguez and Flach finished second at 2:57.17.
For the women, senior Amanda Rutqvist took second in the 200 breaststroke, but clocked in with a B cut time of 2:13.25. In the 200 backstroke, despite finishing fourth, junior Victoria Mitchell posted a time of 1:58.38 for a B cut mark. In the 1650 freestyle, the Gamecocks went 2-3 as Mitchell claimed second at 16:36.51 and Abby Galbreath was third at 16:54.29.
On the platform, junior Cole Miller earned a second-place finish with a score of 345 points for the top finish on the men’s side, while fellow junior Patricia Kranz had the top score for the women with 227.10 points as she finished third.
“We had a great weekend,” head diving coach Todd Sherritt said. “This was some of the best diving we have had all year. We had some outstanding performances as Patricia Kranz won the three-meter and took third on the platform, while Cole Miller was second the three-meter and platform. Lauren Lamendola finished third on the one and three, and Jordan Gotro finaled in all three events, finishing in the top six.
“We still have some work to do to sure up some of the mistakes we made, but I think this team is improving at a steady pace. We are on track at this point to have a strong SEC finish.”
As a team, both the South Carolina men’s and women’s squads finished second to Virginia Tech with the men earning 728 points and the women with 509.5. Virginia Tech had a 972 on the men’s side and 1018.5 on the women’s.
The Gamecocks will take December off before returning to action on Jan. 11 as they host Duke at the Carolina Natatorium at 2 p.m.