Jan. 11, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – In their first meet in 49 days, both the South Carolina men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams came away with convincing wins over Duke this afternoon at the Carolina Natatorium. The Gamecock men claimed their win with a score of 184-116, while the women won 167-133.
The Gamecocks won 19 of 32 events on the day and finished 1-2-3 in five events (men’s 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, 500 freestyle; women’s 200 butterfly and 500 freestyle) and claimed at least the top two spots in 12 races. The men were led by redshirt senior Michael Flach who picked up three wins. Sophomore Marwan El Kamash and redshirt freshman Kevin Leithold each chipped in with two wins. The women got three wins from junior Victoria Mitchell, while sophomore Lauren Lamendola took two wins with a sweep in the diving events.
Flach led a dominant showing from South Carolina in each of his wins. At 9:33.33, he finished just ahead of teammate Alex Eiden in the 1,000 freestyle. In the 100 butterfly, he grabbed the top spot at 50.09, just edging out freshman Sam Lynch, while sophomore Eric Lethander took third to pull off the 1-2-3 finish. In the 200 butterfly, the Gamecocks didn’t quite get the 1-2-3, but did come away with three of the top four as Flach clocked a time of 1:48.54 and seniors Gerard Rodriguez and Matt Navata finished in third and fourth, respectively.
El Kamash (1:39.40) and Rodriguez (1:40.16) went 1-2 for the Gamecocks in the 200 freestyle. Later in the meet, Lethander joined the two as the group swept the top three spots in the 500 freestyle as El Kamash grabbed his second win of the day at 4:32.94.
In the men’s 100 freestyle, Leithold earned his first win of the afternoon, topping El Kamash with a mark of 45.90. The redshirt freshman then finished off the day with his second individual win in the day’s final individual event, posting a time of 1:52.29 in the 200 IM.
Mitchell claimed her wins in the 200 backstroke (2:01.84), and the 200 (1:51.12) and 500 (4:55.05) freestyles. Junior Elisabeth Worrell joined her in the 200 backstroke as the duo went 1-2 in the event. The Gamecocks had the top four times in the 500 freestyle as Mitchell finished ahead ofsophomores Cooper Brown and Elizabeth Maltby, and freshman Jean Livingston.
Also picking up wins for the women’s team was sophomore Ashleigh Ferguson (100 backstroke, 57.22), senior Abby Galbreath (200 IM, 2:06.98), senior Amanda Rutqvist (200 breaststroke, 2:16.86), and Worrell (200 fly, 2:03.96). In Worrell’s win in the 200 butterfly, she bested teammates junior Annika Jonsson and sophomore Caroline Bixler as the group went 1-2-3.
In the relays, the Gamecocks lone win came in the meet’s final event, the men’s 400 freestyle relay behind the team of El Kamash, Rodriguez, Flach and Leithold that posted a time of 3:04.39.
Against a tough group of divers from Duke, Lauren Lamendola gave South Carolina both of its wins as she swept the women’s boards. The sophomore topped Duke’s Kendall McClenney by just over 10 points in the 1-meter with a score of 277.72. She best McClenney again in the 3-meter, this time by less than five points, with a score of 262.05. Junior Patricia Kranz finished in third on both boards.
Junior Cole Miller had the Gamecocks best showing on the men’s side, finishing second with a score of 338.63 on the 1-meter behind 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Nick McCrory. Miller took third on the 3-meter with 340.05 points.
The Gamecocks return to the Carolina Natatorium on Jan. 24 as they host Queens University and Wingate University in a two-day meet. Senior day ceremonies begin prior to events on the second day.