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Feb. 22, 2014

ATHENS, Ga. – For the third time in the five days at the SEC Championships, South Carolina will have seven athletes competing on finals night at the Gabrielsen Natatorium. Junior Alex Vance will be the second Gamecock this week to swim in an A-Final after his school-record-breaking swim in the 200 breaststroke.

Redshirt freshman Kevin Leithold grabbed the first trip to the finals for the Gamecocks as he finished 20th in the men’s 100 freestyle with a time of 43.90 to put him in the C-Final. Marwan El Kamash was forced to compete in a swim-off for an alternate spot, but he was unable to come out with the win over Auburn’s Alex Press.

In the next event, junior Victoria Mitchell took a spot in the 200 breaststroke C-Final as she broke Megan Spark’s five-year old South Carolina record with a time of 1:57.32. For Mitchell, it lowered the NCAA `B’ cut time, which she already had. But she wasn’t the only Gamecock in the event as Elisabeth Worrell earned one with a time of 1:58.82. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get her into the finals.

Jonathan Boland (1:45.89) and Michael Covert (1:1:46.03) each recorded `B’ cuts in the men’s 200 backstroke, but the times were not fast enough to move on as they finished 26th and 27th, respectively.

In the 200 women’s breaststroke, senior Amanda Rutqvist earned the team’s first trip to a B-Final today as she finished sixth in the fifth heat of the prelims. Her time of 2:13.00 slightly lowered her `B’ cut mark this season.

The men’s 200 breaststroke saw three Gamecocks earned trips to finals night, highlighted junior Alex Vance surpassing his personal record by nearly five seconds, and break Bobby Cave’s three-yard old record by almost two seconds as he touched the wall in 1:56.61. The junior’s time was the fifth fastest in the prelim to earn him a spot in tonight’s A-Final.

Junior Jared Kauffman (2:00.13) and senior Matt Navata (2 each earned spots in the C-Final as they finished 22nd and 24th, respectively. For Kaufmann, he bested his personal record and moved to fifth all-time in the event at South Carolina.

Carolina’s final qualifier of the prelims was Patricia Kranz, who earned her first trip to the diving finals this week, this time coming on the platform after setting a new school record with 266.45 points.

Finals begin at 6 p.m. ET with the women’s 1650 freestyle. The finals will air on ESPN3.

Day 5 Prelims Results

Women’s 100 freestyle
41) Lauren Raczkowski 51.45
47) Rachel Elliott 51.98
52) Caroline Petrone 52.90
53) Taylor Vincent 53.01

Men’s 100 freestyle
20) Kevin Leithold 43.90
25) Marwan El Kamash 44.12
41) Robert Gilchrist 44.79
47) Joshua Clothier 45.17
51) Jacob White 46.31

Women’s 200 backstroke
24) Victoria Mitchell 1:57.32
34) Elisabeth Worrell 1:58.82
40) Megan Carlson 1:59.86
41) Abby Galbreath 1:59.95
44) Lauren Rosenberg 2:01.34
46) Ashleigh Ferguson 2:02.20
52) Lindsay Pierce 2:0.66

Men’s 200 backstroke
26) Jonathan Boland 1:45.89
27) Michael Covert 1:46.03
33) Alex Eiden 1:46.70

Women’s 200 breaststroke
15) Amanda Rutqvist 2:13.00
27) Rachael Schaffer 2:16.89
30) Ellen Johnson 2:17.41

Men’s 200 breaststroke
5) Alex Vance 1:56.61
22) Jared Kauffman 2:00.13
24) Matt Navata 2:00.23

Women’s Platform Diving
7) Patti Kranz 266.45