Feb. 25, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Bolstered by strong swims across the board last week at the SEC Swimming & Diving Championships, South Carolina’s men’s team came in at No. 9 in CollegeSwimming.com’s latest rankings. It is the highest that the Gamecock men have been ranked in the program’s history.
All 10 SEC teams ranked in the top 11 of the rankings.
Highlighting the team’s effort in Athens, Ga., last week were stellar performances from sophomore Marwan El Kamash and junior Alex Vance. El Kamash set a new personal record in the 500 freestyle to reach the event’s A-Final, before besting that time in the final as he clocked in at 4:17.41 to finish in fifth place. For Vance, the junior not only shattered his personal best in the 400 IM to just reach the C-Final, but two days later he reached the A-Final of the 200 breaststroke by breaking the school record. In the finals, he slightly lowered his record time to 1:46.47.
More school records went down in Athens as well, particularly in the relays. On night one, the Gamecocks recorded a NCAA automatic qualifying time in the 800 freestyle relay at 6:20.59. Night four saw the 400 medley record fall at 3:11.58, and on the final night, they slipped past a five-year old record in the 400 freestyle relay at 2:55.2.
In five events, the men had at least two of its swimmers make a final, four of which had three Gamecocks swimming in the finals.
To complement the swimmers, the team’s diving corps helped the cause as each scored points in all three events. Junior Cole Miller led the group as he qualified for both the finals in the 1-meter and 3-meter, finishing eighth and seventh respectively. Miller was also the top finisher for the Gamecocks in the platform, missing the finals by less than seven points. Freshman Jordan Gotro was the top freshman finisher in two of three diving events on the week, and did not finish outside the top 15 in any event, with his best result being in the 1-meter as he came in 10th.