Feb. 17, 2015
AUBURN, Ala. – The Gamecock men finished the opening day of the SEC Championships in fourth place with 140 points, while the women are currently in seventh with 120 points.
Auburn leads the men’s competition with 177 points and LSU tops the women’s side with 164 points.
Senior Cole Miller opened day one finals with a fourth place in men’s 1-meter diving with a season-best score of 379.05; he placed sixth in the preliminary competition earlier in the day (338.35).
The Gamecock men opened the swimming portion of finals with an eighth-place finish in the men’s 200 medley relay. Sophomore Jonathan Boland, freshman Nils Wich-Glasen, redshirt sophomore Kevin Leithold and junior Marwan El Kamash combined for a time of 1:26.70, which ranks second all time in school history.
In the women’s race freshmen Heather Merritt, Mairyn Branaman and Meredith Vay, along with junior Ellen Johnson set a school record with their time of 1:40.72 and finished in 11th place.
In the women’s three meter diving competition, senior Patricia Kranz advanced to finals after her fourth-place performance in the preliminary (324.15). Kranz went on to take third place in the finals with a score of 368.55. Freshmen Julia Vincent and Marissa Roth finished 12th and 15th in the preliminary with scores of 283.85 and 279.50, respectively.
In the men’s 800 freestyle relay, the team of Leithold, El Kamash, Arkram Mahmoud and Tomas Peribonio recorded an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 6:21.05 for a fifth-place finish.
The women concluded day one with a second school-record performance in the 800 freestyle relay. The team of Taylor Worrell, Vay, Merritt and Cooper Brown posted and NCAA B cut time of 7:10.71.
- The women’s team broke two school records on day one of competition.
- In the 800 freestyle relay the Gamecock women broke the previous school record, which had stood since 2004 by almost five seconds.
- Prior to the preliminary competition, Heather Merritt posted a NCAA B cut time of 1:47.53 in the 200 freestyle time trials.
- Swimming the first leg of the 800 freestyle relay, Kevin Leithold posted an NCAA B cut time of 1:35.34.
Head Swimming Coach McGee Moody
“I feel really good. We set some very specific goals for our team and so far we’re hitting them dead on. We wanted to set school records in our relays and we got it on the women’s side. Right now we’re doing exactly what we need to do. Our men got an NCAA A cut in the 800 freestyle relay so that officially puts us at the NCAA Championship.”
Head Diving Coach Todd Sherritt
“Cole (Miller) did a phenomenal job. The 1-meter is not his strong board and was just lights out today. I was very, very happy with Cole’s performance. Patti (Patricia Kranz) didn’t make finals last year, so finish third today was pretty impressive. She’s had a great career at South Carolina and to finish third in this conference is just huge for her.
The Gamecocks continue with day two of the SEC Championships on Wednesday, beginning with preliminaries at 10 a.m.