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May 18, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Rising senior Marwan El Kamash and rising sophomore Akram Mahmoud will both represent Egypt at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil after recording qualifying times this past weekend at Arena Pro Swim Series at Charlotte, N.C.

El Kamash is qualified in both the 200 and 400-meter freestyle. He now holds the Egyptian record in both events with times of 1:47.73 in the 200 and 3:50.34 in the 400. El Kamash placed third overall in both events at Arena Pro Swim.

Mahmoud is qualified in both the 400 and 1500-meter freestyle. He finished second overall in the 1500 with his time of 15:07.84, an Egyptian record, and fourth overall in the 400 free in 3:50.61.

In preparation for the Olympics, both El Kamash and Mahmoud will represent Egypt at the FINA World Championships this summer (July 24th-August 9th) in Kazan, Russia. Fellow Gamecock Tomas Peribonio will also compete at the Championships on behalf of Ecuador.

“We’re very proud of all of our guys that will be representing South Carolina internationally this summer,” said head coach McGee Moody. “Akram and Marwan had outstanding meets this past weekend, which qualified them for the Olympics next summer. They will also be representing Egypt at the World Championships this year, which is a huge step towards their success in Rio De Janeiro next year. As coaches, our job now is to prepare them to represent now only South Carolina, but Egypt at the highest level. We’re looking forward to the next year and what it holds for both of these young men and our University.”

Eight more swimmers currently on the Gamecocks’ roster competed at the Arena Pro Series. Peribonio, a rising sophomore, placed 13th in 1500-meter freestyle (15:56.62), 21st in the 400-meter freestyle (4:01.54) and 40th in the 200-meter freestyle (1:53.98)

Rising junior Jonathan Boland finished 46th in the 200-meter backstroke (2:11.50), 54th in the 100-meter backstroke (59.97), 57th in the 50-meter butterfly (26.13) and 72nd in the 100-meter butterfly (57.22).

Bryce Kananowicz, a rising sophomore, placed 26th in the 200-meter backstroke (2:08.43), 45th in the 100-meter backstroke (59.45), 69th in the 200-meter IM (2:13.78), and 91st in the 100-meter butterfly (58.70).

Rising sophomores Patrick McCrillis and Travis Morrin and rising junior Joshua Clothier round out the Gamecock men who competed at the event. McCrillis’ best finish was 63rd place in the 200-meter freestyle (1:55.83), for Morrin it was 62nd in the 400-meter freestyle (4:11.93) and Clothier’s was 82nd in the 50-meter freestyle (24.71).

Rising senior Ellen Johnson and rising sophomore Brittany Oxley both raced in the 50, 100 and 200-meter breaststroke. Johnson’s best finish was 21st place in the 50 with a time of 35.10 and Oxley’s was 24th place in the 50 with a time of 36.09.

Rising sophomore Heather Merritt competed in the 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter IM and 200-meter backstroke. Her best finishes were 41st place in the 200-meter backstroke (2:20.57) and 44th in the 200 IM (2:24.32).

Rising junior Megan Carlson placed in the top-50 in two events, including a 38th-place finish in the 400-meter IM (5:05.59).

Meredith Vay, Taylor Worrell and Tierney Shimansky, all rising sophomores, round out the Gamecock women who competed at the Arena Pro Series. Vay placed in the top-40 in the three of here event, including a 29th-place finish in the 50-meter butterfly (28.70). Worrell and Shimansky’s best performances were 44th (4:29.56) and 46th (4:32.43), respectively, in the 400-meter freestyle

Former Gamecock All-Americans Amanda Rutqvist and Michael Flach and incoming freshman Jack Smith also competed over the weekend. Rutqvist advanced to the C final of the 100-meter breaststroke, placing 20th overall (1:11.91) and won the consolation final (ninth overall) of the 200-meter breaststroke (2:30.12). Flach’s best performance was 26th in the 200-meter butterfly (2:03.41). Smith swam the 200-meter butterfly in 2:10.22 for a 59th-place finish.