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Oct. 2, 2015

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FT. MYERS, Fla. – The South Carolina swimming and diving team opened the season at the FGCU Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla. on Friday with the Gamecock men finishing day one in second place with 199 points and the women tallying 169 points for third place.

Ohio State is atop the women’s leaderboard with 191 points and just a one-point edge over second-place Florida Gulf Coast. Grand Canyon University is in first place on the men’s side with a two-point lead over the Gamecocks. Buffalo and FAU are in third in fourth place, respectively, in the men’s standings.

The women’s squad opened the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 200 medley relay as the team of Heather Merritt, Ellen Johnson, Paige Maynard and Caroline Petrone recorded a time of 1:45.07. The men followed with a second-place finish (1:29.88) from the team of Bryce Kananowiz, Nils Wich-Glasen, Kevin Leithold and Jonathan Boland.

The Gamecock freshmen had a strong first day, highlighted by Paige Maynard’s win in the 100 butterfly (54.86). Cody Bekemeyer (400 IM) and Finn Minuth (100 Butterfly) won the consolation heat in their respective events while Emma Barksdale took second in the consolation hear of the 400 IM.

Sophomores Akram Mahmoud, Tomas Peribonio ad Taylor Worrell all recorded a win on the day. Mahmoud (1:39.19) and Worrell (1:51.17) claimed first in the 200 freestyle while Peribonio’s win came in the 400 IM (3:55.56). Fellow sophomore Nils Wich-Glasen finished just .02 seconds out of first place in the 100 breaststroke with a NCAA B cut of 55.31.

The men concluded the day with a first-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. The foursome of Boland, Peribonio, Mahmoud and Leithold touched the wall 3:00.44. The women’s team of Meredith Vay, Worrell, Maynard and Merritt earned a third-place finish with a time of 3:28.95.

– Freshman Paige Maynard recorded the first win of her collegiate career, with a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly.
– Freshman Cody Bekemeyer won the consolation heat of the 400 IM. His time of 3:55.59 would have secured him a second place finish in the championship final.
– For the second-straight year, Nils Wich-Glasen became the first Gamecocks to record an NCAA provisional cut time.

The Gamecocks continue with day two of the FGCU classic tomorrow (Sat., Oct. 3). Action begins at 10 am at the FGCU Swim Complex in Ft. Myers.