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Nov. 5, 2015

GAINESVILLE, FLA. – The South Carolina swimming and diving team begins the SEC road schedule on Friday, taking on Florida at 2 p.m. The meet will air live on the SEC Network +.

Opponent: Florida (Men and Women)
Date / Time: Nov. 6 / 2 p.m.
Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center
Live Video: SEC Network +
On Twitter: @GamecockSwim
Meet Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The South Carolina swimming and diving program opened SEC competition on Oct. 31, hosting Alabama’s men and women. The Crimson Tide, who entered the day ranked 10th for the men and 24th for the women, won both duals. The final men’s score was 166-132, and the women’s score was 191.5-108.5. Carolina would sweep the four diving events between the men and women and had a number of solid individual performances, but Alabama was able to pull away for the sweep.

South Carolina Head Swimming Coach McGee Moody on the men’s team vs. Alabama
I think the times we put up were not bad, I think it was a little deceiving, there were some events that we lost in very, very close races and it made some very good times stand out a little less. We had the men’s 200 fly, a total of 16 hundredths of a second cost us seven points but all three guys put up great times. It’s hard to be upset with where we are, we just have to be able to put our hand on the wall first in a close race.

On the women’s team vs. Alabama
I don’t think we were quite as sharp as I expected us to be, and I think we have to figure that out this week. We were good, though, we raced hard, I was proud of their fight. They never gave up, they scratched and clawed for every point they could get and I was very happy about that. It’s such a young group, and they’re still learning stuff. I think all in all, we’re continuing to learn how to compete.

South Carolina Head Diving Coach Todd Sherritt on the men’s divers vs. Alabama
Obviously, shutting down Alabama is huge, they’ve got a good diving team, they’re always good. I’m not totally surprised, because we’ve been training really well and Jordan especially has gotten a lot better this year. Jordan’s got two big wins under his belt now, when Cole (Miller) graduated last year he’s slid right into his place and he’s going to take it to the next level.

On the women’s divers vs. Alabama
My girls did great, there’s some thing that were in there that are mechanical things that we’re trying to fix. Even though we shut them out, you still have the good, the bad and the ugly. We have some rough edges but it’s the beginning of the year, our second meet and against a talented team. It makes a big difference when one person isn’t performing, you have three others that can sit right in there.

Following the win over Purdue on Oct. 24, three members of the University of South Carolina men’s swimming and diving team were recognized by the SEC with weekly honors. Akaram Mahmoud was named the SEC Male Swimmer of the Week, Cody Bekemeyer was honored as the SEC Male Freshman of the Week, and Jordan Gotro earned Male Diver of the Week accolades. For the women, Julia Vincent was named the SEC Female Diver of the Week after wins in both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards against Clemson.

After securing a big win over Purdue on Oct. 24, the men’s program moved from 18th up to 16th in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) NCAA Division I Team Rankings. It is the team’s best-ever ranking in the poll. In total, seven SEC schools are ranked in the current poll and all appear in the top 16.

Rookie Paige Maynard won both the 100 (54.86) and 200 (2:00.25) butterfly in her collegiate debut at the FGCU Classic. Her times in both events were less than one second shy of an NCAA B cut. Maynard’s performance earned her SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Oct. 13. Through Nov. 3, her time in the 100 fly ranks 31st in the country.

Cody Bekemeyer continues to play an important role for the Gamecock men, earning second place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle (9:10.64), in the 500-yard freestyle (4:28.33) and in the 400-yard IM (3:56.74) to pick up 12 points in the Gamecocks’ dual meet win over Purdue, earning him his conference honors. Against Alabama, he won the 1000 free race by almost seven seconds and finished third in the 200 backstroke.

This summer four Gamecocks competed internationally, representing their native countries. Akaram Mahmoud and Marwan El Kamash both swam at the FINA World Champions in Kazan, Russia and the African Games in Brazzaville, Congo as part of the Egyptian National Team. Mahmoud finished fourth in the 1500-meter freestyle at World Championships and currently ranks in the world.

Tomas Peribonio competed at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada and the FINA World Championships on behalf of Ecuador. Peribonio set a pair of Ecuadorian national records and finished seventh overall in the 400-meter IM.

Diver Julia Vincent became a three-time South African National Champion, winning the 1-meter, 3-meter and synchronized diving titles at the South African Nationals.

The Gamecocks return a combined 42 swimmers and dives including six of their eight NCAA qualifiers from last season.

South Carolina added 22 freshmen to the roster this season, 14 for the women, eight for the men. The group hails from 12 different states with one international addition (Flynn Minuth, Germany).

The team will take a bit of a break before jumping back in to competition. It will move away from duals, with both the men and women competing at the Georgia Tech Invitational Nov. 19-21.