Jan. 8, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina Swimming & Diving team lost a pair of close battles Friday night to Duke University in their first meet back from the holiday break. The Carolina men fell, 154-146, while the women dropped a 187-113 decision at the Carolina Natatorium.
Despite the setbacks, Carolina had several student-athletes win multiple events. On the women’s side, Julia Vincent won both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, and Kersten Dirrane notched victories in the 200-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard IM.
For the men, Nils Wich-Glasen collected three event victories, winning the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststrokes and adding a win in the 200-yard IM. On the boards, Jordan Gotro took home both the 1-meter and 3-meter titles.
Prior to the match, the Carolina program honored swimming alumnus Kassy Alia and her son, Sal. Alia’s husband, Greg, was killed in the line of duty while serving as a Forest Acres Police Department officer in 2015.
With the losses, Carolina is now 1-3 on the men’s side in dual meets and 0-3 on the women’s side. Both Duke teams are now 6-0.
HEAD SWIMMING COACH McGee Moody – “I thought we battled in several races, and some people branched out a little bit. One student-athlete in particular was Emma Barksdale, who swam the 1000 free to lead off our meet and swam it in 9:51. That was her best time by a ton and almost broke our school record in a dual meet. That’s not even her event. Being able to have a young lady that is that versatile, where we are confident we can put her just about anywhere, is comforting to know.” — On the performance of Emma Barksdale
“I loved watching Jordan Gotro battle on the boards. That young man is a fighter, and he has been all year. He did everything he had to do to help his team win.” — On the tenacity displayed by Jordan Gotro
“Nils is one of the best breaststrokers in the country, and he was racing another one of the best in the country in Duke’s Peter Kropp. Nils is usually better in the 200, but Peter is usually better in the 100, so when Nils pulled out that win in the 100, it was huge. Duke has a very deep breaststroke group. They have a lot of guys that are really fast and can win events, so I was really proud of Nils. He is a rock star, and an elite competitor.” — On the effort of three-event winner Nils Wich-Glasen
“We have to focus on finishing races. The areas where we weren’t very good today were coming off of our turns, and we lost more races by less than a tenth of a second than I ever care to see again in my career. That’s what cost us the meet today. When you lead the entire race, and two guys out-touch you at the end, that changes the whole scheme of the event. So we have to learn how to close at the end of our races. We didn’t do that today, so as a coaching staff, we have to go back to work and figure out what it takes to fix those problems. That starts tomorrow morning.” — On the improvements his team needs to make before they compete again
HEAD DIVING COACH Todd Sherritt – “I’m happy with today. We’re trying to build a house, to get ready for the conference championships. Everyone today did something that they need to do to reach that point. Winning all of the events is always good, but coming away from this one, I was more concerned with making our corrections than winning. Our kids did a good job. Jordan pulled out a great dive at the end to win the 3-meter, which was fun, and Julia handily won both boards. Overall, I’m pretty happy with today’s meet.” — On the performance of his divers
Carolina got off to a good start, as Gotro won the 1-meter dive with a score of 331.73. Lyle Markman came in fourth, scoring 268.65.
The Gamecocks finished second in the 200-yard medley relay, then came back to dominate the 1,000-yard freestyle. Cody Bekemeyer won the race with a time of 9:10.81, and teammate Tomas Peribonio came in second, swimming it in 9:16.54.
Kevin Leithold kept the momentum going for Carolina by winning the 200-yard freestyle. The senior swam a time of 1:40.24, while teammate Akaram Mahmoud was right on his heels with a swim of 1:40.65.
In the 100-yard backstroke, Jonathan Boland led Carolina with a second place finish, swimming a time of 49.83, but it didn’t take long for the Gamecocks to win another race. Wich-Glasen captured the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 54.74, and Fynn Minuth followed that up with a 200-yard butterfly victory. Minuth swam the race in 1:49.92 and was followed by teammate Caleb Tosh, who recorded a time of 1:50.48.
The 50-yard freestyle was the last race before the break, and Joshua Clothier finished fifth to lead the Gamecocks. At the break, Carolina led the Blue Devils, 78-72.
Leithold was the top Gamecock finisher in the first race out of the break, the 100-yard freestyle. The senior placed second with a swim of 44.96. Carolina put two more swimmers on the podium in the next race, the 200-yard backstroke, with Bekemeyer finishing second (1:50.01) and Bryce Kananowicz (1:50.09) right behind him.
Wich-Glasen came up with his second win of the night in the 200-yard breaststroke. The sophomore posted a swim of 1:58.88, with teammate Phillip Willett placing third in 2:03.24.
The Gamecocks won the top two spots in the 500-yard freestyle, led by Mahmoud. The sophomore won the event for the fourth time this season with a swim of 4:30.09, and Peribonio came in second, swimming a time of 4:32.64.
The final event before the second break was the 100-yard butterfly. Boland tied for fourth with a swim of 49.89, leading the Gamecocks. At the break, Carolina was down by a narrow margin, 126-119.
Gotro did his part to keep Carolina in the lead by winning the 3-meter dive. His score of 380.33 just edged Duke’s Josh Owsiany by 1.95 points.
Wich-Glasen reigned supreme for the third and final time on Friday night in the final individual event, the 200-yard IM. He swam a time of 1:49.93 to win the race for a third time in 2015-16, and Peribonio was second, swimming 1:50.89.
The last race of the night was the 400-yard freestyle relay. Duke took the top two spots to edge out a close victory, while Carolina’s top team placed third.
Julia Vincent got the Gamecocks off on the right foot, winning the 1-meter dive with a score of 323.70, her best of the season to date. Lauren Lamendola came in second, with 277.20.
After taking the third and fourth spots in the 200-yard medley relay, the Gamecocks continued their winning ways in the 1,000-yard freestyle, with Emma Barksdale coming away victorious. Swimming the race for the first time this season, the freshman posted the first sub-10 minute time of the year for Carolina, a 9:51.14 to win by more than eight seconds.
Taylor Worrell led the Gamecocks in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing second in a time of 1:51.39, while Ashleigh Ferguson grabbed a podium with a third place result in the 100-yard backstroke, posting a 57.32 to lead Carolina. Dirrane paced the squad with a second place result in the 100-yard breaststroke, with a time of 1:04.13, and Paige Maynard was the top Gamecock in the 200-yard butterfly, with a 2:03.94 to finish fifth.
The last event before the first break was the 50-yard freestyle, with Taylor Vincent leading the Gamecocks. Vincent finished in 24.16 to place third. At the break, Duke held a 99-51 lead.
Carolina again took two podium spots in the 3-meter dive. Julia Vincent earned her second win of the night, this time with a score of 319.80, and Lamendola placed third with a score of 287.70.
Meredith Vay led Carolina in the first race back from break, finishing third in the 100-yard freestyle with a swim of 52.73. Maynard followed with a swim of 2:03.82 in the 200-yard backstroke, pacing the Gamecocks with a third place result.
The Gamecocks reached the top of the podium again in the 200-yard breaststroke. Dirrane posted a time of 2:17.25 to win the race, and teammate Brittany Oxley came in second, swimming the race in 2:19.44.
Barksdale led the Gamecocks in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing second with a 4:57.83, while Taylor Worrell swam 4:58.63 to come in third. Katie O’Brien paced Carolina in the last race before the diving break, finishing fourth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.09, and at the break, the Gamecocks trailed, 163-101.
Dirrane came up with her second victory in the last individual women’s event, swimming a time of 2:05.84 to capture to 200-yard IM. The last race was the 400-yard freestyle relay, with the best Gamecock squad finishing third to round out the evening.
- Vincent now holds three victories in the 1-meter this season and two wins in the 3-meter.
- Dirrane’s two event victories are her first of 2015-16.
- Barksdale finished just one second short of the Carolina record in the 1000 free despite never swimming the race for the Gamecocks prior to Friday.
- Gotro has now won the 1-meter dive three times this year and owns four wins at 3-meter.
- Bekemeyer won the 1000 free for the second time after also capturing the race at Alabama.
- Leithold’s victory was his eighth of the season across four different races.
- Wich-Glasen won both breaststroke events for the second time in 2015-16 after also accomplishing the feat against Purdue.
- Minuth’s event victory was his first of the season.
- Mahmoud has now won the 500 free four times this season and has never finished lower than second. He owns 10 event victories overall.
UP NEXT FOR CAROLINA
The Gamecock women return to the pool on Saturday, Jan. 16, when they face Southeastern Conference rival Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. Both Gamecock squads are back at the Carolina Natatorium Jan. 22-23, when they host UNC Wilmington, Queens and Wingate in a quad meet.