Jan. 23, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Swimming & Diving team honored seven departing seniors and added six victories to the ledger on Saturday morning at the Carolina Natatorium as they concluded their two-day quad meet against Queens, UNC Wilmington and Wingate. Both Gamecock squads are now 4-3 this season.
In their dual meets against Queens, UNCW and Wingate, both the Gamecock men and women earned 175-125 victories. Queens was victorious over the Bulldogs and Seahawks, while Wingate defeated UNCW in both men’s and women’s action.
Prior to the day’s action, the Gamecocks honored seniors Bobby Bittner, Ashleigh Ferguson, Ellen Johnson, Lauren Lamendola, Kevin Leithold, Brooke Morton and Elise Weisert. Saturday’s meet was their last competitive race inside of the Carolina Natatorium.
HEAD SWIMMING COACH McGee Moody – “Our seniors put a lot of time and a lot of effort into their swimming careers here. We talk a lot about how they’re going to be remembered and leaving a positive mark on the program. I think this group has done a good job of that. They are some extremely hard workers and kids who have battled through extremely stressful situations.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” On his senior class
“Brooke Morton has had shoulder problems since she arrived here as a freshman and has had every reason to throw in the towel, and she never did. She fought through it every time. I was happy to see her walk out with the rest of her class today and finish her swimming career with her head held high, knowing she did everything she possibly could.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” On Brooke Morton’s resilience
“We don’t have a lot of upperclassmen on this team, so their role is extremely important. We have to make sure that the seniors have the right mindset, and they have to have a positive influence on the young people of this team if our culture is going to continue to grow. Our seniors have to be locked in, and they have to be examples for everyone in the program. I think you saw that today, with the support our seniors got from the rest of the team.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” On the influence of his senior class
“I thought we were a little better this morning, a little sharper, and we need to be every time out the rest of the season. We have to be faster; we have to be better; we have to be technically proficient; we have to do all the little things. I thought we were better today; still not great, and we’ve still got some work to do, but our team knows this.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” On the performance of his team on Saturday
“I think we’re in a good place. I’m proud of what we’ve done so far. We do have some things to fix before next weekend, when we go up to East Carolina.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” On the current progress of his team
HEAD DIVING COACH Todd Sherritt – “It was another great day. We dove well again, and we were consistent. I saw some corrections that we’ve been working on and some personal best scores. I can’t ask for anything more than where we’re at now. We’ve got East Carolina next week; we’ve got the same objectives, but it’s on the road, so that will be a challenge. But overall, I am very happy with where my team is at right now.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” On the success of the divers this weekend
The day started for South Carolina with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. Caleb Tosh, Nils Wich-Glasen, Kevin Leithold and Jonathan Boland secured Carolina’s first victory of the season in the event with a time of 1:30.81. Bryce Kananowicz, Phillip Willett, Jack Smith and Patrick McCrillis were on the team that placed third.
Leithold snagged his second individual win of the weekend with the 100-yard butterfly. His time of 50.12 was good for his second win this season in the event. Jack Smith was second in 50.92, and Anthony Tremmel placed third with a swim of 50.42.
Boland earned his second win in as many days with a time of 20.77 in the 50-yard freestyle. He also won the 100-yard freestyle on Friday.
Kananowicz earned his first individual win of the season in the 100-yard backstroke. His time of 50.81 took the top position by .17 seconds in a close battle.
In the final race before the diving break, Willett took second for the Gamecocks in the 200-yard breaststroke, with a time of 2:04.51. The Gamecocks also posted a pair of top-three finishes out of the break, with Wich-Glasen placing second in the 200-yard freestyle, at a personal best 1:39.55, and Evan Freed coming in third at 1:40.45
The Gamecocks finished second and third in the 400-yard IM. Tomas Peribonio grabbed second, with a performance of 3:57.55, and Willett came in third at 4:01.51.
Diving was one again South Carolina’s domain on Saturday. Jordan Gotro won the 3-meter dive with a finals score of 378.45, and Lyle Markman placed third at 310.20. Gotro won both men’s dives this weekend.
The last race of the day was the 400-yard freestyle relay, where the Gamecocks placed second. Leithold, Akaram Mahmoud, Wich-Glasen and Boland tallied a time of 3:02.43
South Carolina opened the day with a third place result in the 200-yard medley relay. Heather Merritt, Kersten Dirrane, Paige Maynard and Maggie Harman combined to swim the race in 1:47.64.
Next up was the 1,650-yard freestyle, with Tierney Shimansky pacing the Gamecocks. The sophomore finished the race in 17:08.93 and was awarded third place. Carolina also took third in the following race, the 100-yard butterfly, with Katie O’Brien swimming the race in 56.64.
Three Gamecocks earned podium spots in the 50-yard freestyle. Katherine McComas came in second, with a swim of 24.23, while Taylor Vincent and Katherine Malinski tied for third, at 24.28
Maggie Langdale was South Carolina’s top finisher in the 100-yard backstroke, taking third. Her swim was timed at 57.64, less than a second off the top spot.
Emma Barksdale earned her first win of the day for Carolina in the 200-yard breaststroke. She finished the race in 2:19.03
Three Gamecocks finished on the podium in the 200-yard freestyle. Harman won the race, her third event victory of the weekend, with a time of 1:50.67. Jean Livingston and Makenzie Miller tied for third, each touching the wall in 1:52.81.
Barksdale came through with another victory, her seventh of 2015-16, in the 400-yard IM. Swimming the race for just the third time this season, Barksdale posted a time of 4:20.58. Megan Carlson came in second, with a swim of 4:27.33.
A day after taking the top five spots in the 3-meter dive, Carolina won the top six positions in the 1-meter. Julia Vincent’s 339.23 was the winning score, followed by Lauren Lamendola (317.55), Marissa Roth (291.83), Mikaela Lujan (281.10), Marisa Rasnick (261.00) and Allyson Nied (252.90)
In the last race of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay, Carolina grabbed two podiums. Taylor Worrell, McKenna Keith, Caroline Petrone and Harman placed second with a swim of 3:29.93, while Merritt, Taylor Vincent, Barksdale and Maynard came in third, at 3:30.92.
- Bekemeyer’s 1650 free victory was his first as a collegian in the event and his third win total this season.
- Barksdale now has wins in four different races this season.
- Gotro and Vincent now own nine individual victories each this season in diving.
- Gotro’s prelims score of 427.73 was a career best over six dives from the 3-meter board.
- Barksdale and Harman led the women’s swimmers with three race wins for the quad meet, while Boland and Leithold took two each to lead the Gamecock men’s swimmers.
UP NEXT FOR CAROLINA
The Gamecocks have one final tune-up before the SEC Championships, as they will face East Carolina and William & Mary in a tri-meet on Saturday, Jan. 30. ECU will serve as the host, with the meet beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET in Greenville, N.C.