May 16, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina Swimming & Diving team continued the road to the Rio Summer Olympics over the weekend as they competed at two meets: Arena Pro Swim Series Charlotte and the Atlanta Classic Swim Meet. Two new US Olympic Trials qualifiers headlined the team’s efforts, as Kersten Dirrane and Taylor Worrell punched their tickets to Omaha.
Dirrane earned her spot at US Olympic Trials on Saturday. The sophomore posted a 200m breaststroke time of 2:32.98 in her evening swim to clinch a spot in Omaha next month.
Worrell made her Olympic Trials cut in her final chance, when she swam a 400m freestyle time trial on Sunday afternoon. The 2016 NCAA Championships qualifier posted a time of 4:16.82 and will make her first Trials appearance.
Dirrane and Worrell will join Emma Barksdale, Cody Bekemeyer, Jeremiah Bohon, Jonathan Boland, Paige Maynard, and Meredith Vay as Gamecocks who will compete for a spot on the 2016 US Olympic Swimming Team. The 2016 US Olympic Trials will be contested June 26 – July 3 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.
The new additions to the Olympic Trials roster were not the only Gamecock standouts in Charlotte last week. Ecuador’s Tomas Peribonio was the top prelims finisher in the 400m IM, besting 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte with a time of 4:18.72. In the finals, Peribonio finished second with a swim of 4:18.92, just two seconds behind Lochte.
Bekemeyer joined Peribonio in the 400m A final on Friday, finishing eighth with an evening effort of 4:32.09. Barksdale also made the 400m IM A final on the women’s side, placing fifth with a time of 4:47.89.
Peribonio came back Sunday to make the A final of the 200m IM. He finished fourth overall after swimming a time of 2:02.35 in finals.
Over a dozen Gamecocks competed in Charlotte over the weekend, with several advancing to evening swims. For a full list of results from the event, click here.
Five more Gamecocks swam at the Atlanta Classic over the weekend at the McAuley Aquatic Center, with Ashleigh Ferguson, McKenna Keith, Heather Merritt and Taylor Vincent earning second swims. A complete list of results from Atlanta can be found here.
All of the Gamecocks are aiming to join teammates Akaram Mahmoud and Julia Vincent at the Rio Summer Olympics in August. Mahmoud will swim for Egypt, while Vincent will dive for South Africa.