Three Gamecocks Race at U.S. Olympic Trials
June 30, 2016
OMAHA, Neb. – Three more Gamecocks were in the pool on Thursday as the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials continued from the CenturyLink Center. Emma Barksdale and Kersten Dirrane each swam the women’s 200 breaststroke, while Jack Smith made his debut in the men’s 200 IM.
The highlight for the Gamecocks came from the ladies, with both Barksdale and Dirrane placing in the top 50. Smith also swam well in his first appearance at the biggest stage in American swimming.
Quoting Head Coach McGee Moody
“It was a solid morning. I thought we swam well, but we didn’t execute quite the way I wanted. Emma and Kersten had speed; they didn’t quite execute their plans but still swam great times. Jack was very solid. Having just qualified a few weeks ago, it’s hard to turn around and swim fast again, but I’m proud of how he handled his race today. Our current student-athletes have two more races left, with Meredith Vay and Cody Bekemeyer going Saturday, and we’re excited to see big things from them.”
First in the pool for the Gamecocks was Dirrane, who was swimming her second event of the Trials, the 200 breaststroke. Dirrane placed second in her heat and recorded a time of 2:33.27, good for 49th overall. The rising junior finished 21 spots above her seed.
Barksdale also swam the 200 breaststroke and took second place in her heat. In the last of her three events in Omaha, the rising sophomore swam a time of 2:32.35 to place six spots better than her seed and 37th overall.
Smith competed in his lone event of the Trials, the men’s 200 IM. The rising sophomore clocked a time of 2:06.80, finishing 69th overall and 27 positions above his seed.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
U.S. Olympic Trials continue Friday, with Carolina alumnus Michael Flach swimming the men’s 100 butterfly. Current Gamecocks are back in the pool Saturday, with Meredith Vay in the women’s 50 freestyle and Cody Bekemeyer taking part in the men’s 1500 freestyle. Prelims begin at 11 a.m. ET, with love video available through the NBC Sports Live Extra app.