South Carolina Finishes 15th in the Nation, Five Gamecocks Earn All-America Honors
March 25, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS– The University of South Carolina Swimming & Diving team continued to reach new heights on Saturday as five Gamecocks captured All-America honors on the last day of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships. South Carolina finished 15th as a team, their best overall result in 29 years.
Akram Mahmoud smashed the school record in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 14:22.99, cutting almost 10 seconds off of his previous lifetime best. His time was good for a third-place finish. Mahmoud recorded a second-place finish last season in the mile with a time of 14:31.66. Cody Bekemeyer finished 13th in the event and Tomas Peribonio finished 16th.
Nils Wich-Glasen and Fynn Minuth also added points for the Gamecocks as they each took part in the evening swims. Wich-Glasen earned his highest finish in the 200-yard breaststroke at NCAAs and Minuth added his third All-America honor of the meet in the 200-yard butterfly.
The Gamecocks finished 17th last season at the NCAA Men’s Championships, the best finish of the Moody era, and they improved by two spots this season by scoring 99 points. It’s the program’s 13th top-20 finish on the men’s side and the best team result since coming in 11th in 1988.
Texas finished as team national champions this season, with California, Florida and NC State and Stanford rounding out the top-five.
Mahmoud was part of an extremely competitive evening heat in the 1,650-yard freestyle. In the end, his time of 14:22.99 was just .58 seconds behind Clark Smith of Texas, the NCAA champion and new American record holder. Still, Mahmoud’s time was a new school record, eclipsing the previous record by almost ten seconds.
Cody Bekemeyer was back in the water on Saturday to swim the 1650-yard freestyle, his second event of the 2017 NCAAs. He turned in his best time in the event to date as he cruised into 13th with a time of 14:44.17. The swim was his second sub-15:00 effort in the race this season and his personal best finish at the national level. Peribonio followed in 16th with a time of 14:45.37, giving the Gamecocks three swimmers finishing in the top 16 of the 1650-yard freestyle.
Nils Wich-Glasen recorded his second All-American performance of the meet as he swam a time of 1:52.87 in the 200-yard breaststroke, good for a sixth-place finish. This is also his second All-American honor in the event after finishing seventh his freshman year and disqualifying last year on a one-hand touch.
Fynn Minuth broke his second school record of the meet as a finished 13th in the 200-yard fly with a time of 1:42.05. He topped his time of 1:45.10 in the prelims and the previous school record of 1:42.48, which was set by Nick Walkotten in 2009. Minuth also set a new school record in the 500-yard freestyle earlier in the week.
HEAD SWIMMING COACH McGee Moody – “One of the best weekends our program has ever had. I think it was the highest finish we have had since 1988. Akram [Mahmoud] got us started tonight with an unbelievable mile,the fastest 1650 in the history of NCAA swimming. There were four guys underneath the American record tonight and Akram was one of those guys., going 14:22.99. He was under the U.S. Open, under the American record, under the NCAA record. He finished third in the event. I am unbelievably proud of him. He showed such courage in the race. It was amazing watching him battle all the way through the 14 and a half minute race. I thought he was great. That lead to another great race by Nils Wich-Glasen tonight. He had a great 200 breaststroke and put points on the board for us. Fynn Minuth wrapped up an outstanding weekend for us and garnered another All-American performance for him too. All in all, this was the best meet our program has ever had. Finished with an overall 15th-place team finish. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys, top to bottom. Our coaching staff is ecstatic and excited now to get back to work and recruit and bring in the next batch of Gamecocks and hopefully continue to move up the ladder.
HEAD DIVING COACH Todd Sherritt – “Jordan [Gotro] finished up his diving career today on the platform. He had such a great career here at USC, making it to the NCAA Championships three out of his four years here. Very few ever make it this far and he was able to do it three times. He had some great dives today. His armstand was one of the best I have ever seen him do. The rest of his dives were solid but fell short of achieving another All-American award. He went hard for each dive today. He got a little too pumped up on his reverse. Jordan leaves us with his name on our record board for his platform performances. Jordan is a great teammate and has represented our school well over his past four years. He will be greatly missed.”
- South Carolina earns highest finish under Moody, best team result since 1988.
- Overall, the Gamecocks finished with five different student-athletes earning All-America status this week: Bekemeyer (800 free relay, 1650 free), Wich-Glasen (100 breast, 200 breast), Mahmoud (800 free relay, 500 free, 1650 free), Minuth (800 free relay, 500 free, 200 fly) and Peribonio (800 free relay, 500 free, 400 IM, 1650 free)
- This is the third straight season that South Carolina has finished with at least five All-Americans.
- For the second consecutive year, Tomas Peribonio has earned All-America honors in four separate events.
- Overall, South Carolina now has eight seasons with at least five All-Americans: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
- The Gamecocks set program records in the 500 free, 400 IM, 200 fly, 1650 free and 800 free relay this week.
- Carolina also tallied two All-America finishes in the NCAA Women’s Championships, from Emma Barksdale in the 400-yard IM and Allyson Nied in the platform.