Gamecocks to Host Wolfpack in Season Opener
South Carolina swimming and diving hosts N.C. State on Friday at 4 p.m. in the Carolina Natatorium/ Blatt PE Center.
COLUMBIA, S.C.— South Carolina swimming and diving will kick off a new dual-meet season as the two teams host N.C. State in the Carolina Natatorium/Blatt PE Center on Friday beginning at 4 p.m. (The first diving session is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.).
Friday’s meet will mark the first time the Gamecocks have opened the season at home since 2012 when they split a tri-meet decision with Texas A&M and North Carolina.
South Carolina looks to build on the momentum of its fourth-consecutive top-20 team finish at the NCAA Championships on the men’s side while the women are coming off of their best NCAA finish (t-20th) since 2004.
SCOUTING THE WOLFPACK
South Carolina defeated the Wolfpack on both the men’s and women’s sides the last time the two programs clashed back in 2006. The Gamecock women won 135-103 while the men’s side just edged out the Wolfpack men, 121-120.
N.C. State presents a challenge for the Gamecocks right out of the gate as both Wolfpack programs finished last season ranked in the nation’s top 15. The women’s team came in at No. 11 while the N.C. State men’s team finished at No. 5 in the final rankings last season following a championship season in which the two teams combined for five individual national champions.
The N.C. State women’s team finished 18th at the NCAA Championships. The men’s program was under 100 points off of national championship pace with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
TOP GAMECOCK RETURNERS
The men’s 2018-19 roster is highlighted by senior Fynn Minuth who earned two individual SEC Championships and All-America honors in both the 500 freestyle and 200 butterfly, respectively, last season.
Cody Bekemeyer, an All-American in two events (800 free relay & 1650 free) during his first three years at Carolina, also returns for a senior season looking to help lead a men’s team that finished 6-4 in dual meets last season.
Senior Emma Barksdale, owner of five individual school records on the women’s side, returns for one more season after earning Second-Team All-SEC and All-America honors as a junior in 2018.
Barksdale was recently named to the U.S.A. Swimming National Team after swimming a lifetime best 2:13.62 in the long-course 200 IM over the summer to finish eighth overall at the U.S. National Championships in Irvine, Calif.
The South Carolina women’s team returns four total swimmers and divers who qualified to compete in the 2018 NCAA Championships: Barksdale, Emily Cornell (Jr.), Albury Higgs (Jr.) and Mikaela Lujan (Sr.).
TOP GAMECOCK NEWCOMERS
The women’s side welcomes freshman Kate Sanderson who finished second in the 1500m freestyle at this summer’s Canadian Pan Pac trials to qualify for the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo.
The Gamecock women also add freshman Hallie Kinsey who competed in four different events (200 IM, 200 butterfly, 100 butterfly and 50 butterfly) at this summer’s U.S. National Championships in Irvine, Calif.
QUOTEABLE: HEAD SWIMMING COACH MCGEE MOODY
“We are excited about the opportunity to open the season against one of the top programs in the nation. It will test our student-athletes right out of the gate. Our team has worked incredibly hard through the summer and during the preseason and I know they’re ready.”
QUOTEABLE: HEAD DIVING COACH TODD SHERRITT
“We have two very talented teams this year. On the men’s side, Anton (Jenkins) comes to us from New Zealand, is extremely talented and should be in position to perform well during the championship season. Alex (Grant) comes to us from Cleveland, Ohio and will add some depth to our team. (Grant) Summers with a year under his belt should make substantial progress this year and hope to see him compete at SEC and NCAA Championships. On the girls’ side, we have a talented group with seniors Mikaela Lujan and Marissa Roth, and two sophomores in Karlee Price and Yu Qian Goh, who all compete on a comparable level. We hope to compete well on both the springboards and platform at conference and have the potential to have one of our highest scoring NCAA Championships that we’ve had as a team.”
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina will return to competition next week on the women’s side as it hosts Arkansas on Sat., Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. The men’s team will return to action as both teams travel to take on North Carolina on Oct. 26 at 3 p.m.
For more swimming updates, follow South Carolina Swimming and Diving on Twitter at @GamecockSwim.