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Swimming and Diving  . 

Gamecocks Drop Dual Meet against Georgia

COLUMBIA, S.C.— South Carolina swimming and diving dropped its 2020-21 season opening dual with Georgia, winning five events on the women’s side and three events on the men’s side. Georgia took the women’s team win by a score of 165.5-129.5 while the Georgia men claimed the win 182-97.  
Gamecock Notables

  • The Gamecock women picked up their first win in the women’s 100-yard backstroke when junior Mari Kraus finished in a time of 55.59 to win the event by 0.18 seconds over Georgia’s Callie Dickinson.
  • Kraus won again for the Gamecocks later in the meet, finishing her 200-yard backstroke victory in a time of 1:59.98, just 0.04 seconds, besting Georgia’s Dickinson for the second time in the meet by a slim margin.
  • Sammie Ai’s Gamecock debut was a memorable one as the Pasadena, Md., native, won the 200-yard IM in 2:01.99, just missing the Gamecocks all-time top 10 mark of 2:00.74 held by Amanda Rutqvist. Ai also took fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke in her debut, finishing in a time of 1:03.22.
  • Yu Qian Goh was a dominant force for the women in the diving portion of the meet, claiming victory in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions. Goh, a senior from Wellington, New Zealand, took the 1-meter win with a score of 308.25 while claiming the 3-meter event with a score of 325.35, edging out Georgia’s Meghan Wenzel in both events.
  • Sophomore Janie Smith was solid for the Gamecocks in the 50-meter freestyle, finishing in second in a time of 23.08 while also finishing fourth in the 100 fly in a time of 54.91. 
  • In the men’s meet it was Lewis Burras who won the first event for the Gamecocks. The school-record holder in the 50 yard free proved why he owns that title with a winning time of 20.06, just ahead of Georgia’s Dillon Downing at 20.33. 
  • The men’s 400 yard freestyle relay ended the dual in style. The team of Burras, AJ Ross, Mark Shperkin and Phil Costin cruised to a win with an impressive time of 2:58.04, which just missed out of the 10th best time in school history that was set in 2013. 
  • AJ Ross was another Gamecock that stepped up in the 50-yard freestyle, taking third in the event in a time of 20.66. 

“Today we were excited to kick off the 2020 season, we had one of the best teams in the country in Georgia to race with. I was really proud of our women, a lot of people stepped up. Mari Kraus had an outstanding meet, having a lifetime best in the 100 backstroke and then won the 200 backstroke as well. We also had some contributions from our younger student-athletes. Sammi Ai won the 200 IM which was outstanding and then had a solid breaststroke. We were excited to see where we were in the training and how we have developed in a very unorthodox year. We have had to make a lot of changes to how we do things and it was just good to see our athletes respond.”

“We had some outstanding swims on the men’s side today. Our relays were strong today, especially our men’s 400 meter relay to close the meet out with a victory. 2:58 is a really solid time for right now for those guys. It will look to be a top-10 time in the country as this weekend develops nationally. Lewis Burras was great as always, AJ Ross was really strong. All-in-all we saw some good strong swims. We have some places we have got to improve in. We have some time to go back to the drawing board and and fix some things and race strategies so we can be sharp when we take on the Tar Heels.”

“Today went extremely well on the women’s side of things. I’m very very happy. Yi Qian Goh winning both boards is huge for her to be able to build some consistency and put some wins together. She really didn’t miss anything. Everything we have been working on she was able to accomplish. On the guy’s side, Alex Claus did a great job today. He has been training so hard. His work over this year and last year is really starting to pay off and he is really starting to turn into a really good diver.”
Up Next for the Gamecocks
The Gamecocks will host North Carolina on Sat., Nov. 14, at the Carolina Natatorium. The meet will begin at noon with diving and then continue at 1 p.m. with the swimming portion of the meet.
For more swimming updates, follow South Carolina Swimming and Diving on Twitter at @GamecockSwim.