Schultz Breaks School Record at Season Opener as Gamecock Women Defeat Army
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina swimming & diving split their first day of competition with the women’s team earning a dominant win over Army and the men dropping a close contest. Graduate diver Brooke Schultz individually contributed 18 points to the women’s team win, sweeping the springboards and setting a new school record in the process.
The women got off to a hot start, taking places 1-4 in the very first relay event, and didn’t let up. The Gamecock women picked up wins in 14 of their 16 events and ended the meet with a final score of 204 to Army’s 88.
The Gamecock men earned seven of their 16 event wins and fell to the Black Knights by a narrow 158-140 margin.
Schultz got her day started with a score of 413.78 in the 3-meter dive to break her own school record set at last season’s SEC Championships. The graduate had a previous school record of 407.30 to which she added 6.48 points for the new record. Schultz then went on the win the 1-meter dive with a score of 352.88, nearly 25 points ahead of the second-place finisher.
- Junior Melinda Novoszath picked up the first individual event win of the season for the Gamecocks with a 10:20.99 in the 1000 free.
- Freshman Amy Riordan made a strong showing in her collegiate debut. The Martinez, Ga., native won the 200 freestyle by over three seconds and placed third in the 100 freestyle.
- Junior Bella Pantano picked up right where she left off last season, earning event wins in both the 100 and 200 backstroke events.
- Junior Georgia Johnson swept the breaststroke events for the women, swimming a 1:03.22 in the 100 and a 2:17.70 in the 200.
- Graduate transfer Victoria Kwan made herself known in her Garnet & Black premiere. The Ontario, Canada, native won both events that she participated in – the 200 butterfly (2:01.84) and the 200 IM (2:02.53).
- Graduate Rafael Davila picked up the men’s first individual event win of the season with a 9:19.26 in the 1000 free.
- Sophomore Michael Laitarovsky continued his backstroke dominance this season, winning the 100 back with a time of 48.80.
- Senior Luke DeVore made a huge comeback in the 200 fly to win it at the touch with a time of 1:50.69.
- Gamecock divers Manny Vazquez Bas and Charley Bayer went 1-2 in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives to collect 26 points for the men’s team.
- Freshman Jose Castro earned his first ever event win as a Gamecock, taking the 500 free with a time of 4:31.46.
- The Gamecock men swept the 100 fly with graduate transfer Erge Gezmis taking the win with a 49.76. Freshman Gage Hulbert placed just behind Gezmis with a 49.90 while Laitarovsky and senior Guy Gropper tied for third with a 50.10.
Head Coach Jeff Poppell on the Team’s Performance
“I’m so proud of our team and their efforts today! They raced hard and competed well against a tough Army team. Our divers were outstanding highlighted by Brooke Schultz breaking her own school record in the 3-meter event.
With twenty-seven newcomers this year, including half of our men’s team, we are definitely young, however I absolutely love the individuals on this team right now and the positive attitudes and vibes they bring to the pool each and every day. We understand that we have a lot of growth and development ahead of us as a team, however it’s really exciting when thinking about our potential in the years ahead. I’d like to give a special shout out to our parents and alumni that showed up today in support of our first home meet. The atmosphere was absolutely awesome.”
Up next for the Gamecocks
South Carolina will return to action on Saturday, October 8 when they host LSU for their conference opener. Diving will begin at 10 a.m. with swimming following at 11 a.m.
For all the latest South Carolina swimming and diving information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockSwim).