Gamecocks Dominate Opening Day of Home Invitational
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina swimming began the Gamecock Invitational on Wednesday and produced a comfortable lead in the scores during the first day of competition. South Carolina was dominant all around, taking wins in all ten events of the night.
The Gamecock women are in first place of the seven teams competing with 538 points. The next closest team in UNCW in second with 317 points.
The Gamecock men also hold first out of the three men’s teams competing. South Carolina currently has 499 points with UNCW in second with 374 points and Gardner-Webb in third with 271 points.
- The Gamecock women started the meet strong with a first place finish in the 200 free relay. The ‘A’ team of Janie Smith, Aubrey Chandler, Dylan Scholes, and Cory Shanks combined for a time of 1:30.17 which ranks at third place in the program record books.
- Freshman Amy Riordan placed first in the 500 free with a time of 4:45.97, making her the fourth fastest swimmer in program history. She was followed in second place by junior Hayley Mason who swam a 4:47.27, making her ninth fastest in program history. Senior Emma Alexander completed the sweep for the Gamecocks with a 4:50.35, her fastest time of the season.
- It was an all-Gamecock final in the women’s 200 IM with South Carolina swimmers filling all ten lanes of the A-final. Graduate Victoria Kwan earned first place with a time of 1:58.28 which ranks her at 4th place in the program record book. Laura Goettler followed in second place with a 1:59.49 and Georgia Johnson took third with a 2:00.55.
- Chandler placed first in the 50 free with a 22.82. She was followed closely by Smith who swam a 22.84.
- The Gamecock women swept their final event of the night, going 1-2-3 in the 400 medley relay. The ‘A’ team of Tia Salcutan, Johnson, Nicholle Toh, and Smith earned the first place spot with a 3:35.22.
- South Carolina’s ‘A’ team of Patrick Groters, Guy Gropper, Mark Shperkin, and Michael Laitarovsky placed first in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:20.12, shaving nearly two seconds off of the seed time of 1:22.05.
- Fifth-year senior Rafael Davila continued his dominance in the distance events, taking first place in the 500 free with a time of 4:23.09. He was followed closely by freshman Jose Castro who swam a 4:23.56 for second place.
- The Gamecock men swept the 200 IM with Groters placing first with a 1:45.13, Erge Gezmis placing second with a 1:46.16, and Jay Baker placing third with a 1:47.60.
- South Carolina’s men earned a second sweep in the 50 free with Shperkin placing first with a 20.13, Laitarovsky in second with a 20.31 and Gropper in third with a 20.37.
- The men closed the night with a 1-2 finish in the 400 medley relay. The ‘A’ team of Laitarovsky, Daniel West, Gezmis, and Gropper took the top spot with a 3:12.33.
Head Coach Jeff Poppell on the team’s performance
“I’m really proud of the way our team competed today. The energy was fantastic and I felt that our athletes did a great job of feeding off each other’s swims. I’m looking forward to day two tomorrow.”
Up next for the Gamecocks
The Gamecock swimmers will continue competition at the Gamecock Invitational on Thursday. Prelims will begin at 10 a.m. with the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, and the 100 back. Finals will begin at 6 p.m. with the addition of the 200 medley relay and the 800 free relay.
South Carolina’s divers will begin competition at the Tennessee Invitational on Thursday with the women competing in the 3-meter and the men competing in the 1-meter beginning at 12:30 p.m. Diving will be streamed on the SEC Network+.
For all the latest South Carolina swimming and diving information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockSwim).