Laitarovsky Earns Bronze, Sets New School Record
College Station, Texas – South Carolina swimming & diving completed its fourth night of competition at the SEC Championships with their first medal on the swim side. Sophomore Michael Laitarovsky claimed bronze in the 100 back with a new school record of 45.27.
Laitarovsky is no stranger to setting the school record, having set it the first time during his first semester in the Garnet & Black, and continually lowering it throughout his career. The Natanya, Israel, native swam a 45.49 in the prelims to take down his record of 45.92 that he set during the Gamecock Invitational in November of 2022. His time qualified him for the A-final where he lowered his time again to 45.27 to secure the bronze medal.
Also in the finals of the men’s 100 back was sophomore Wylie Kruse who earned his spot in the C-final after winning a swim-off following prelims. Kruse swam a 47.33 in the finals for 24th place overall.
On the women’s side, junior Bella Pantano also set a new school record in the 100 back. The Omaha, Nebraska, native has also set the new school record multiple times across her career. During Friday’s prelims, Pantano set a new school record of 52.72, taking down her previous record of 53.26 from November’s Gamecock Invitational.
Also in the women’s 100 back finals was freshman Dylan Scholes in the C-final. Scholes placed 22nd overall with a new personal best time of 53.15. Her time mades her the second fastest 100 back swimmer in program history.
The finals of the 200 fly were loaded with Gamecocks. Sophomore Greta Pelzek qualified for the A-final after swimming a 1:55.99 in the prelims. Her time made her the third fastest swimmer in program history. Pelzek swam a 1:56.42 in the finals which landed her in 7th place overall.
In the B-final was graduate Victoria Kwan. Kwan swam a preliminary time of 1:57.21 to earn her finals placement, a new personal best time and landing her in the program’s all-time top-10 at No. 6. She swam a 1:57.33 in the finals for 14th place overall.
In the C-final was Emily Horomanski, Nicholle Toh, and Makenzy Mills. Horomanski shaved over half a second off of her personal best time to place second in her heat and 18th overall. Toh and Mills placed 21st and 23rd respectively.
On the men’s side, Luke DeVore and Erge Gezmis advanced to the 200 fly finals. Both Gamecocks set new personal best times in the finals with DeVore swimming a 1:44.46 for 14th place and Gezmis swimming a 1:44.36 for 18th place. DeVore’s time puts him at 7th place in program history and Gemis’ time makes him 5th in program history.
South Carolina’s final individual event finalist of the night was sophomore Liam Kerns in the C-final of the 100 breast. Kerns swam a new personal best time of 53.75 in the prelims and lowered his time in the finals to 53.55 for 21st place overall. His time is the fastest on the team this season and makes him the 6th fastest in program history.
In the 400 medley relay, both the men’s and women’s teams placed swam the second fastest times in program history. The women’s team of Pantano, Taylor Steele, Toh, and Janie Smith swam a 3:33.87 which was good for 11th place overall. Their time was just .12 seconds off of the program record.
The men’s team of Laitarovsky, Kerns, Guy Gropper and Mark Shperkin swam a 3:08.32, placing 8th overall and second in the program’s all-time top-10.
South Carolina ends the fourth day of competition in eighth place on the women’s side with 489 points, and in ninth place on the men’s side with 366.5 points.
The SEC Championships will conclude tomorrow with the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, men’s platform, and 400 free relay. Swim prelims will begin at 9:30 a.m. CT with dive prelims beginning at noon CT. Finals will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT. The SEC Network + will provide covereage of all events. A detailed schedule of events, live results, and streaming links is available here.For all the latest South Carolina swimming and diving information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockSwim).
Women’s 200 fly
7 – Greta Pelzek – 1:56.42
14 – Victoria Kwan – 1:57.33
18 – Emily Horomanski – 1:57.56
21 – Nicholle Toh – 1:58. 83
23 – Makenzy Mills – 1:59.86
Men’s 200 fly
14 – Luke DeVore – 1:44.46
18 – Erge Gezmis – 1:44.36
Women’s 100 back
16 – Bella Pantano – 52.96
22 – Dylan Scholes – 53.15
Men’s 100 back
3 – Michael Laitarovsky – 45.27
24 – Wylie Kruse – 47.33
Men’s 100 breast
21 – Liam Kerns – 53.55
Women’s 400 medley relay
11 – Pantano, Steele, Toh, Smith – 3:33.87
Men’s 400 medley relay
8 – Laitarovsky, Kerns, Gropper, Shperkin – 3:08.32