Swimming & Diving Places Eight on CSC Academic All-District Team
Columbia, S.C. – Eight student-athletes from South Carolina’s swimming & diving team have been named to the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team, the CSC announced on Tuesday.
The men are represented by graduate Erge Gezmis, fifth-year Rafael Davila, senior Patrick Groters, and junior Daniel West. The women are represented by graduates Brooke Schultz and Victoria Kwan, as well as junior Bella Pantano and sophomore Sophie Verzyl.
The CSC All-District Team recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances in the pool and in the classroom. All-District honorees advance to the CSC Academic All-America ballot. First-, second-, and third-team Academic All-America honorees will be announced in late March.
Gezmis joined the Gamecocks this season and quickly made a name for himself. The Istanbul, Turkey, native has cemented his name in the program’s top-10 all-time in five separate events, placing highest as the third fastest swimmer in the 200 IM. He also ranks in the top-10 as the third leg of the 400 free relay that became the third-fastest group in program history at the 2023 SEC Championships.
Davila, a fifth-year member of the team, also has five entries into the program’s all-time top-10. A native of Venezuela, Davila was near undefeated in the distance events during the regular season. He won six out of eight 500 free events, six out of seven 1000 free events, and won the 1650 free at the Gamecock Invitational.
Groters had solidified himself as the program’s top swimmer in the 200 IM, setting the new program record at the 2022 SEC Championships and lowering it again just last week at the UGA Last Chance Invitational.
West proved himself as the team’s top breaststroker this season, becoming the seventh fastest swimmer in the 100 breast and the eighth fastest swimmer in the 200 breast. West also swam the breaststroke leg of the new program record setting 200 medley relay team that swam a 1:24.40 at the 2023 SEC Championships.
For the women, Schultz has completely rewritten the springboard record books. The graduate set a new program record on the 3-meter springboard at the season opener with a 413.78 and ended the regular season with a school record on the 1-meter springboard with a 370.58. She swept the springboard events at the 2023 SEC Championships and was named Diver of the Meet for her efforts.
Also making an impact on the dive team was Verzyl who recently eared silver at the 2023 SEC Championships on the 3-meter springboard. Verzyl was named SEC Diver of the Week during Week 11 of the season.
On the swim side of things, Kwan placed in the program’s top-10 in six separate events in just one year in the Garnet & Black. Kwan is individually eighth fastest in the 100 free, seventh fastest in the 200 fly, second fastest in the 200 IM, and second fastest in the 400 IM. She was also on the program’s second fastest 800 free relay team and seventh fastest 400 medley relay team where she swam the fly.
Last but not least, Pantano has repeatedly set an lowered her own school record on multiple times throughout the season. The junior currently holds the school record at 52.66 which she swam during the 2023 SEC Championships.
South Carolina’s swim team awaits invitations to the NCAA Championships. The divers will compete this coming weekend at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships where they will battle for their spot at the NCAAs. The Zone B Championships will run March 5-8 at the Allen Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.
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