Women’s Swim & Dive Earns Season-Opening Win
Wilmington, N.C. – South Carolina swimming & diving split results in their first dual of the 2023-24 season with the women’s team earning a victory and the men’s team narrowly falling to UNCW.
The Gamecock women led the whole way through, coming out the other side with a 181-119 win over the Seahawks. The men’s team battled closely from behind throughout the meet but the Seahawks pulled away in the final relay to win it 158-142.
Across both the men’s and women’s teams, South Carolina won 19 of the 32 events with 16 different individuals contributing to victories, including five newcomers.
- Graduate transfer Duda Sumida recorded her first win in the Garnet & Black, touching the wall first in the 1000 free with a time of 10:16.48. She was followed closely behind by sophomore Amy Riordan in second place (10:18.41). This was Riordan’s first time competing the 1000 free in collegiate competition.
- A pair of Gamecock freshmen went 1-2 in the men’s 1000 free with Connor Fry in first and Umut Yildirim in second. Fry’s time of 9:22.95 was nearly ten seconds ahead of the rest of the pack and 20 seconds ahead of the closest Seahawk.
- South Carolina’s women claimed the top three spots in the 100 back with freshman Caroline Chasser leading the group with a time of 57.19. She was followed by senior Bella Pantano in second (57.39) and sophomore Meg Maholic in third (58.18).
- Junior Michael Laitarovsky and freshman Ryan Hufford went 1-2 in the men’s 100 back. Laitarovsky completed the race in 49.61 while Hufford was just behind him with a 49.68.
- In the women’s 200 fly, junior Greta Pelzek finished in first with a 2:01.87, followed in second place by freshman Sofia Krstolic with a 2:05.70.
- Sophomore Gage Hulbert earned his second career 200 fly victory, touching the wall first with a time of 1:50.95.
- Seniors Aubrey Chandler and Nicholle Toh went 1-2 for the women in the 50 free. Chandler’s time of 23.84 put her in first, followed closely by Toh who swam a 24.05 for second place.
- In the women’s 200 back, Tia Salcutan and Bella Pantano claimed the top two finishes. Salcutan placed first with a 2:01.23 while Pantano’s time of 2:04.29 landed her in second.
- Junior Wylie Kruse earned his first victory as a Gamecock in the men’s 200 back. The team captain completed his race in 1:48.50 for the win.
- Senior Laura Goettler notched her first win of the season in the 200 breast, winning it with a time of 2:18.89.
- Junior Liam Kerns claimed the win in the men’s 200 breast – his first of the season. The Billings, Montana, native touched the wall first with a time of 2:03.95.
- In the 500 free, sophomore Meaghan Harnish recorded the first 500 free win of her career with a time of 5:02.08.
- Fry earned his second victory in as many races in the men’s 500 free, touching the wall first with a time of 4:35.40. He was followed in second place by fellow freshman Raymond Prosinski with a time of 4:36.13.
- South Carolina’s women completed another 1-2 finish in the 100 fly. Toh earned her first win of the season with a 54.42 followed by Pelzek with a 56.30.
- In the 400 IM, Sumida recorded her second win in as many events. The Sao Paul, Brazil, native swam 4:24.45 for first place. She was followed closely by Harnish who placed second with a 4:26.87.
- On the dive side of things, freshman Max Spencer claimed his first collegiate win on the 1-meter springboard. He took the win with an NCAA Zone qualifying score of 329.70. Spencer was followed by sophomore Charley Bayer in second (298.28) and fellow freshman Tyler Hoard in fourth (270.45).
- Spencer and Bayer repeated their 1-2 finish on the 3-meter board with both Gamecocks achieving NCAA Zone qualifying scores – Spencer with a 375.30 and Bayer with a 333.98
- On the women’s 3-meter spring board, junior Blair Isenhour earned the first victory of her career, claiming first place with a score of 278.03. She was followed in second place by freshman Mak Blake who scored a 266.40.
- Blake went on to collect her first collegiate win on the 1-meter springboard with a score of 250.58 with Isenhour following in third place with a 249.90.
Head Coach Jeff Poppell on the Team’s Performance
“We were disappointed to earn a split today as we were hoping to win both meets but give UNCW credit for competing hard and coming out on top against our men. With 31 newcomers this year, I think we learned a lot about our team in our first competition. We had some freshmen step up and win events in their first ever college meet which was awesome to see, and for several of our returners, we saw them post their best regular season times or at the very least, much faster times to start the season when compared to a year ago. We have a lot to improve upon before we take on two tough opponents at home next with Texas A&M and Virginia Tech.”
Up next for the Gamecocks
South Carolina will return to action on Sat., Oct. 7 for the team’s home opener. The Gamecocks will host a tri-meet with Texas A&M and Virginia Tech beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Carolina Natatorium.
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