Riordan Breaks School and Pool Record in Friday Dual
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina swimming & diving completed a dual match against North Carolina on Friday with the Gamecock women tying with the Tar Heels while the men narrowly dropped their closest contest of the season.
North and South Carolina’s women tied with a score of 150 a piece while the Gamecock men fell 139-161. The women’s tie is the closest the team has come against the Tar Heels since 1985. North Carolina had won the previous 12 matchups prior to Friday’s meeting.
Along with South Carolina’s near-upset, the meet was highlighted by sophomore Amy Riordan who broke both the school and pool record in the 200 free. Riordan’s time of 1:44.31 replaces the previous school record of 1:44.61 that was placed my Emma Barksdale in 2019 and lowers the pool record of 1:46.18 that was placed by Riordan in 2022. Her time is also the fastest in the SEC this season.
- South Carolina’s women finished 2-3 in the 200 medley relay with the team’s best times so far this season. Bella Pantano, Annaliese Streeter, Nicholle Toh, and Aubrey Chandler combined for a time of 1:38.80 while Faith Khoo, Lien Yu, Greta Pelzek, and Dylan Scholes combined for 1:39.80.
- The Gamecock men claimed the team’s first relay win of the season in a tight race in the 200 medley relay. Michael Laitarovsky, Daniel West, Ahmed Rateb, and Mark Shperkin combined for a time of 1:26.60 to out-touch North Carolina’s second placing team.
- Meaghan Harnish and Hayley Mason went 1-2 in the women’s 1000 free with Harnish swimming a 9:52.01 and Mason a 9:52.24. They are the first two on the team to go sub-ten minutes so far this season.
- The men followed up the women with a 1-2 finish of their own in the 1000 free. The freshman duo of Connor Fry and Umut Yildirim placed in near unison with Fry in first with a time of 9:06.57 and Yildirim following with a 9:06.86.
- Sophomore Jose Castro swam the fastest 200 free race on the men’s team so far this season to place second with a time of 1:38.09
- In the 100 back, Pantano inched close to tying her own school record. She placed second with a time of 52.86, just shy of her existing record of 52.66 that she placed last season.
- Laitarovsky remained perfect in the 100 back on the season with a season-best time of 46.76. He has now won the event four times in as many meets.
- West notched his best individual event finish of the season in the 100 breast, placing second with a time of 54.67. He was followed in third place by Liam Kerns with a 55.13.
- The Gamecock women swept the top three spots in the 200 fly. Nicholle Toh touched the wall first (1:55.59), Jordan Agliano in second (1:55.75), and Pelzek in third (1:56.43). Toh’s time jumps her up to second place in the program’s top-10 all-time list while Agliano jumps up to fourth.
- In the men’s 50 free, Shperkin claimed his first individual event win of the season. He swam a season-best time of 20.16. Behind him, Jackson Davis earned his highest-placing finish of the season, touching third with a time of 20.44.
- Scholes claimed the first individual event win of her career in the women’s 100 free. The sophomore swam a 49.38, the best time on the team so far this season.
- Shperkin got right back in the water after the break to claim another individual win, this one in the 100 free with a time of 44.11.
- Pantano claimed her second backstroke win of the day in the 200 back. Her time of 1:54.93 is a new personal best.
- Wylie Kruse broke away to claim victory in the 200 back for the men. The junior swam a 1:44.41 to touch the wall over two seconds ahead of the rest of the pack.
- South Carolina’s women completed a 1-2-3 finish in the 500 free. Riordan touched first (4:46.43), Harnish second (4:49.27), and Mason in third (4:50.47).
- Fry and Castro went 2-3 in the 500 free in a close one. Fry touched second (4:25.27) and Castro third (4:25.62).
- Toh earned a sweep of the butterfly events, claiming her second individual win of the day in the 100 fly with a time of 52.32. She was followed in second place by Pelzek who swam a 53.10.
- Harnish won the 400 IM for the women’s team with a new personal best time of 4:13.43. Laura Gottler followed her up with a 4:16.60 for second place.
- The Gamecock men closed out the meet in dramatic fashion with a comeback win in the 400 free relay. The team of Shperkin, Laitarovsky, Quinn Buck and Ryan Hufford combined for a first-place time of 2:57.76. After falling behind through the first three swimmers, Hufford made up an unbelievable amount of time in the final 100 yards, finishing with an unofficial split of 44.37.
Head Coach Jeff Poppell on the Team’s Performance
“I’m so proud of both our men and women and the manner in which they competed today. Our men showed tremendous growth from our previous meets and fought to the end including winning the last relay. Our men are very young but you can see them starting to figure things out. For our women, they went toe to toe with one of the top teams in the nation and the meet ended in a tie. We saw so many tremendous performances today which included a new school record by Amy Riordan in the 200 free. We still have a lot of work ahead of us; however I truly believe the future is bright for this team.”
Up Next for the Gamecocks
South Carolina will next see action with the swimmers staying home for the Gamecock Invitational and the divers travelling to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Tennessee Invitational. Both events will run Nov. 15-17. More details will be released at a later date.
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