Gamecocks Fall to Georgia, Alabama
Jan. 30, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - South Carolina's swimming and diving team dropped a pair of meets on Saturday to Georgia and Alabama in the final competition of the regular season at the Gabrielsen Natatorium. The Gamecock men put up a tough fight against Alabama but faltered in the next-to-last race to drop a 156-144 decision. Georgia downed the Carolina men 225-75. On the women's side, Alabama took a 186-114 victory and Georgia beat the Gamecocks 193-99.
"I was really proud of the effort today," head coach McGee Moody said. "Our guys gave Alabama, a top-25 team, all they could possibly handle. We were in it until the 200 IM, and we needed to go 1-2-3 to have a chance in the relay. We went 2-3-4 in the IM, but then still finished strong in the relay. We were just one big swim short today."
Once again, the Gamecocks got a strong performance from freshman mid-distance specialist Michael Flach, who took runner-up honors in the 500 freestyle with an NCAA `B' cut time of 4:25.89, less than a second behind Alabama's Mark Randall. He also swam a season-best 1:49.25 in the 200 butterfly, coming in third behind defending national runner-up Mark Dylla and Alabama's Denes Zubcseck. He also notched a season-best in the 200 free (1:39.93) to finish fourth overall and first against Alabama swimmers, and he swam the leadoff leg in the 400 freestyle relay that finished third in 3:03.85.
"Michael Flach had another really strong meet today," Moody said. "He's really going to turn some heads at SECs here in a couple of weeks. He hung right in there with a guy (Randall) that's probably going to win the national championship in the mile, and he beat a couple of All-Americans (Alabama's Catalin Cosma, Georgia's Troyden Prinsloo). I was really proud of his performance today."
South Carolina got a strong showing from its 200 medley relay team of Dominique Lendjel, Bobby Cave, Isaac Badillo and David Livsey, which posted a season-best time of 1:32.61 to take second place to kick off the meet. Brooks Ross' 1000 free time of 9:25.92 was only a second off his season-best, and Lendjel posted his best time of the year with a 50.14 in the 100 back, falling just two-hundredths of a second short of a victory.
Several other season-bests were set by the Carolina men. Andrew Seiler posted his top time in the 50 free (21.23), Lendjel had his top time of the year in the 100 fly (49.66) and Badillo was only .01 off his 100 fly season best with a 49.72.
On the women's side, Sharntelle McLean took a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle with a 23.60, while Bridget Halligan was fourth, equaling her season-best with a 23.66. Megan Sparks took second place in the 200 backstroke with a 2:02.68. Lauren Plowman was just short of her season best in the 200 IM with a fourth-place time of 2:11.38.
The Gamecock men wrap up the regular season with a 4-6 overall record, 1-3 in the Southeastern Conference. The Carolina women finish 3-8 overall, 1-4 in the SEC.
South Carolina will return to the pool Feb. 17-20 for the Southeastern Conference Swimming & Diving Championships, which will be held in the same venue as today's meet, the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga.
ZACK ADVANCES TO SEMI-FINALS AT CANADIAN NATIONALS
South Carolina junior diver Taryn Zack finished third in 3-meter preliminaries on Friday with a score of 304.20 to advance to the semi-final round at the Diving Plungeon Canada Winter National Championships, being held this weekend in Toronto. Zack will be one of 12 competitors in Sunday morning's semi-final round, from which a small group will advance to the evening's national championship finals.