Gamecocks Conclude Day Three at SEC Championships
Feb. 17, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The South Carolina swimming and diving teams wrapped up day three at the 2012 SEC Championships with another solid effort in the finals on Friday night at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center at the University of Tennessee.
The Gamecocks posted five individual NCAA provisional qualifying times with seven swimmers competing, one relay B-cut and another top eight finish on the boards. Heading into Saturday, the Carolina women are in seventh place with 165 points, while the men are in eighth with 152.5 points.
"This morning (in the preliminaries) was rough," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "During lunch today, we talked about what it meant to come back and rebound and be better tonight. We did have some really good swims tonight. We were far better than we were this morning. I think we are in a good place, but the question is do we come back and pick up what we lost today. The teams we are battling right now are swimming really well. We have to pick up our game Saturday morning."
Sophomore Rachael Schaffer kicked off the swimming events for the Gamecocks with a fifth-place showing in the women's 400-yard IM championship final with a NCAA B-cut time of 4:09.55, which was .22 of a second off her school record. Schaffer finished sixth in the event at last year's SEC Championships. In the consolation final, sophomore Abby Galbreath placed fifth with a NCAA provisional qualifying time and personal best of 4:15.22 to claim 13th overall.
In the men's 400 IM, sophomore Matt Navata achieved a NCAA B-cut of 4:15.22 to tie for fourth in the consolation final and 12th overall.
Sophomore Gerard Rodriguez came through with the lone win of the night for the Gamecocks as he touched first in the 200-yard freestyle consolation final in a NCAA provisional time of 1:36.81. Rodriguez was fourth heading into the final 50 yards but he made a late surge to touch .05 of a second ahead of Florida's Nicholas Caldwell.
Sophomore Amanda Rutqvist came close to providing Carolina with a second consolation win as she swam a NCAA B-cut of 1:01.18 in the women's 100-yard breaststroke but she finished just .18 of a second out of first place. Rutqvist claimed 10th overall.
The Carolina diving corps continued to produce big points on Friday, as freshman Cole Miller placed fifth on the men's platform with a NCAA Zone score of 343.55. The top-eight finish is Miller's second this week, as he also placed sixth on the three-meter springboard on Wednesday.
"His finish was especially impressive because we don't have a 10-meter platform at Carolina," South Carolina diving coach Todd Sherritt said. "Only being on the 10-meter three times and having to go up against all of these kids that train on them every day, you can't say enough about that. That's really impressive. He didn't really miss a dive in two contests. He's really establishing himself in the conference."
In the women's 400-yard medley relay, the team of Matea Peteh, Rutqvist, Meghan Brockington and Schaffer swam a NCAA provisional qualifying score of 3:42.12, which is the third fastest time in school history. The Carolina team of Michael Covert, Bobby Cave, Collin Kaden and Andrew Seiler finished eighth in the men's race with a time of 3:18.69.
Friday, February 17
Men's 400 IM - Final/Overall
Men's 200 Freestyle - Final/Overall
Women's 100 Breaststroke - Final/Overall
Men's Platform Diving - Final
Women's 400 Medley Relay - Final
Men's 400 Medley Relay - Final