Feb. 18, 2016
COLUMBIA, Mo. — A record-breaking swim from Tomas Peribonio and phenomenal diving performances from Marissa Roth and Lauren Lamendola set the tone for the University of South Carolina Swimming & Diving team as the Gamecocks finished day three at the 2016 SEC Championships. With two days left at the Mizzou Aquatic Center, the Gamecock men hold the seventh position, while the Carolina women are in 10th.
Florida continues to lead the men’s competition, with 723 points, while Auburn is second at 669. The Gamecocks leapfrogged Texas A&M on Thursday and now have 315 points as a squad.
On the women’s side, Texas A&M moved into the lead on Thursday with 657.5 points, just ahead of Tennessee’s 645.5. The Gamecocks have accumulated 261 points through three days.
Peribonio broke the Carolina record in the 400-yard IM with a swim of 3:45.26 in the morning session. The previous record was set by Istvan Bathazi, a time of 3:45.76 in 2002.
Roth qualified for an SEC Final for the first time in her career and placed fourth in the 3-meter dive, with a finals score of 329.85. Lamendola, who earlier in the meet finished fourth in the 1-meter, came in sixth in the 3-meter on Thursday with an evening score of 319.80.
HEAD SWIMMING COACH McGee Moody - “It was a good morning. That started off our day in prelims. We had a team meeting this morning and talked about what we needed to do going into that event to get our day started off well. Essentially, if you can’t get up and swim fast in this conference in the morning, you’re not going to get back at night. There’s no chance. You can’t make any mistakes. So we saw some really, really good swims this morning. The guys came back tonight, both Emma with the women and then all our guys that came back. I was happy with how they swam. That set the tone for the night and set the rest of the guys up to be successful.” – On the morning efforts of the 400-yard IM swimmers
“This one’s been on the books for a long time, with Istvan Bathazi. It goes all the way back to 2002. It’s a great honor for Tom. Istvan was an Olympian, and he’s already texted both of us tonight and congratulated us, which is really neat. I’m proud of Tom for the work he’s put in. He deserves this, and I know Istvan is pretty excited about it too.” – On the record swim by Tomas Peribonio
“You can’t really say momentum’s not an issue, because it’s always an issue. We have to talk about keeping the ball rolling and making sure that tomorrow morning’s races are just as strong as tonight’s were. This is a hard meet; it goes on for a long, long time. We’re the longest conference meet in the country, and when you start getting toward day four or five, you start losing your legs and your shoulders start hurting a little bit. Your back starts hurting. As a coach, you’ve got to work them through this and make sure they’re getting the preparations before the races and after races to be successful coming up in the next two days.” – On maintaining the team’s momentum on the final two days of the meet
HEAD DIVING COACH Todd Sherritt - “It was a good day. It’s one of those things where these guys have trained so hard, and it showed up here. I saw some really good dives out of everybody. They stayed really strong; it’s (about) endurance at this point of the contest. They really showed up and did the job again.” – On the effort of his divers in the 3-meter event
“It was a little bit of a surprise in some ways, in some ways not. I was really impressed with her attitude (throughout) the whole competition. She went out there and had a really good time and just got better and better and better. This is going to be a real encouragement for her, and we’re going to see nothing but great things out of her in the future.” – On Marissa Roth’s first ever finals qualification
Peribonio shattered Carolina’s 400-yard IM record in prelims with a time of 3:45.26 and booked a spot in the A Final with his performance. In the A Final, he came in seventh with a time of 3:45.68. Cody Bekemeyer set a personal best in the B Final, a swim of 3:48.13 to finish 12th, and two Gamecocks competed in the C Final. Phillip Willett came in 21st at 3:52.77, and Jack Smith was 23rd at 3:53.32.
Jonathan Boland represented the Gamecocks in the C Final of the 100-yard butterfly. His evening time of 47.75 was good for 22nd overall and ranks seventh in Carolina history.
Two Gamecocks qualified for evening swims in the 200-yard freestyle. Fresh off a program record-setting performance in the 500-yard freestyle on Wednesday, Akaram Mahmoud turned in a finish of 13th place, with a finals swim of 1:36.26. Kevin Leithold came in 19th, and third in the C Final, swimming 1:36.76 in finals.
Emma Barksdale advanced to the evening session for a second consecutive day and made the B Final of the 400-yard IM. Her finals swim of 4:10.21 set a personal best and was the second-fastest performance in South Carolina history. The time was good for 11th place overall.
Roth turned in a score of 329.85 in the 3-meter finals. Her best dive of the evening was her fourth, a Reverse 2 1/2 Somersault Tuck that received a 61.60. Lamendola finished with a score of 319.80, including a Back 2 1/2 Somersault Pike that was graded at 63.00.
Paige Maynard was the top Gamecock in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing 33rd. Her time of 54.46 was a personal best and the second-fastest time in school history. It was also the fastest 100 fly swim by a Gamecock since 2007.
One night after reaching the A Final and setting a school record in the 500-yard freestyle, Taylor Worrell led Carolina in the 200-yard freestyle. Her swim of 1:47.90 was good for 26th position.
UP NEXT FOR CAROLINA
The fourth day of the SEC Championships features the 200 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, men’s platform dive and 400 medley relay. The Gamecocks will start the day with prelims at 10 a.m. CT, and finals will be held at 6 p.m. CT. All sessions are streaming live on SEC Network+.
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