Feb. 18, 2018
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -
Senior Akram Mahmoud made South Carolina swimming history on Sunday, becoming the first Gamecock to win three consecutive Southeastern Conference titles. Mahmoud took his third gold in the men's 1650 freestyle on the final day of competition to help the men to a seventh-place finish at the SEC Championships with 765 points. The Gamecock women finished eighth in the meet with 591 points.
The Gamecock men showed their dominance in the 1650 freestyle, taking five of the top 10 spots in the event. Junior Cody Bekemeyer swam the second-fastest time for the Gamecocks after Mahmoud, finishing fourth with a time of 14:48.58. Two freshmen followed in the next two spots with Brandonn Almeida swimming a 14:48.60 for fifth and Rafael Davila swimming a 14:51.39 for sixth. Tomas Peribonio rounded out the top-10 with a time of 14:55.79, good for 10th place.
Junior Emma Barksdale swam a top-10 time in the women's 1650 freestyle, taking seventh and lowering the school record by more than a second with a time of 16:12.58.
Nils Wich-Glasen brought in the second-best finish for the Gamecocks on the final day of competition in the men's 200 breaststroke. The senior took bronze in the event as one of three finals qualifiers from South Carolina. He earned his third-place finish in the event with a final time of 1:53.53.
Two Gamecocks qualified for the women's 200 breaststroke championship final. Senior Kersten Dirrane and sophomore Albury Higgs took sixth and eighth overall, respectively, in the event. Higgs improved from fourth to third in the school record books in the event with a career-best 2:09.23 in her final.
Freshman Lionel Khoo took first in the men's 200 breaststroke B-final and ninth overall with a career-best 1:54.51, the second-best time in South Carolina history. Senior Jeremiah Bohon competed in the C-final, taking 21st overall with a personal-best time of 1:58.16.
Sophomore Emily Cornell broke her own school record in the women's 200 backstroke prelims with a time of 1:54.66 to earn a spot in the event B-final. She came back to finish sixth in the B-final and 14th overall.
Sophomore Kevin Liu swam a career-best 1:44.55 in the 200 backstroke prelims, placing him at second in the South Carolina record books in the event. The sophomore finished fourth in the C-final and 20th overall, setting a new career-best time at 1:43.93.
Christina Lappin, also a sophomore, improved to second in the school record books with a career-best 49.33 in the 100 freestyle prelims. The time was good to qualify for the night's C-final, where she took seventh with a time of 49.44.
Mikaela Lujan competed in the women's platform prelims for the Gamecocks, finishing 10th with a final score of 249.95.
The Gamecocks finished the day in the men's and women's 400 freestyle relay. Both teams took 10th in their respective relays, the men with a time of 2:57.61 the women with a time of 3:19.20.
QUOTABLE: HEAD DIVING COACH Todd Sherritt
"Mikaela Lujan had a solid day on platform. She had a small miss on her first dive, but came back, stayed steady and ended up finishing 10th. Overall, a good performance."
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