South Carolina Finishes Strong at SEC Championships
Feb. 20, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - South Carolina had six athletes score on the final night of the 2010 SEC Championships to wrap up their week at the event, which was highlighted by six appearances in championship finals and 11 swims that met the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.
South Carolina finished eighth in the men's competition with 183 points, while the Gamecock women took a ninth-place finish, scoring 158.
Freshman Bobby Cave led the way on the final night with a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, touching the wall in 1:58.56, just a tick slower than his preliminary time of 1:58.44 but still an NCAA `B' cut time. He was also sixth in the preliminaries earlier today.
Also scoring big points for the Gamecocks was junior diver Allison Barr. She finished seventh in platform diving after qualifying for the second straight year, scoring 247.65 in the final. She made finals in two of her three events, placing eighth in the 1-meter final.
Three Gamecock swimmers scored in their respective consolation finals. Michael Flach had his second scoring event of the meet as he posted a 15th-place finish in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:47.17. In the 200 backstroke, Chris Kelly took a 15th-place finish with a time of 1:47.68, and James Crawford finished 16th in 1:48.49. An additional point came courtesy of freshman Matt Columbus, who finished 16th in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 15:40.48, which ranks as the eighth-fastest time in school history.
The event wrapped up with the 400 freestyle relay. South Carolina's men - Michael Flach, Alex Fitton, Andrew Seiler and David Livsey - posted an NCAA `B' cut time of 3:00.44 to finish seventh, and the Gamecock women took ninth place as Sharntelle McLean, Kristina Delp, Megan Sparks and Bridget Halligan touched in 3:24.86.
In all, South Carolina swimmers posted nine individual NCAA provisional qualifying times, and two men's relay squads earned `B' cuts of their own. Michael Flach had three NCAA cuts in the 500 free, 200 fly and 200 free (leadoff leg of 800 free relay), while Bobby Cave earned cuts in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Others included Andrew Atzhorn (200 IM), Megan Sparks (200 back), Claire Thompson (200 free) and Bridget Halligan (50 free).
Twelve different individuals scored points for the Gamecocks, led by junior Taryn Zack with 30 points on the strength of two fourth-place finishes in 1- and 3-meter diving. The high men's scorer was freshman Bobby Cave, who earned 20 points with a 6th-place finish in the 200 breast and a 10th-place showing in the 100 breast. Other scorers included Allison Barr (23 points), Michael Flach (17 points), Rylan Ridenour (15 points), Ryan Kuser (10 points), Claire Thompson (3 points), Helen Alvey (2 points), Chris Kelly (2 points), James Crawford (1 point) and Matt Columbus (1 point).
Auburn's men won their 14th consecutive SEC Championship, outdueling Florida for the title; 784-765 was the final margin in favor of the Tigers. On the women's side, homestanding Georgia ran away with the championship, scoring 824.5 points to outpace runner-up Florida with 698.
Several Gamecock swimmers will return here to the Gabrielsen Natatorium next Saturday for the Bulldog Last Chance Meet, attempting to improve their times in an effort to qualify for the NCAA Championships. South Carolina's divers will next be in action at the NCAA Zone B Regionals, which run March 12-14 in Atlanta.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS - MEN
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS - WOMEN