Feb. 20, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- South Carolina junior Michael Flach posted a school-record and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:15.32 to win silver in the 500 freestyle, and sophomore Patricia Kranz captured bronze in the women's one-meter diving at the 2013 SEC Championships on Wednesday night.
Flach's time broke his own school record of 4:16.03, which he set at the 2011 SEC Championships. The silver medal is the third medal of his career in the 500 freestyle. He won bronze at both the 2010 and 2011 SEC Championships. Kranz earned her first career SEC medal with a six-dive score of 307.25.
Heading into Thursday's preliminaries, the Gamecock men are in eighth place with 201 points, while the Carolina women are in 11th with a total of 129.
"We are doing what we know we are capable of doing," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "Patti was incredible today. She did a great job tonight. Looking at what our swimmers did tonight, Michael Flach swam probably the smartest race I've ever seen him swim in the 500. We are looking to move up tomorrow. We are carrying the momentum we have into the next day."
In the 500 freestyle, Georgia's Matias Koski made a move in lane seven and pulled out in front to build nearly a two-second lead as he held on to win the race with a time of 4:14.28. Flach said he saw Koski make his move and did all that he could to catch him.
"It's an adrenaline rush racing like that from the beginning with it being in the final at SEC's," Flach said. "The whole time you're just trying to keep calm and know your game plan going in. I think I did a pretty good job of that. I went out after it tonight, which is what I wanted to do to put myself in a position to win. I was there for the most part but I just didn't quite have it for first place."
After missing out on the finals of the three-meter springboard on Tuesday, Kranz delivered an impressive bounce-back performance, staying in the top three for most of the final. South Carolina diving coach Todd Sherritt couldn't have been more pleased with Kranz's effort on Wednesday.
"She didn't have a lot of experience coming in and just trains really, really hard," Sherritt said. "Patti did a great job. It's just a real compliment to her that she was able to hone in and get the job done."
With two school records falling on the men's side in the relays on Tuesday, the Gamecocks were at it again on Wednesday in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Jay Warner, Flach, Michael Covert and Alex Fitton finished seventh with a school-record 1:18.86, which is a NCAA B cut. In the women's race, the Gamecock team of Lauren Raczkowski, Lauryl Williams, Casey Papp and Rachel Elliott finished 11th with a time of 1:33.75.
Freshman Marwan El Kamash had a strong showing in the 500 freestyle B final as he swam a personal best and NCAA B cut of 4:20.71 to finish 12th overall, securing 15 points for the Gamecocks.
In the men's 50 freestyle C final, Warner touched the wall fourth with a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 20.12, which was good enough for 20th overall.
The Gamecocks will be back in action on Thursday in the preliminaries, which begin at 10 a.m. CT. On the schedule for the morning are the 400 IM, the 100 butterfly, the 200 freestyle and the men's three-meter diving. Live results and video will be available here.
Wednesday, February 20 2013 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships College Station, Texas - Student Recreation Center Natatorium Day 2 Finals Men's 500 Freestyle 2. Michael Flach 4:15.32 (School record, NCAA A cut) 12. Marwan El Kamash 4:20.71 (NCAA B cut, PR)
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