Feb. 21, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The South Carolina swimming and diving teams had another solid showing on Thursday night in the finals of the 2013 SEC Championships at the Texas A&M Student Recreation Center Natatorium.
The Gamecocks swam eight NCAA provisional qualifying times in nine swims, and sophomore diver Cole Miller scored big with a fifth-place finish in his second career appearance in the three-meter springboard finals. On the men's side, South Carolina is in eighth place with 314.5 points. The Gamecock women head into day four in 11th place with 148 points.
"It was another good night for us both in the pool and on the boards," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "Our guys raced hard and Cole dove great. We are in a tight race with Missouri, Alabama, Kentucky and LSU (on the men's side). We will have to have another great morning tomorrow to continue to move up."
Junior Michael Flach was close to earning a medal for the second straight night but he came up .02 seconds shy of third place in the 200 freestyle championship finals, finishing fourth with a NCAA B cut of 1:35.25. Junior Gerard Rodriguez swam the championship final as well and finished eighth with a B cut of 1:36.42. Flach and Rodriguez combined to score 48 points for the Gamecocks. Freshman Marwan El Kamash placed 21st overall after finishing fifth in the C final with a time of 1:37.70, which was a hundredth of a second off his lifetime best.
In the men's three-meter diving final, Miller put forth a career-best SEC Championships effort as he finished fifth with a score of 373.10. It marks his second straight top-eight finish in the three-meter at the championships after finishing sixth last season.
"He dove great tonight. He had one miss, but it's something new that we've been working on," South Carolina head diving coach Todd Sherritt said. "He was sixth last year in this event and going up to fifth with Texas A&M and Missouri in the mix really makes it a better performance. He's gotten a lot better. I'm really happy with what he did here tonight. Cole has really learned how to compete."
Junior Matt Navata came out strong in the men's 400 IM C final and held the lead heading into the final turn but finished second with a lifetime best and NCAA B cut of 3:49.47 after Florida's Ryan Rosenbaum (3:48.78) passed him in the final 25 yards. Navata finished 18th overall to secure seven points for the Gamecocks.
In the women's 400 IM, junior Rachael Schaffer posted her fastest time of the season as she swam a NCAA B cut of 4:13.94 to finish sixth in the B final and 14th overall, earning 13 points for the team. Junior Abby Galbreath swam to a third-place finish in the C final (19th overall) with a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 4:16.99.
The Gamecocks had a trio of swimmers in the men's 100 butterfly C final. Senior Collin Kaden and junior Alex Fitton swam to a tie, finishing third in the final and 19th overall with a NCAA B cut of 47.85. The time is the sixth fastest in school history and a lifetime best for both swimmers. Junior Jay Warner placed 23rd overall with a time of 48.43.
South Carolina will return to the natatorium on Friday for the day four preliminaries, which begin at 10 a.m. CT. On the schedule for the morning are the 200 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and the women's platform diving. Live results and video will be available here.
Thursday, February 21 2013 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships College Station, Texas - Student Recreation Center Natatorium Day 3 Finals Men's 400 IM 18. Matt Navata 3:49.47 (NCAA B cut, PR)
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