Oct. 26, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Facing one of the best programs in the country, the South Carolina swimming and diving teams dropped a pair of decisions to Florida in a SEC dual meet on Friday at the Blatt P.E. Center/Carolina Natatorium.
The Gamecock men fell to the top-ranked Gators, 166-128, to drop to 1-2 on the season and 1-1 in the conference. In the women's competition, South Carolina lost 176-119 and is now 0-3 overall and 0-2 in SEC action. Florida's men improve to 2-0 on the year and 2-0 in the SEC, while the women move to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
"We knew coming into this that it was going to be a tough meet," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "We knew that it would be and uphill battle. All in all I thought we were ok. We were good, but I think we missed a lot of opportunities, especially on the men's side. Today, we found some things that we really need to improve on. Maybe it takes the No. 1 team coming in here to show you that you're really not that good. What we need to do is take away some things that we need to learn from and really focus on those things in the meet coming up to see if we can improve."
Florida wasn't the only competition South Carolina faced on Friday, as the Gamecock women's diving team squared off with rival Clemson in a first-ever diving only matchup. South Carolina dominated the meet, winning 26-12.
The Gamecock divers were solid once again as they swept both the men's and women's competitions. On the women's one-meter springboard, sophomore Patricia Kranz won the event with a career-best 315.70, which is a NCAA Zone qualifying score. Freshman Lauren Lamendola claimed second with a personal record of 253.40. Kranz also won the three-meter competition with a score of 292.80, while Lamendola placed fourth with a score of 257.95.
In his first action of the season, senior Rylan Ridenour won both boards as he posted a score of 359.35 on the one-meter and a mark of 396.60 on the three-meter. Sophomore Cole Miller took second in both events, scoring 322.45 on the one-meter and 367.80 on the three-meter.
"It doesn't get any better than that when you beat Clemson and Florida," South Carolina head diving coach Todd Sherritt said. "I'm really happy with that performance. Rylan looked great, and I'm really happy with Patti. Patti and this team are going to go places. By the end of the year I think we might have her in the winner's circle at the SEC Championships, which would be an incredible feat, considering where she has come from. The whole team is working hard right now. Overall we had a great day."
South Carolina had several strong performances in the pool. On the men's side, junior Alex Fitton claimed first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 46.33. Junior Matt Navata won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:05.48. Junior Gerard Rodriguez touched second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:39.26, and junior Michael Flach placed second in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:48.23. The men's 400-yard medley relay team also had in impressive showing, finishing second with a time of 3:19.30.
In the women's competition, junior Amanda Rutqvist produced a pair of second-place finishes, taking second in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:04.05 and second in the 200 breaststroke in 2:15.79. Junior Lindsay Pierce finished second in the 100-yard backstroke in 57.84, while freshman Casey Papp was second in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.08. Freshman Alicia Cheripka also had a second place showing with a mark of 2:05.05 in the 200-yard backstroke.
The Gamecocks will return to action next Saturday with another challenging test as they travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face Virginia. The meet is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
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