Gamecock Swimming Falls at No. 5 Florida
Nov. 8, 2008
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - South Carolina's swimming and diving team put up a tough fight all afternoon, but the fifth-ranked Florida Gators proved to be too much in Saturday's dual meet at the O'Connell Center Natatorium. The Florida men took a 167-126 victory while the Gator women won a 168.5-126.5 decision.
The Gamecocks drop to 1-3 overall, 0-1 in Southeastern Conference dual meet competition on both the men's and women's sides. Florida's men improve to 3-1 overall, 3-0 in the SEC, while the Gator women are now 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the league.
"This may be the best team we swim all year," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "As far as their depth and the speed they've got with their swimmers...we might not see a better team this year. It was a good meet. We swam well. I thought it was pretty good for this being our first road meet; we still have to adjust to the travel. But we had some strong individual performances. Amanda Dunnigan swam well, Lindsey Olson did well in a couple of new events; she was right on her lifetime best in the 500 free. On the men's side, Kyle Cormier swam well, James Crawford swam well...the usual suspects."
Dunnigan had a particularly strong day for Carolina, winning both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events. She touched first in the 100 breast in 1:04.62, outdistancing the second-place finished by nearly a second and a half. In the 200, she blew away the field, winning by three seconds in 2:18.92. The senior also took first-place points in the 400 individual medley (4:22.88), Carolina's best time of the season.
Olson, a freshman swimming in her first away meet as a collegian, took first place in her best event, the 200 fly, in 2:01.72, and also in the 500 free with a 4:53.20. She earned a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle with a 1:51.13, getting the Gamecocks' fourth-best time of the year in the event. It was her first time competing in the 200 and 500 free events this season.
Claire Thompson tied for first place in the 200 free with a 1:50.82, and Megan Sparks took a second-place finish in the 200 backstroke, touching in 2:02.67.
On the men's side, Cormier took victories in the 100 free (46.24) and 200 free (1:41.01), and helped the 200 freestyle relay team earn first-place points with a 1:24.98 in the final event of the day. Crawford shaved another few hundredths of a second off his personal best in the 100 back with his leadoff split of 51.06 in the 400 medley relay, then finished a close second in the 200 back in 1:50.77. Nicholas Walkotten got another win in the 100 butterfly (49.49), his fourth in four meets.
In the diving well, Corry Christian turned in a strong performance in the three-meter competition, scoring a 335.13 to take first place in the event. Allison Barr put together a second-place performance for the Gamecock women, scoring a 276.61 in the three-meter competition.
South Carolina will have next weekend off before returning to the Carolina Natatorium to play host to the Gamecock Invitational. The meet runs Nov. 20-22 with preliminaries and finals each day. Check back with GamecocksOnline.com for a complete meet schedule in the coming days.