Gamecocks Conclude Strong Week at Nike Cup Invitational
Nov. 19, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The South Carolina swimming and diving teams wrapped up competition at the Nike Cup Invitational on Saturday night by posting three more NCAA `B' cuts and recording 16 personal records at Koury Natatorium.
For the week, the Gamecocks achieved eight NCAA provisional qualifying times and posted numerous personal best times, as the men finished fourth with 508.5 points and the women claimed third with 619 points.
"We had some really good individual performances this week," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "We have some that are ahead of where they were this time last year, which is really good, but there are a lot of areas we can do better. We are going to have to get better in the prelims going into the SEC Championships. All in all, it was a really good meet. We are going to move into our winter training and get ready for the season to pick back up in January."
Sophomores Amanda Rutqvist and Rachael Schaffer led the way on Saturday, achieving `B' cuts in the women's 200-yard breaststroke. Rutqvist swam a 2:11.92, which is currently the third fastest time in the country, to finish second in the A-final. Schaffer claimed fifth with a time of 2:14.64.
Senior Aileen Atzhorn won the B-final in the 200 breaststroke and finished ninth overall with a time of 2:19.32, and senior Mallory Cage produced a personal best of 2:20.75 to place third in the B-final and 11th overall. Sophomore Abby Galbreath claimed the C-final and placed 17th overall with a time of 2:21.17. Juniors Alyssa Hand (2:26.60) and Maquala O'Brien (2:28.63) took 20th and 22nd overall, respectively.
Junior Bobby Cave led the Gamecocks in the men's 200 breaststroke, placing fourth in the A-final with a time of 2:01.67. Freshman Alex Vance (2:04.70), junior Collin Kaden (2:06.14) and senior Ryan Connolly (2:06.49) finished 1-2-3 in the C-final for Carolina.
Junior Matea Peteh finished eighth in the 200-yard backstroke A-final with a personal best of 2:00.34. Sophomore Lauren Rosenberg placed 14th overall with a time of 2:03.59, while freshman Elisabeth Worrell (2:02.26) and freshman Ellie Skinner (2:08.35) finished 17th and 24th, respectively. In the men's race, senior James Crawford swam a 1:49.02 to win the B-final and finish ninth overall, and sophomore Matt Navata recorded a personal best of 1:52.04 to finish third in the B-final and 11th overall.
In the women's 100 freestyle, junior Lauren Raczkowski (52.73) and freshman Rachel Elliott (52.83) finished 11th and 12th overall, respectively, and sophomore Taylor Josserand placed 16th overall in a time of 53.22. Freshman Morgan Brooks set a personal best of 52.89 to finish second in the C-final and 18th overall, and fellow freshman Sara Drake took 23rd overall in 53.91.
Junior Andrew Seiler had Carolina's best showing in the men's 100 freestyle, finishing second in the B-final and 10th overall with a time of 45.93. Junior Max Heinze (46.48) and senior Rory Grigull (46.81) finished 14th and 16th, respectively.
The Gamecock women had several solid performances in the 200-yard butterfly. Schaffer led the way with a fifth-place finish with a personal best of 2:01.31. Junior Lindsey Olson finished 13th overall with a time of 2:04.00, and junior Meghan Brockington grabbed 16th with a time of 2:04.28. Junior Whitney Avers (2:04.94), freshman Annika Jonsson (2:04.97, PR), freshman Brooke Obeck (2:07.17) and freshman Charlotte Ward (2:07.24) finished 18th, 19th, 23rd and 24th, respectively.
In the men's 200 butterfly, sophomore Gerard Rodriguez led the Gamecocks with a 16th-place finish in a time of 1:53.79. Sophomore Matt Navata placed third in the C-final and 19th overall with a time of 1:53.05, and freshman Michael Covert (1:56.77) finished 24th.
The Gamecock women finished fifth in the 400 freestyle relay, as the team of Peteh, Elliott, Raczkowski and Schaffer recorded a time of 3:28.22. In the men's relay, the team of Jay Warner, Heinze, Kaden and Seiler placed fifth with a time of 3:03.28.
The Gamecocks swam the 1,650 freestyle for the first time this season on Saturday, and junior Jordan Gibbs (17:05.10) and Ward (17:07.25) finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Junior Brooks Ross claimed seventh in the men's event with a time of 15:38.13.
On the boards, senior Courtney Forcucci won the women's one-meter springboard final with a score of 313.95, while freshman Kasey Catalfomo (276.95) and Patricia Kranz (256.70) finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
"My girls did a great job," South Carolina diving coach Todd Sherritt said. "The freshmen are doing a great job. It's hard to make the finals here, so this was a great performance by this team."
Junior Rylan Ridenour finished second on the men's three-meter springboard with a score of 404.60.
Host North Carolina won the women's competition with 1,494 points and claimed the men's competition with 1,334 points.
The Gamecocks will return to action on January 14 in a home dual meet with Duke. The meet is slated to begin at 2 p.m. at the Blatt P.E. Center/Carolina Natatorium.