Nov. 20, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina sophomore Armin Hornikel earned the team's second NCAA `B' cut time of the season on Friday night with his clocking in the 100-yard breaststroke to help keep the Carolina men in second place overall at the 2009 Gamecock Invitational. The Gamecock women, meanwhile, are holding steady in fourth place heading into the final day of competition on Saturday.
Hornikel, the team's top returning breaststroker from last season, was the runner-up in the event, stopping the clock at a season-best 55.32 seconds to sneak in just under the NCAA provisional standard. He was less than three-tenths of a second behind event winner Randy Buchanan of the College of Charleston (55.08). Freshman Bobby Cave gave the Gamecocks two scorers in the event, finishing fifth with a time of 57.40. Fellow freshman Andrew Seiler won the consolation final with a 58.75.
The night started off on the right foot for the Gamecock men. The 200 medley relay team of Dominique Lendjel, Hornikel, Isaac Badillo and David Livsey won the event with a time of 1:32.67, barely out-touching a team from North Carolina to take the title. The 800 free relay team of Alex Fitton, James Crawford, Andy Atzhorn and Michael Flach took second place in that event with a 6:42.77, just barely missing another NCAA `B' cut. The Gamecock women got a second-place finish in the 800 FR as Megan Sparks, Meghan Brockington, Claire Thompson and Christine Thompson stopped the clock in 7:30.23.
Lendjel turned in a third-place finish in the 100 backstroke, touching in 50.38 to earn 16 points for the Gamecocks. Livsey (51.48) and senior Trey Tharpe (52.40) finished 10th and 13th, respectively. Another top finish for Carolina came in the 400 IM with Atzhorn grabbing fourth place in 3:57.36, the team's top time this season. Flach was one spot behind Atzhorn with a 3:58.37, and Chris Kelly finished eighth in 4:04.39. Ryan Connolly (4:04.69) earned 12th-place points in the consolation final.
Lendjel joined Badillo in the 100 butterfly championship final, with Badillo tying for fourth place in 49.84 and Lendjel taking seventh in 49.98. Livsey was ninth with a 50.37, and Fitton took 14th with a 51.20. Fitton would get his best finish in the 200 freestyle, tying for fourth in the championship final with a time of 1:40.56. Crawford was ninth in 1:41.01, and Rory Grigull took 16th with a 1:42.42.
On the women's side, it was junior Claire Thompson pacing the Gamecocks with a runner-up showing in the 200 freestyle in 1:49.36, just missing a `B' cut by 0.14 seconds. Twin sister Christine Thompson won the consolation final with a time of 1:51.86, with Meghan Brockington taking 15th with a 1:53.46. Brockington was also impressive with a tie for seventh place in the 100 butterfly (56.92), the only Gamecock to score in the event.
In other women's action, Megan Sparks (57.19) and Haley Staubach (57.25) finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 100 backstroke, with Sharntelle McLean taking 10th with a 57.76. Lydia Hackert took 14th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.48.
In the diving well, junior Taryn Zack continued her dominance on the 1-meter board with her second straight victory in the event, scoring 332.60 to set a season-high. Fellow junior Allison Barr was third with sophomore Helen Alvey taking seventh. In men's diving, Rylan Ridenour was the runner-up in three-meter competition with a career-best score of 390.80, and Nikolas Sachs took sixth place.
The final day of the 2009 Gamecock Invitational gets underway Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with preliminaries in several events, with diving set to take place in the afternoon. Admission is free to all sessions of the event, and live scoring is available through sportstiming.com.
MEN'S TEAM STANDINGS 1. North Carolina - 795.5 2. South Carolina - 578.5 3. Duke - 341 4. Florida - 288 5. East Carolina - 262 6. College of Charleston - 136 7. Old Dominion - 79
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