Six Swimmers, Five Divers Advance to 'A' Finals Friday Night
Nov. 21, 2008
COLUMBIA - South Carolina continued its string of solid performances at the inaugural Gamecock Invitational Friday morning and afternoon as six Gamecock swimmers placed in the top four of their respective heats, advancing them to Friday night's "super finals." In addition, the Carolina divers swept the top three spots in the women's one-meter event and will advance five individuals to event finals.
Senior Nicholas Walkotten was the first to claim his spot in a "super final" with his 49.13-second finish in the 100-yard butterfly, earning the top time in the prelims. Todd Weyandt (50.99) and Armin Hornikel (51.00) earned spots in the consolation final, while David Livsey (51.34) and Isaac Badillo (51.86) will swim the bonus final.
Walkotten earned another super-final berth with a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke, touching in a season-best 50.67. He will be joined in the event finals by Ham Hollett (52.31) and James Crawford (52.32), who will swim the consolation finals after 10th- and 11th-place finishes, respectively. Andrew Atzhorn (52.66) and Badillo (52.90) will swim the bonus final in the event.
Claire Thompson took the top spot for the Carolina women in the 200 freestyle, touching in 1:50.27 to earn a berth in the super final, while Lindsey Olson (1:51.70) and Megan Sparks (1:52.32) took fifth and eighth, respectively, for spots in the consolation final, and Kassy Kugler (1:54.09) will swim the bonus final after a 15th-place finish.
Senior Kyle Cormier continued his strong performance at the Gamecock Invitational, finishing with the fastest heat in the men's 200 free prelims with a time of 1:38.21, earning a spot in the super final. Crawford will swim the consolation final after a 10th-place finish (1:41.12), and Rory Grigull (1:42.09) and Trey Tharpe (1:42.64) earned spots in the bonus final.
The Carolina seniors kept the fast times coming with Amanda Dunnigan's fourth-place finish in the 100 breast, earning the final spot in the super final with a 1:05.70. Freshman Aileen Atzhorn just missed out with a 1:05.77, but will swim in the consolation final with Lydia Hackert (1:07.73) and Mallory Cage (1:07.88). Kristina Delp (1:08.94) and Sherah Aiken (1:09.07) earned spots in the bonus final with their respective 18th- and 19th-place finishes.
Freshman Armin Hornikel was another Gamecock to qualify for the top final in his best event, the 100-yard breaststroke, with a 57.63, his best collegiate time. Brett Sexton (1:01.57) finished 19th to earn a spot in the bonus final.
In the 100 back, sophomore Megan Sparks turned in a 56.45 to grab the fourth spot and an entry into the super final in that event. Kelly Saurman took seventh place with a 57.78 and will compete in the consolation final.
No Gamecocks qualified for the super finals in the 400 individual medley, but Christine Thompson and Aileen Atzhorn both set personal records in the event. Thompson swam the eighth-fastest heat (4:32.24) and Atzhorn was ninth (4:32.33), both earning a spot in the consolation final. Alyssa Hand (4:36.56) was 16th, gaining entry to the bonus final. For the men, Ryan Connolly swam a 4:07.60 and Dan Jackson touched in 4:09.73 to earn spots in the consolation final of the 400 IM.
In the diving well, the Gamecock women took the top three spots as Taryn Zack (305.75), Helen Alvey (276.65) and Allison Barr (270.85) finished 1-2-3 in the one-meter event. Morgan Ricke finished just out of the top eight, scoring 221.95 to grab a ninth-place finish and a spot in the consolation final. On the men's side. Corry Christian turned in a 328.00 and Ryan Kuser scored 292.05 in the three-meter competition, and both will dive in the finals tonight.
Women's one-meter diving consolation finals get underway at 5:20 p.m. with the swimming portion of the meet set to begin at 6 p.m. The remainder of the diving finals will run concurrently with the swimming competition.
For complete results, keep checking GamecocksOnline.com, and click the live results link to sportstiming.com for up-to-the-minute results from the Gamecock Invitational.