Gamecocks Win Six Events, Remain 2nd After Two Days of Gamecock Invite
Nov. 21, 2008
COLUMBIA - South Carolina got a sweep in the women's one-meter diving competition and event wins from Kyle Cormier, Nicholas Walkotten, Claire Thompson and both of its 800-yard freestyle relay teams to hold steady in second place in both the men's and women's competition after two days at the Gamecock Invitational. North Carolina leads both the men's and women's overall competition.
"We've put together two good night sessions in a row," head coach McGee Moody said. "We need to put together one more for it to be a successful meet. I'm very proud of the way we've performed so far."
Kyle Cormier got his second NCAA provisional qualifying time in as many nights, this time in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:36.45, just under the `B' cut time of 1:36.88. He took first place in the event while James Crawford turned in a fifth-place performance with a 1:38.72, and Rory Grigull (1:41.56) earned four points in the bonus final.
Freshman Ryan Kuser also qualified for postseason competition, getting an NCAA Zone Diving qualifying score in the three-meter finals. He finished fourth with a 340.15, giving South Carolina its sixth zone-qualified diver of the season, while Corry Christian turned in a second-place performance with a score of 368.65.
The women's divers continued their dominance on the boards, taking the top three spots in the one-meter event. Taryn Zack again led the way with a 317.40, with Helen Alvey (313.95) and Allison Barr (305.15) not far behind. Morgan Ricke turned in one of her best performances of the season, scoring 258.85 to finish 10th.
Nicholas Walkotten got his second win of the meet, swimming a season-best 48.43 in the 100 butterfly. Todd Weyandt finished eighth with a 50.97, and Armin Hornikel finished 12th with a 51.57. Isaac Badillo (50.86) and David Livsey (51.16) picked up a 13th- and 14th-place finish with the top two swims in the bonus final. Walkotten also got a second-place finish in the 100 back with a 49.77. Crawford finished sixth in a season-best 50.37, Ham Hollett was 12th with a 52.15, and Andrew Atzhorn took 13th with a 52.16.
Sophomore Claire Thompson got 20 points for the Gamecock women with her victory in the 200 freestyle, touching the wall in 1:49.20. Lindsey Olson, who narrowly missed the super final, got a fifth-place finish with a 1:50.28 in the consolation final, and Megan Sparks took a 12th-place finish with a 1:53.38.
Amanda Dunnigan got third-place points for the Gamecocks with a 1:04.50 in the 100 breaststroke, with three other Carolina women - Lydia Hackert (1:06.54), Mallory Cage (1:06.55) and Aileen Atzhorn (1:06.58) - going 8-9-10 in the consolation final to grab several more points for the Gamecocks. Sherah Aiken picked up one point with her 16th place time of 1:08.05. In the men's 100 breast, Hornikel took a second-place finish with a season-best time of 56.41 to earn 17 points for South Carolina.
The session finished in a very strong way for South Carolina as both the men's and women's 800 freestyle relay teams turned in winning performances. On the women's side, the team of Christine Thompson, Amanda Dunnigan, Lindsey Olson and Claire Thompson out-touched the top squad from North Carolina by a fraction of a second to get the win with a time of 7:25.61. For the men, it was Andrew Atzhorn, Grigull, Crawford and Cormier turning in a 6:37.54 - just short of the `B' standard - to get the event win. In the earlier relay - the 200 MR - both the Carolina men and women got third-place finishes. The women's team of Sparks, Dunnigan, Olson and McLean turned in a 1:44.76, and the men's `A' squad of Crawford, Hornikel, Walkotten and Cormier swam a 1:32.88, just a half-second behind the first-place time.
The inaugural Gamecock Invitational concludes with another full day of competition Saturday. Preliminaries get underway at 10 a.m. with men's one-meter diving prelims to commence at approximately noon. The women's three-meter prelims will follow the men's competition. Timed finals of the 1,650-yard freestyle get underway at 4 p.m. with the evening finals session set for a 6 p.m. start. Admission is free and heat sheets are on sale for each session at the Carolina Natatorium. Fans can follow live stats from sportstiming.com through the link on the Gamecock Invitational page at GamecocksOnline.com.
TEAM STANDINGS THROUGH DAY TWO