South Carolina Wraps Up Gamecock Invitational with 2nd-Place Finish
Nov. 22, 2008
COLUMBIA - The Carolina Gamecocks took a second-place finish in both the men's and women's competition at the inaugural Gamecock Invitational this weekend at the Carolina Natatorium, wrapping up a very successful weekend for both teams. North Carolina took first place in the meet in both the men's and women's competition.
South Carolina won the super final in four swimming events on the day as freshmen James Crawford and Lindsey Olson and seniors Kyle Cormier and Nicholas Walkotten took the top spots in their respective events.
Walkotten got his first NCAA `B' cut of the season with his first-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing in 1:46.30 to climb just under the provisional standard of 1:46.55. Four other Gamecocks scored in the 200 fly final as Steven Luckie finished sixth in 1:51.67, Chris Kelly (1:50.70) was 13th, David Livsey (1:53.09) was 14th and Andrew Atzhorn (1:53.80) was 16th.
Crawford led a pack of five Gamecocks that combined to rack up 61 points in the men's 200-yard backstroke as he clocked in at 1:47.48 to get the victory. Andrew Atzhorn, also swimming in the super final, got fourth-place points with a 1:49.01. Chris Kelly (1:49.31) and Ham Hollett (1:51.22) took sixth and eighth, respectively, in the consolation final, and Trey Tharpe earned two points with a 1:53.15 in the bonus final.
Olson outpaced a pair of Duke swimmers and a North Carolina competitor in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing with the top time of 2:01.12 to earn 20 points for the Gamecock women. Amanda Dunnigan, swimming in a 200 fly final for the first time, took seventh place with a 2:05.00 swim, and Aileen Atzhorn (2:10.23) and Claire Thompson (2:11.62) scored in the bonus final for Carolina.
Cormier got his second individual event victory of the meet with a 43.93 in the 100 free, joining Todd Weyandt (45.82), Ryan Langley (46.10), Livsey (46.36) and Rory Grigull (46.41) in scoring points. Sharntelle McLean took second place in the women's 100 free, clocking in at 50.37, just .02 seconds behind the first-place time. Kassy Kugler finished ninth with a 52.51.
Both the men's and women's 400 freestyle relay teams turned in great performances as both finished second in their respective heats. The `A' squad of Walkotten, Langley, Crawford and Cormier turned in a 3:00.52, finishing just behind North Carolina in the men's event, while Olson, Kugler, McLean and Claire Thompson turned in a 3:26.43 in the women's swim.
Christine Thompson turned in the Gamecocks' strongest performance in the 1650 freestyle, finishing third with a 16:45.73. Her twin sister, Claire, finished 12th with a 17:22.95. On the men's side, Dan Jackson took ninth in the mile swim with a 15:59.98, and Trey Tharpe took 16th with a 16:35.41.
Aileen Atzhorn got the high finish for the women in the 200 breaststroke, finishing sixth with a 2:23.66. Mallory Cage (2:24.42) was ninth, Lydia Hackert (2:21.21) was 13th and Alyssa Hand (2:26.34) was 15th. For the men it was Armin Hornikel turning in a fifth-place finish in the 200 breast with a 2:04.59, and Ryan Connolly took 15th in 2:11.50.
In the diving well, Taryn Zack won yet again in the three-meter competition, scoring a 339.75 to pace the field. Allison Barr was right behind her with a 293.65 to finish second. Helen Alvey and Morgan Ricke scored for the Gamecocks in the consolation finals. For the men, Corry Christian finished third with a 339.45, and Ryan Kuser turned in a fifth-place finish with a 298.10 in the one-meter finals.
In all, one school record (McLean's 50 freestyle Friday night) and three pool records fell over the weekend, all set by North Carolina swimmers. Chip Peterson's 14:48.86 in the 1650 free broke the existing record by more than 20 seconds, while the Tar Heels' Tyler Harris set the natatorium standards in the 200 IM (1:46.53) and 400 IM (3:44.00).
The Gamecocks have Thanksgiving week off from competition before a select group of Carolina swimmers head to the U.S. Short Course National Championships Dec. 4-6 in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Gamecock divers will travel to Buckeye country for the Ohio State Invitational, which runs the same weekend.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS