Cormier Breaks School Record in 200, Finishes 5th at Nationals
Dec. 5, 2008
ATLANTA - Senior Kyle Cormier continued his assault on the South Carolina swimming record books as he smashed the school record in the 200-yard freestyle in Friday night's finals at the U.S. Short Course Nationals being held at Georgia Tech. Four other Gamecock swimmers competed and fared well in their respective events as well.
Cormier touched the wall in 1:35.63, breaking the South Carolina record of 1:35.92 set by Zsolt Gaspar in 2000. He also lowered his NCAA `B' cut time for the second straight swim, finishing fifth in a heat that featured some of the country's elite swimmers. Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte, whom Cormier tied in the morning's preliminaries, blew away the field with a 1:32.40, just a hair short of Michael Phelps' American record.
Senior Nicholas Walkotten earned his second NCAA `B' cut of the season with his 10th-place finish in the 100 butterfly. He equaled his personal best in the event with a 47.39, finishing second in the `B' final after turning in a 47.69 in the preliminaries this morning.
Armin Hornikel turned in a personal-record swim in the 100 breaststroke with a 54.85 to finish second in the `C' final, 18th overall in the event. Fellow freshman James Crawford finished 21st in the 200 free with a 1:38.41 in his `C' final.
On the women's side, Megan Sparks was a hair slower in the finals than her school record-breaking time in the morning's prelims, touching the wall in 55.17 to claim 13th place overall.
Saturday's preliminaries will see several more Gamecocks attempt to turn in NCAA qualifying times. Claire Thompson and Christine Thompson will both swim the 1,650 freestyle for the women, followed by Sparks in the 200 backstroke. Thompson will also swim the 100 freestyle, and Amanda Dunnigan and Lydia Hackert will compete in the 200 breaststroke. Lindsey Olson will then swim the 200 butterfly to wrap up prelims for the women.
For the men, Crawford and Chris Kelly will lead things off in the 200 backstroke, followed by David Livsey, Rory Grigull and Cormier in the 100 freestyle. Hornikel will swim the 200 breaststroke, and Walkotten will look to go even lower in his signature event, the 200 butterfly, along with Livsey and Kelly.
Preliminaries for Saturday's events get underway at 9:30 a.m. Live results are available through omegatiming.com.
TOUGH FIRST DAY FOR CAROLINA DIVERS
COLUMBUS, Ohio - None of the six South Carolina divers advanced to the finals of their respective events Friday afternoon at the Ohio State Invitational. Sophomore Allison Barr was the only one to score points for the Gamecocks, finishing 16th in the three-meter preliminaries to earn one point for the Carolina team score with her 265.35 in the three-meter preliminaries.
Men's three-meter and women's one-meter competition begins Saturday at the McCorkle Pavilion.
For the latest on South Carolina swimming and diving, visit GamecocksOnline.com.
PRELIMS: Sparks Breaks Own School Record in 100 Back; Cormier Ties Olympic Champion
ATLANTA - South Carolina swimming continued its strong showing at the U.S. Short Course Nationals Friday morning as senior Kyle Cormier advanced to the `A' finals in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing in a third-place tie with 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte. In addition, sophomore Megan Sparks lowered her own school record in the 100-yard backstroke, earning an NCAA `B' cut in the process. Three other Gamecock swimmers advanced to Friday night's finals as well.
Cormier turned in the third-fastest time in morning preliminaries, setting a personal record with a 1:36.21 and lowering his NCAA `B' cut time by 0.24 seconds. Most notably, his time was equal with that of Lochte, one of the most decorated swimmers in NCAA history and a three-time Olympic gold medalist. He advances to Friday night's `A' final in that event. Meanwhile, freshman James Crawford swam a 1:38.26, his personal best as a collegian, to grab 24th place and a spot in the evening's `C' final.
Sparks, who broke a 20-year-old school record in the 100 back against Clemson on Oct. 31, lowered her own time by nearly a second with a 54.87 in morning prelims, grabbing a 12th-place finish and a spot in the evening's `B' final. She also became the fourth South Carolina swimmer to earn an NCAA `B' cut this season, coming in well under the 55.13 provisional standard.
Nicholas Walkotten advanced to the `B' final in the 100 butterfly, touching the wall in 47.69. His 14th-place time was a scant 0.04 short of another NCAA provisional cut, but he looks to make up that ground in Friday night's finals. Walkotten also turned in a 28tth-place finish in the 100 backstroke with a 49.60. David Livsey set a personal record in his 100 fly swim with a 50.94 in his heat.
Also advancing to tonight's finals was freshman Armin Hornikel, whose 56.16 in the 100 breaststroke earned him a 21st-place finish and a spot in the `C' final.
Senior Amanda Dunnigan will be the second alternate for the 400 individual medley finals after her time of 4:22.24 earned her a 26th-place finish. Also for the Gamecock women, Lindsey Olson and Christine Thompson swam identical times in the 200 free, both touching in 1:50.41 to tie for 55th place. Sophomore Lydia Hackert also competed in the 100 breaststroke, finishing with a 1:05.28.
Friday morning's diving results from the Ohio State Invitational were not immediately available. A full report will tentatively follow with tonight's finals recap.
For the latest on South Carolina swimming and diving, log on to GamecocksOnline.com.