Cave Breaks School Record in 200 Breaststroke; Five Advance to Finals
Feb. 20, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - Freshman Bobby Cave broke a 16-year-old school record in the 200-yard breaststroke prelims Saturday morning, earning a spot in the championship final on the last day of the SEC Swimming & Diving Championships. Four other Gamecock athletes advanced to finals in their respective events, and three earned NCAA provisional qualifying times.
Cave, a native of England, clocked a 1:58.44 to surpass the record of Jon Moore, which was set in 1994. He and Moore are the only two swimmers in South Carolina history to break the 2-minute barrier in the event. Cave's time was also well below the NCAA provisional qualifying standard of 1:59.96, giving him his second `B' cut of the championship.
Michael Flach posted his third NCAA provisional qualifying time of these championships, clocking a 1:47.11 in the 200 butterfly. It also ranks as the fourth-fastest time in school history and earned him a spot in the consolation final as the 14th seed. Flach previously finished third in the 500 freestyle and posted an NCAA `B' cut in both that event and the 200 freestyle while swimming the leadoff leg of the 800 freestyle relay on Wednesday night.
Sophomores Chris Kelly and James Crawford made their first event finals at an SEC Championship as both qualified for the consolation of the 200 backstroke. Kelly was the 15th qualifier with a time of 1:47.93, and Crawford was 16th in 1:48.39.
Also advancing to finals for the second straight year was Allison Barr in women's platform diving. Barr scored a career-best and NCAA Zone qualifying 254.60 in her only attempt at the event this season to finish seventh overall and earn a spot in the evening's finals. Barr finished eighth in this event last season; finishing in the league's top eight is even more remarkable considering that South Carolina's diving facilities do not have a tower on which she can practice.
Junior Megan Sparks missed the finals of the women's 200 backstroke by a scant .03 seconds, finishing with a time of 1:53.16 to qualify as the first alternate in 17th place. Her time, however, was good enough for her first NCAA provisional qualifying mark of the season. Freshman Meghan Brockington clocked the fifth-fastest time in school history in the 200 butterfly, touching the wall in 2:01.40. She finished seventh in her heat and 19th overall, just missing the consolation finals.
In all, 18 South Carolina athletes set personal bests on Saturday, and five will return tonight to swim in their respective event finals. Also competing tonight will be three women and three men in the 1650-yard freestyle timed finals, plus the men's and women's 400 freestyle relay. The first heats of the 1650 get underway at 3:25 p.m. with finals starting at 6 p.m. Full coverage is available through GeorgiaDogs.com, and up-to-the-minute info can be obtained via Twitter by following @GamecockSwim.
WOMEN'S 200 BACKSTROKE
MEN'S 200 BACKSTROKE
WOMEN'S 100 FREESTYLE
MEN'S 100 FREESTYLE
WOMEN'S 200 BREASTSTROKE
MEN'S 200 BREASTSTROKE
WOMEN'S 200 BUTTERFLY
MEN'S 200 BUTTERFLY
WOMEN'S PLATFORM DIVING