Four Gamecocks Advance To Saturday's SEC Championships Finals
Feb. 23, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The South Carolina swimming and diving teams had four swimmers qualify for the finals on Saturday morning at the 2013 SEC Championships.
Junior Amanda Rutqvist advanced to her third straight championship final in the women's 200 breaststroke. Juniors Alex Fitton (100 freestyle) and Matt Navata (200 breaststroke) made the B final of their respective events, and sophomore Alex Vance qualified for the C final in the 200 breaststroke. The Gamecocks posted three NCAA provisional qualifying times and 14 lifetime bests on the morning.
Rutqvist swam a NCAA B cut of 2:10.06 to make the championship final in the 200 breaststroke as the seventh seed. She won the event in 2011 to become the first Gamecock women's swimmer to win an SEC title and she captured silver last year. She held the SEC record (2:07.86) heading into the day, but Texas A&M Olympic gold medalist Breeja Larson broke the record on Saturday, posting a time of 2:06.99.
Fitton shaved more than a second off his lifetime best to make the B final in the 100 freestyle with a 16th-place finish in 44.09 (NCAA B cut), which is the fourth fastest time in school history.
In the men's 200 breaststroke, Navata swam the third fastest time in school history with a mark of 1:59.67 (NCAA B cut) to finish 15th and advance to the B final. Vance touched the wall in 2:01.91 to finish 23rd overall.
Sophomore Cole Miller made a run at advancing to the finals of the men's platform diving finals for a second straight year but he came up just short, finishing 10th with a NCAA Zone qualifying mark of 321.70 to score 17 points for the team. Miller was 24.35 points shy of cracking the top eight. Junior Andrew Helmich had a career-best finish of 23rd with a total of 231.30, which is also a career high.
Team Standings Men 1. Florida 1038 2. Auburn 823.5 3. Georgia 679 4. Tennessee 570.5 5. Missouri 531 6. LSU 530.5 7. Texas A&M 517.5 8. South Carolina 444.5 9. Kentucky 367.5 10. Alabama 302
Women 1. Georgia 1058 2. Texas A&M 985 3. Florida 852.5 4. Tennessee 810 5. Auburn 657 6. LSU 432 7. Arkansas 406 8. Missouri 391 9. Kentucky 326.5 10. Alabama 264 11. South Carolina 192 12. Vanderbilt 140
*Advanced to finals