March 20, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Junior Amanda Rutqvist will represent South Carolina for the third straight year at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships this week. The event runs Thursday through Saturday at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind.
Rutqvist, who is looking to add to her three career All-America honors, will swim the 100 breaststroke on Friday and the 200 breaststroke on Saturday.
"Amanda Rutqvist has been one of our best performers on the women's side since she stepped on campus a few years ago," South Carolina associate head coach Jason Memont said. "We can always count on her to step up and swim big, especially when everything is on the line. We are very excited about this week. She's swimming her two best events Friday and Saturday. We are looking for great things from her."
A native of Gothenburg, Sweden, Rutqvist has proven her best performances come on the biggest stages. She earned All-America honors in both the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke at the 2011 NCAA Championships as a freshman. Earlier that year she became the first Gamecock women's swimmer to win a SEC title by claiming first in the 200 breaststroke with a then-SEC record of 2:08.56. She won silver in the 200 breaststroke at the 2012 SEC Championships and later earned her third career All-America honor at the NCAA Championships with an 11th-place finish in the 200 breaststroke.
Entering this year's championships, she has the 20th fastest time in the country in the 200 breaststroke with a mark of 2:09.97. Rutqvist, who is the school record holder in the 200 breaststroke (2:07.86), finished eighth at the event at the SEC Championships in February. She has the 45th fastest time in the nation in the 100 breaststroke with a mark of 1:00.80.
A majority of Rutqvist's competition in the 200 breaststroke will be very familiar, as the SEC has eight swimmers in the top 20 seeds in the event. SEC Champion and Olympic medalist Breeja Larson (Texas A&M) enters the week as the No. 1 seed with a time of 2:04.48. Georgia's Annie Zhu is the fourth seed, while Texas A&M's Ashley McGregor (No. 6), Auburn's Micah Lawrence (No. 11), Georgia's Melanie Margalis (No. 13), Tennessee's Molly Hannis (No. 14) and Auburn's Lauren Norberg (No. 17) will also represent the SEC.
With Rutqvist earning an invitation to this year's championships, the Gamecocks have now sent at least one student-athlete to 12 straight NCAA Championships and 28 overall. Carolina's best finish was a 10th-place showing at the 1989 national championships. The Gamecocks have produced six top-25 finishes since joining the SEC in 1992, including an 11th-place finish in 2004. Former Gamecock diver Allison Brennan is the only Carolina individual national champion as she won the one-meter title in 2004.
Preliminaries will begin each day at 11 a.m., and finals are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Live results will be available here, and ESPN3.com will carry a live broadcast of Friday and Saturday's finals sessions.
2013 NCAA Women's Championships Schedule Thursday Prelims - 11 a.m. ET - 200 Freestyle Relay - 500 Freestyle - 200 Individual Medley - 50 Freestyle - 400 Medley Relay - 1-Meter Diving
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