July 1, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Six members of the University of South Carolina swimming & diving program were in action over the past week at the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships. Emma Barksdale, Emily Cornell and Kersten Dirrane swam for the Carolina women’s squad, while Cody Bekemeyer, Caleb Tosh and Kevin Liu represented the Gamecock men.
Barksdale was the top finisher among the Gamecock contingent, where she qualified for the A final and swam for a national title in the 200m IM. Her preliminary swim of 2:13.73 was fourth-best in the morning session, giving the rising junior a chance in the finals. In the evening session, Barksdale’s time of 2:13.47 ranked sixth in the nation.
The Davis, Calif., native also recorded a ninth-place result in the prelims of the 400m IM after swimming 4:44.86. That put her in the B final, where her time of 4:42.04 was good for second. In the 200m breaststroke, Barksdale came in 20th with a mark of 2:31.15.
Bekemeyer continued to drop time in the 1500m freestyle, where his personal-best 15:24.93 was more than 10 seconds better than his previous PR and put him in 11th place. The rising junior added a ninth-place finish in the 800m freestyle at 8:02.24, and he took 23rd in the 400m free after setting another individual record at 3:56.42. Finally, the Lawrenceville, Ga., native showed his versatility in the 400m IM, with a swim of 4:28.39 putting him in 28th place.
Dirrane swam all three breaststroke events and brought home a pair of top-30 finishes from Indianapolis. The rising senior placed 29th in the 50m, swimming 32.46, and 30th in the 100m, setting a lifetime best at 1:10.95. She swam alongside Barksdale in the same heat of the 200m and took 49th place with her effort of 2:35.72.
Cornell was in the pool for all three backstroke events. Her best finish came in the 50m, with a time of 29.24 putting her in 31st position. She checked in 87th in the 100m, at 1:03.97, and her swim of 2:17.13 in the 200m was good for 62nd place.
Tosh swam one race at nationals, the 200m butterfly. The rising senior from Jacksonville, Fla., touched in 32nd with a time 2:01.52.
Liu posted Carolina top-10 times in both backstroke events as a freshman last season, and he was in the pool at nationals for the 200m. The Pittsburgh, Pa., product placed 49th, swimming a time of 2:05.13.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
Carolina’s swimmers continue to compete around the globe this summer, with national team bids and world championships on the line. Fans are encouraged to follow GamecocksOnline.com and @GamecockSwim on Twitter for the latest information.
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