Carolina-Clemson Showdown Set for Friday
Oct. 29, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Palmetto State's biggest rivalry shifts to the pool on Friday as the South Carolina swimming & diving team heads to the Upstate to face archrival Clemson. The meet gets underway at 5 p.m. at the McHugh Natatorium on the Clemson University campus.
The Gamecock men enter the meet with a 1-2 overall mark, 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Carolina's women are 0-3 on the season, 0-1 in league competition. For the Tigers, the men are 2-1 after defeating Davidson on Oct. 3, then defeating Western Kentucky but losing to Georgia Tech in a tri-meet two weeks ago. The Clemson women are 4-0 on the year with wins over Davidson, Georgia Tech, Miami and WKU.
South Carolina swept the Tigers on Halloween night last year with the women taking a 178-119 victory while the Carolina men won 171-128. Carolina got 41 career-best performances in that meet, including a school-record showing in the 100 backstroke by then-sophomore Megan Sparks. The Gamecocks also swept the women's diving events with Taryn Zack and got wins from James Crawford, Amanda Dunnigan, Armin Hornikel, Lindsey Olson, Christine Thompson, Claire Thompson and Nick Walkotten.
According to South Carolina's records, this will be the 46th meeting in the swimming and diving rivalry with South Carolina's men holding a 33-12 all-time advantage in the series. On the women's side, this is the 33rd meeting; the Gamecocks lead the all-time series 19-13. The Gamecock men won last year after having dropped the previous three decisions; meanwhile, the Carolina women have won two in a row and four out of five against the Tigers, dating to 2005.
In the women's meet, the Gamecocks look for strong performances in diving and in their distance events. Junior diver Taryn Zack and sophomore Courtney Forcucci have been a strong 1-2 punch for South Carolina so far this year, combining to win every event in which they have competed. In the pool, juniors Claire and Christine Thompson will be relied upon to put up big points in the 200, 500 and 1,000-yard freestyle events. Senior Sharntelle McLean gives the Gamecocks a strong performer in the sprint events as well.
On the men's side, freshman Bobby Cave enters the meet with the seventh-fastest time in the nation in the 200 breaststroke, and will team with sophomore Armin Hornikel to give South Carolina a big boost in the breaststroke events. Fellow freshmen Brooks Ross and Michael Flach have been solid in the distance events, while sophomore James Crawford continues to be a consistent performer in the backstroke events. Freshman Rylan Ridenour will also look to give the Gamecocks big points in the diving well.
A full recap, along with video, will follow after the meet. For complete coverage of South Carolina swimming and diving, visit GamecocksOnline.com.