Gamecocks Send Nine To Friday’s SEC Championships Finals
Flach, Warner to race for SEC titles
COLLEGE STATION, Texas Feb. 22, 2013 - Nine South Carolina swimmers qualified for the finals on Friday at the 2013 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships.
On the morning, the Gamecocks posted four NCAA provisional qualifying times and eight lifetime bests at the Texas A&M Student Recreation Center Natatorium.
For the third straight night, junior Michael Flach will be swimming in a championship final as he advanced to the 200 butterfly final by finishing sixth with a lifetime best of 1:45.01. Flach, who finished eighth in the event at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, will be making his first career championship final appearance in the 200 butterfly at the SEC Championships. He finished 15th in the event at the 2010 SEC Championships and 10th in 2011.
Juniors Gerard Rodriguez and Matt Navata will swim in the 200 butterfly C final after finishing 22nd and 24th, respectively. Rodriguez posted a time of 1:48.06, while Navata touched the wall in 1:48.77. In the women’s 200 butterfly, freshman Caroline Bixler was South Carolina’s top finisher as she just missed the finals with a 25th-place finish in a personal best of 2:02.51, which is nearly four seconds faster than her previous career best.
Junior Jay Warner made his first career championship final, finishing sixth in the 100 backstroke with a NCAA B cut of 47.39. His time was just .03 of a second off his own school record of 47.36. Warner finished 11th at the 2011 SEC Championships and 12th last season. Sophomore Michael Covert advanced to the C final as he finished 22nd with a lifetime best of 48.85.
All three Gamecocks in the men’s 100 breaststroke advanced to the finals. Senior Graham Kauffman led the way with a 16th-place finish to make the B final with a NCAA B cut and personal best of 54.92, which ranks fourth all-time at South Carolina. Sophomore Alex Vance (21st, 55.74 PR) and senior Bobby Cave (22nd, 55.80) qualified for the C final.
In the women’s 100 breaststroke, junior Amanda Rutqvist posted a NCAA B cut of 1:01.09 to finish 15th to qualify for the B final. Rutqvist holds the school record in the event with a time of 1:00.20. She finished fourth at the 2011 SEC Championships and 10th in 2012.
The finals are slated to begin tonight at 6 CT. Live video and live results will be available here.
Friday, February 22 2013 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships College Station, Texas - Student Recreation Center Natatorium Day 4 Prelims Men's 200 Butterfly *6. Michael Flach 1:45.01 (NCAA B cut, PR) *22. Gerard Rodriguez 1:48.06 *24. Matt Navata 1:48.77 29. Narayan Naik 1:49.86
Team Standings Men 1. Florida 748 2. Auburn 630.5 3. Georgia 549 4. Texas A&M 426.5 5. Tennessee 421 6. LSU 353.5 7. Missouri 344 8. South Carolina 314.5 9. Alabama 270 10. Kentucky 247
Women 1. Georgia 790 2. Florida 676 3. Texas A&M 659 4. Tennessee 557 5. Auburn 353 6. Missouri 297 6. LSU 297 8. Arkansas 280 9. Kentucky 220 10. Alabama 176 11. South Carolina 148 12. Vanderbilt 93