COLUMBIA, South Carolina, January 25. THE University of South Carolina men's and women's swimming and diving teams both fell to nationally ranked Florida State
on Friday at the Carolina Natatorium. The Seminole men defeated USC, 169-131, while the FSU women defeated Carolina 171.5-128.5.
Sophomore Dominique Lendjel paced the Gamecock men with three event titles, while senior Christy Williams and freshman Claire Thompson led
the Carolina women, each winning three events in the meet. On the boards, junior David Ovelson and freshman Taryn Zack swept their respective
one- and three-meter diving events.
"In terms of performance for the entire team, this was the best meet we've swam all year," South Carolina head swimming coach McGee Moody
said. "We had great performances both in the pool and on the boards today."
On the men's side, Carolina swept the top three spots in the 200-yard free, where Lendjel finished first, posting his top time of the season with a mark
of 1:41.07. Junior Todd Weyandt (1:43.19) and sophomore Trey Tharpe (1:43.29) finished second and third, respectively. Lendjel led another
Gamecock sweep in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing first with a mark of 1:49.32, followed by sophomore Andrew Atzhorn (1:52.27) in second and
junior Christian Kata (1:52.42) in third. Lendjel completed his day, capturing the 200-yard IM title with a mark of 1:51.56.
Sophomore Nicholas Walkotten captured the top spot in the 100- (48.97) and 200-yard butterfly (1:48.97), while he also turned in a strong showing
in the 100 free, finishing second with a mark of 46.08.
Freshman twins Claire and Christine Thompson continued to impress in the distance events. Claire turned in a first-place showing in the 1000-yard
freestyle in a time of 10:07.07, followed by sister Christine who finished second with a mark of 10:11.27. Claire also finished tied for first in the
women's 200-yard free with a mark of 1:49.97 and first in the 500 free with a mark of 4:57.74.
Senior Christy Williams swept the butterfly events, finishing first in the 100- (55.80) and 200-yard butterfly (2:01.08), while she also captured the top
spot in the 200 IM in a time of 2:05.29.
The Carolina divers swept both the one- and three-meter events. Ovelson finished first in the one-meter with a six-dive total of 368.47, defeating the
defending national champion in the event, Terry Horner of FSU who finished second. He also captured a first-place finish in the three-meter with a
total of 375.75. Zack also led USC on the one-meter, finishing first with a six-dive total of 279.75, while she completed the day's sweep, finishing
first in the three-meter dive with a total of 323.85.
"For David (Ovelson) to defeat the defending national champion on the one-meter board is huge for him," USC's head diving coach Todd Sherritt
said. "Where we are in the season, for him to dominate against FSU, easily the strongest diving competitor we've faced all season, is big. He stayed
consistent and put together a great set of dives.
"Taryn (Zack) also did a tremendous job today. It's very important for her to stay steady heading into SECs in a few weeks. Her level of
competition continues to improve."
The Gamecocks return to SEC action next weekend, hosting a tri-meet with Alabama and Georgia at the Carolina Natatorium. The meet will begin at
Special thanks to South Carolina for contributing this report.