COLUMBIA, South Carolina, January 26. SOUTH Carolina wrapped up a two-day meet against Queens University of Charlotte and Wingate by sweeping both schools on Saturday afternoon. Queens also defeated Wingate in both the women’s and men’s meets in their head-to-head dual. It marked the final home meet for 15 South Carolina seniors, as the Gamecocks celebrated Senior Day yesterday.
South Carolina Press Release
With the senior class competing for the final time, it was a bitter sweet ending to for the group as the finished off their careers at Carolina Natatorium with a pair of sweeps over Queens and Wingate. The men defeated Wingate 187-130 and Queens 176-141, while the women won 182-129 over Wingate and 172-136 over Queens.
On the day, the two teams combined to post the top time in in 15 of 18 events, which gave them 27 over two days. The Gamecocks depth showed up again on day two as the 1-2-3 finishes continued with four more today to collect eight total for the weekend. Carolina also had at least 1-2 finishes in seven more races, which gave the group 18 in two days.
The morning saw its first 1-2-3 Gamecock finish in the very first event, the women’s 200 medley relay as the team Lindsay Pierce, Amanda Rutqvist, Caroline Bixler and Lauren Raczkowski paced the pack with a time of 1:45.66.
The women’s team was at it again in the 100 breaststroke Peirce clocking in at 55.80, just ahead of Megan Carlson and Lauren Rosenberg. That wasn’t the last of them as the next event saw Elise Weisert lead the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:18.99, as Rachael Schaffer and Ellen Johnson came in second and third, respectively.
The men picked up a one of their own in the 200 freestyle as Kevin Leithold’s time of 1:38.49 bested teammates Michael Flach and Gerard Rodriguez.
In total, the Gamecocks swept five events with the men and women winning. Elizabeth Maltby (10:21.60) and Marwan El Kamash won the 1000 free, while Taylor Vincent (24.30) and Michael Covert (20.92) won 50 freestyle in 1-2 Carolina finishes. Weisert (2:18.99) and Alex Vance (2:04.75) claimed the 200 breaststroke while Jean Livingston (1:53.09) and Leithold (1:38.49) claimed wins in the 200 freestyle.
The Gamecocks capped off the day by posting the top times in the 400 freestyle, giving them the top times in all eight relays on the weekend.
Individually, Leithold led Carolina on the weekend with five total wins, with three coming from relays. Maltby (500 and 1,000 free), Weisert (100 and 200 breaststroke) and Vincent (50 and 100 free) each led the women in individual wins as both picked up one on each day.
Prior to today’s session, the Gamecocks recognized their 15 seniors for the hard work and dedication to the program. The group includes Tim Berens, Maryn Bieganski, Michael Flach, Abby Galbreath, Andrew Helmich, Taylor Josserand, Matt Navata, Lindsay Pierce, Lauren Raczkowski, Gerard Rodriguez, Lauren Rosenberg, Amanda Rutqvist, Rachael Schaffer, Jay Warner and Jake White.
South Carolina will be back in action next weekend as the teams head to Auburn on Feb. 1 for their final meet before the SEC Championships. The meet is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET.
Queens University of Charlotte Press Release
The Queens University of Charlotte swim team completed a two day meet hosted by the University of South Carolina with several strong swims and gained momentum going into the conference meet. Highlighting the morning session swims were multiple first place finishes by Caroline Arakelian and Matthew Josa.
Alex Menke hit the water first for the Royals when he finished the 1000 free with a strong third place time of 9:39.22. Niclas Eriksson followed Menke, with a matching third place finish when he tapped the wall with a 21.50 in the 50 freestyle.
Earning the first victory of the day for the Royals was Josa, who took the 100 backstroke in the B-cut time of 48.97. The freshman immediately followed that victory, by beating the closest completion by four seconds in the 100 butterfly in the B-cut time of 48.45.
The men finished their morning off with a win in the 400 freestyle relay by the team of Josa, Harry Traystman, Ben Taylor, and Hayden Kosater in the time of 3:06.13.
Opening the morning for the Royals was strong performance in the 1000 freestyle by Meridith Boudreaux who finished second in the B-cut time of 10:24.77. Following her was a third place finish by freshman Alexandra Marshall who swam a 24.50 in the 50 freestyle.
Arakelian was up next for the Royals, and she showed her dominance by winning the 100 backstroke by two seconds in the B-cut time of 57.18. Freshman Hannah Peiffer followed her performance with a strong 100 butterfly time of 58.46, which was good for second place. Also finishing in second place was Lillian Gordy with a 1:57.19 in the 200 freestyle.
The Royals finished the meet with two more first place finishes, including another win by Arakelian in the 400 IM in the B-cut time of 4:24.51. Which was immediately followed by the 400 freestyle relay team of Arakelian, Marshall, Gordy, and Kristin Diemer swimming a B-cut time of 3:31.79.
The Royals swim next in the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Tournament, which takes place in Charlotte February 11-15.
Wingate Press Release
Wingate University men’s and women’s swimming teams dropped a tri-meet at the University of South Carolina Friday and Saturday. In addition to the Bulldogs and the host Gamecocks, Bluegrass Mountain Conference member Queens (N.C.) was also involved in the two-day event (meet results).
The meet featured six of six ranked teams; the Bulldog women are number three in NCAA Division II, while the Wingate men are number five. Queens is number two in both D-II polls, while the Gamecock women are number 19 and the USC men are number 23 in NCAA Division I.
South Carolina 187, Wingate 130
Queens (N.C.) 171, Wingate 143
South Carolina 176, Queens (N.C.) 141
Wingate senior Marko Blazevski (Skopje, Macedonia) earned a gold medal and two silver medals Saturday. He won the 400 Individual Medley (3:58.18), while placing second in the 1000 Freestyle (9:32.64). Blazevski and three teammates finished second in the 400 Freestyle Relay by 17/100 of a second (3:06.30 to 3:06.13). Wingate’s 400 Free Relay quartet included Blazevski, sophomore Dylon Johnson (Fletcher, N.C.), junior Issam Zeraidi (Brussels, Belgium) and senior Tim Kniffler (Mulheim, Germany).
Johnson won the 200 Freestyle (1:43.82) with classmate Ossian Arvidsson (Kungälv, Sweden) taking second place in the same event (1:44.84). Three Bulldogs joined Arvidsson with one second-place finish each.
Wingate sophomore Roman Kanyuka (Moscow, Russia) was second in the 200 Breaststroke with a time of 2:05.16. Freshmen Evan Kolovich (New Market, Md.) and Øystein Fjeldberg (Oslo, Norway) were second in the 100 Butterfly (52.12) and the 400 Individual Medley (4:13.83), respectively.
South Carolina 182, Wingate 129
Queens (N.C.) 173, Wingate 142
South Carolina 172, Queens (N.C.) 136
The Wingate women claimed three first-place finishes Saturday. Senior Katie Pheil (Ocala, Fla.) won the 200 Freestyle (1:55.16). Freshmen Jessika Weiss (Macon, Ga.) and Sofia Petrenko (Arkhangelsk, Russia) won the 200 Breaststroke (2:24.29) and the 100 Butterfly (57.79), respectively. Petrenko was second in the 400 Individual Medley (4:32.37).
Petrenko finished her day by swimming the first leg on Wingate’s second-place 400 Freestyle Relay team (3:35.20). She was joined (in order) by sophomores Ana Fish (Carthage, N.C.) and Rita Koryukova (Omsk, Russia) and Pheil.
In the 100 Backstroke, Koryukova was second (59.21), with freshman Vika Arkhipova (Seversk, Russia) was a close third (59.24). Weiss led a one-two-three finish for Wingate in the 200 Breaststroke. Bulldog redshirt freshman Olga Kosheleva (Yekaterinburg, Russia) was second, while senior Charlotte Cornet (Brussels, Belgium) was third.
On Friday, Wingate will host St. Andrews University for Senior Day. The first event between the Bulldogs and the Knights will take place at 5 p.m. The University will honor 11 seniors (four men, seven women) during one of the meet’s breaks.