South Carolina, Duke vs. Davidson

DAVIDSON, North Carolina, January 12. THE South Carolina men's and women's swimming and diving teams returned to competition following the holiday break on Saturday in a tri-meet with host Davidson College and Duke University at Cannon Pool. The Gamecock women (3-4) finished first among the three squads, while the Carolina men (2-5) also finished atop the standings, clinching their first win of the season.

The Carolina women captured seven event titles, including a sweep in the diving events by freshman Taryn Zack. The Gamecock men secured five first-place finishes, sweeping the relay events with top finishes in the 400 freestyle and IM races. Additionally, sophomore Nick Walkotten broke a pool record in the 200 butterfly event, finishing first with a mark of 1:50.68, nearly two seconds faster than the previous record of 1:52.15.

The Gamecock men turned in a strong meet to capture their first victory of the season. Walkotten paced the pack with his first-place finish in the 200 fly, while he also took first in the 50 free with a mark of 21.66. Sophomore Dominique Lendjel contributed top finishes in the 100 (47.19) and 200 free (1:42.84) events, while classmate Andy Atzhorn also turned in a dominant performance, finishing first in the 400 IM (4:09.29) and a second-place showing in the 200 backstroke (1:53.94), finishing just behind junior Christian Kata (1:53.58) in first.

The Carolina women also enjoyed an excellent showing following the holiday break. The freshman duo of twin sisters Christine and Claire Thompson continued stellar seasons in the pool. Claire took first in the 500 free (4:54.90), while she (10:04.93) and Christine (10:14.83) finished second and third, respectively, in the 1000 freestyle event.

Junior swimmer Amanda Dunnigan turned in her best meet of the year, posting a first-place mark in the 400 IM with a season-best showing of 4:26.99. She also took first place in the 200 breaststroke event (2:21.28). Senior Christy Williams also finished strong, securing first place in the 200 butterfly event in a time of 2:02.57.

"I'm extremely happy with the way we raced after our training over the holiday break," South Carolina head swimming coach McGee Moody said. "We closed a lot of races today – winning them in the final 10 to15 yards of the race. We look forward to preparing for our next competition against Florida State."

The divers also contributed strong performances in the Gamecock victories. As noted, Zack (269.60 1-meter, 254.55 3-meter) swept the women's events while freshman Allison Barr finished third in the 1-meter (239.00) and second in the 3-meter (246.90) dive.

On the men's side, the USC divers were the only to compete, as juniors David Ovelson and Corry Christian each took first in one event. Ovelson won the 3-meter (325.50), while Christian took first in the 1-meter (313.30).

"I was really pleased with the way we competed following our training trip and everyone seems to be on the right track," head diving coach Todd Sherritt said. "Taryn is really beginning to establish herself and Allison is making her move as well. All of our divers did a great job today."

Carolina returns to the pool to host Florida State on Jan. 25 in the Carolina Natatorium. Please visit GamecocksOnline.com for further updates.

Special thanks to South Carolina for contributing this report.

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