Columbia, SC - From the University of South Carolina
COLUMBIA, SC – Freshman swimmer Michael Flach will wrap up a highly successful rookie season this week as he represents South Carolina in the NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships, which run Thursday through Saturday in Columbus, OH.
Flach, a native of Annandale, Va., earned a berth into the national meet by virtue of his time in the 500-yard freestyle at the SEC Championships last month in Athens, Ga. His clocking of 4:19.37 in the championship final earned him a bronze medal at the league championships, a spot on the SEC's All-Freshman Team, and the 21st-fastest time in the nation to secure an invitation to this week's NCAA meet.
The freshman will compete in all three events for which he earned NCAA provisional qualifying times during the regular season. He will swim the 500 freestyle on Thursday, the 200 freestyle on Friday and the 200 butterfly on Saturday. Flach posted a 'B' cut time of 1:36.62 in the 200 free while swimming the leadoff leg of the Gamecocks' 800 freestyle relay at the SEC Championships. His top time in the 200 fly also came at the league meet where he swam a 1:47.11 in preliminaries to advance to the consolation final.
South Carolina has been represented at the NCAA Men's Championships every year since 1998. Since 1981, at least one Gamecock swimmer or diver has competed at the NCAA meet in all but three seasons. The highest team finish came in 1987 when the Gamecocks finished 10th nationally behind All-America performances from seven different swimmers. Last season, seniors Nick Walkotten and Kyle Cormier represented South Carolina in College Station, Texas, where Walkotten's sixth-place finish in the 200 fly and his 15th-place showing in the 100 fly gave the Gamecocks a 29th-place national finish, their best since 2005.