Swimming and diving split with Duke

Published: Jan. 18, 2010 at 1:45 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 22, 2010 at 2:36 PM EDT
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From the University of South Carolina

COLUMBIA, SC – South Carolina got multiple career-best performances from several swimmers and earned a split decision with the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon at the Carolina Natatorium. The Gamecock men defeated Duke by a 171-129 score while the Carolina women fell by a 176.5-123.5 margin.

South Carolina's men (3-4) kicked off the swim meet with a solid performance in the 400 medley relay, getting a victory in 3:23.06 from Dominique Lendjel, Bobby Cave, Isaac Badillo and Michael Flach. They would keep up the winning ways with a sweep in the 1650 free as Brooks Ross (15:56.05), Matt Columbus (16:08.55) and Dan Jackson (16:13.75) went 1-2-3 to earn big points for the Gamecocks.

It would be the first of four 1-2-3 sweeps for the Gamecock men on the day. Michael Flach won the first of his two events in the 200 free with a time of 1:41.77, leading the sweep along with Andy Atzhorn (1:41.88) and Alex Fitton (1:42.74). Flach would also take first place in the 200 fly with a time of 1:51.89; teammate Badillo took second in 1:54.36. Badillo swam a career-best later in the meet, taking first in the 100 fly in 49.71. Lendjel wasn't far behind, grabbing a second-place showing in 50.26.

The Gamecock distance corps continued to show its strength, grabbing the top three spots in the 1650 free as Brooks Ross (15:56.05), Matt Columbus (16:08.96) and Dan Jackson (16:13.75) went 1-2-3. Columbus would earn victory in the 500 free as well with a time of 4:36.63, touching just ahead of Ross (4:38.62).

Freshman Bobby Cave led the third sweep of the day for the men, winning by a wide margin in the 200 breast (2:05.55). Atzhorn was second in 2:10.47, and Ryan Connolly took third in 2:12.50. Atzhorn would lead the fourth sweep in the 400 individual medley, taking the win in 4:02.97 with Flach (4:03.70) and Chris Kelly (4:05.02) right behind. Lendjel would get the ninth win of the day for the Carolina men, clocking a 51.06 in the 100 back.

On the women's side (1-6), several individuals had standout performances, most notably senior Kristina Delp. The native of Baldwin, Md., clocked two lifetime bests in the 50 and 100 freestyle, taking victory in the 100 free with a time of 52.07 to lead a 1-2-3 finish with Sharntelle McLean (52.12) and Bridget Halligan (52.37). Her time of 23.83 in the 50 free was good enough for third place behind teammates McLean (52.07) and Halligan (23.77).

Claire Thompson picked up a victory in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:52.47; Meghan Brockington was second in 1:54.17. Whitney Avers would earn the Gamecocks' other individual women's victory with a come-from-behind win in the 400 IM (4:27.61). The women went out on a high note with the 200 freestyle relay team of McLean, Halligan, Delp and Thompson taking victory in 1:36.21.

In the diving well, the Gamecocks got a pair of runner-up finishes from Taryn Zack and Allison Barr in 1- and 3-meter diving, respectively, and another second-place showing by Nikolas Sachs in men's 1-meter diving.