South Carolina sweeps both diving events to top Florida Gulf Coast in hard fought 166 – 131 win in Columbia S.C.
For the second week in a row, the Eagles of FGCU won both the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay. In the 200 medley relay, the FGCU ‘A’ squad of Kira Toussaint, Evita Leter, Emma Svennson, and Becky Derogatis took the win in 1:41.99, with the Gamecocks coming in second in 1:45.29. FGCU then closed the meet with Svennson, Derogatis, Sarah Hamilton, and Kristen Julien won the 200 free in 1:34.33.
After the 200 medley relay, South Carolina won the next four events with some very close finishes. Victoria Mitchell won the 1,000 free in 9:59.97, with teammate Sarah Smith taking second with a career best 10:07.14. Meredith Vay won the 200 freestyle just out-touching Toussaint from FGCU 1:50.06 to 1:50.29, posting a team best time in that event. Heather Merritt took the 100 backstroke in 56.83, just beating out the Eagle’s Sandra Wilk (57.12). And Ellen Johnson beat out the FGCU sophomore Evita Leter 1:03.34 to 1:03.82.
Svennson, the FGCU senior from Sweden, then led the Eagles to wins in the 50 and 100 freestyle, her signature events, posting times of 23.07, and 50.00. Toussaint continued with another win for the Eagles in the 200 backstroke – posting a 1:58.91, her new season best.
But the Gamecocks continued to keep the score close in the 200 breast. Kirsten Dirrane (2:20.21), Ellen Johnson (2:20.95), and Brittany Oxley (2:21.80) swept the top three spots. The 1st place effort for freshman Dirrane was her first college win.
On the swimming events alone, the Gamecocks were ahead of the Eagles 134 – 125. The diving was the nail in the coffin that extended the South Carolina margin.
The Gamecocks swept the top three spots in both diving events. Julie Vincent (326.55), Patty Kranz (321.90), and Lauren Lamendola (300.22) dominated in the 1-meter event. The trio then repeated in the 3-meter event, with Vincent scoring 377.85, Kranz scoring 360.07, and Lamendola posting 330.45.
Head diving coach Todd Sherritt had this to say about his divers: “I’m overwhelmingly happy with our performance today. We’ve been working on some very specific things and everyone on the team did almost 100 percent of their objectives.”
Eagles head coach Neal Studd commented: “The girls fought hard tonight……The 11 hour bus trip to Columbia was tough but they had a great attitude and competed with a big SEC program very well.”
With the win, the Gamecocks move to 3-1 on the season, and next host East Carolina and College of Charleston on November 8. Florida Gulf Coast falls to 2-1, and travels to Atlanta on November 20-22 for the Georgia Tech Invite.