South Carolina “Short-Handed” for Men’s SEC Swimming Championships

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 15

February 23rd, 2021 College, News, SEC


  • Tuesday, February 23 – Friday, February 26, 2021
  • Columbia, MO – University of Missouri
  • Prelims/Finals: 10 AM/5 PM Tues, 10 AM/6 PM Weds-Fri (Central Standard Time)
  • Defending Champion: Florida (8x) (results)
  • Live results
  • Live Video – SEC Network
  • Championship Central

The South Carolina men’s swimming team will be short-handed this week in Columbia as they begin the second portion of the 2021 SEC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships.

In a statement posted on Instagram and attributed to head coach McGee Moody, the program announced that they will be a “little short-handed” at this week’s SEC Championships. When asked for more information about who would be absent, a spokesperson for the school said that they had no more information to share, leaving a cloud of mystery around the absences until results start rolling in.

The full statement reads:

“Our full team will not be competing this week at the SEC Men’s Swimming Championships in Columbia, Mo. in adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Our men and women, like all college athletes, have intentionally changed their lifestyles and have sacrificed much of what is normal about college in order to make it through the season. I have seen them struggle, fight and come back stronger through adversity all year. They have been flexible and resilient. For those reasons, I am proud beyond words.

“I am heartbroken for the men that have worked all year long to make it through the conference meet and have now been told that they will not be able to travel or compete with their teammates. That being said, our primary concern is the health of those athletes. Through the highs and lows the past year has brought our world, we are proud to be able to still represent our state’s flagship university in everything we do. Forever to thee!”

South Carolina didn’t scratch any top-20 seeds from the initial psych sheets before last night’s final version was published. They only have 36 individual entries headed into the meet.

The team’s top seeds are junior Rafael Davila, the 24th seed in the 1650 free (15:50.49) junior Luke Massey, the 25th seed in the 100 breaststroke (54.38), sophomore Jordan Yip, the 27th seed in the 200 breaststroke (2:00.67), and AJ Ross, the 29th seed in the 50 free (20.25).

The Gamecocks placed 9th out of 10 at last year’s SEC Championship meet, and are without their 4 best scorers from that meet. 50-point diving scorer Anton Down-Jenkins is now at North Carolina, 32-point scorer Itay Goldfaden was a senior as was 24-point scorer Kevin Liu, and the team’s best-known quantity, sprinter Lewis Burras, hasn’t competed for South Carolina since October and isn’t on the psych sheets.

This means the team’s top returning scorer is Phil Costin, who scored 22 points last season via an 8th-place finish in the 200 free.

The University of South Carolina has recorded 1,073 total COVID-19 cases among its student-body since January 1, 2021. The most recent 3-day reporting period, from February 16-18, saw 31 student positive results.

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7 months ago

It wouldn’t matter. They will get dead last anyways. Surprised they still letting moody a coach there.

Joel Lin
Reply to  Johnny
7 months ago

Doesn’t matter where the team places, consider for a moment the guys who grinded through training since August for this meet who won’t get their conference taper meet. This sucks.

Reply to  Joel Lin
7 months ago

I’m not sure what South Carolina has been doing since Bernardino left but I wouldn’t really call is grinding. They’ve gotta let that entire staff go and start all over if they ever hope to get out of the 9th & 10th place spots.

Reply to  Sweet
7 months ago

Unfortunately they might let the entire staff and team (cut) go. Writing is on the wall. No (decent) pool = no team

Reply to  Coach
7 months ago

What’s wrong with the pool?

Reply to  Sweet
7 months ago

Pretty sure the sprint program has had some success in recent years, who coaches the sprinters?

7 months ago

Pretty sure South Carolina has been short handed for a few years now. Lsu gets an easy 9th place finish this year.

Outside Smoke
7 months ago

Tough look for USC as a whole this season I am not sure how Moody continues after this. They need a culture change badly and it starts with the Head Coach.

7 months ago

This team seems to only be going downhill. After a handful of top point scorers last year including Kinsey and Luft on the women’s side, as well as Jenkins on the men’s side, and comments in regard to abusive coaching and lack of respect and trust amongst the team and coaching staff coming from past and present student athletes, it is genuinely interesting to see what will happen to this team over the next few months.

Big Dig Swims
7 months ago

This does not do anything. Last place is last place

7 months ago

I wonder what he means by his athletes “changing their lifestyles”. Heard most were suspended around first semester and almost all had COVID due to a lack of social distancing from non athletes??

CA swim
Reply to  THEZOU
7 months ago

Just about every college has had these problems. What’s your point?

Outside Smoke
7 months ago

Name your sources bro

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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