The Daily Gamecock

South Carolina women's swimming and diving team races toward championship

The South Carolina women's swimming and diving team is racing into 2020 with newfound momentum. After struggling to find some record book victories in 2019, the Gamecocks won both of the their meets and are looking to continue improving. 

East Carolina University meet

The men's and women's teams traveled to Greenville, North Carolina, on Jan. 11 with the hopes to perform highly after their intensive training over the break.

"We get a chance to see exactly how the training over our break has gone. A lot of folks don’t know this about our program, but when exams are over, we don't– they don’t just go home," head coach McGee Moody told Gamecocks Online.

At the East Carolina meet, seniors Emily Cornell, Albury Higgs and Christina Lappin and sophomore Hallie Kinsey started strong for South Carolina’s 200 medley relay team with a winning time of 1:43.04.

Lappin continued to shine, winning the 100-meter butterfly and 50-meter freestyle. Not only were these victories key for the team but also individually as they were her sixth and seventh season victories. 

South Carolina defeated East Carolina 180-113.

Moody said he was pleased with the performance against his alma mater and was ready to get back to Columbia to prepare for Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech meet

The women's swimming and diving clinched a 197-103 win against Georgia Tech.

"I thought we were outstanding; the women dominated the meet top to bottom, great races all around," Moody said to GamecocksOnline: 

At the meet, sophomore Hallie Kinsey continued her strong start to the season, winning the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly. 

The Gamecocks swept the 100-meter breaststroke, senior Ana Menendez-Nava leading the way and earning her first victory of the season.

Looking ahead

At this point in the season, everything is centered on building stamina and preparing for the five-day SEC Championship at the end of the season. Moody said the team has one of the hardest schedules in the country with the SEC being the toughest conference meet in the nation.

“It’s our hope that, you know, this season has prepared our athletes to go into that meet down at Auburn and shine, and to not be taken back by the environment, but to embrace it and be able to step into it and be successful," Moody said.

The SEC Championship will take place Feb. 18 to 22 in Auburn, Alabama.

Moody said the team has been putting in extra work by learning from both the losses and victories. He said each meet on the schedule is there to help continue to learn and improve in hopes of performing highly at the SEC Championship and to then qualify for the NCAA Championship after the season ends.

Next home meet

The Gamecocks men's and women's swimming and diving teams will be competing on Jan. 24 at the Carolina Natatorium in the S.C. College Invitational.


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