Clemson Men Defeat Kentucky

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.–A victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in men’s swimming and diving was the highlight of Clemson’s Saturday meet against the Wildcats and North Carolina.

The Tiger men’s squad knocked off the Wildcats by a score of 174-121, but they were also defeated, 173-121, by host North Carolina. The women’s team was swept by Kentucky (188-111) and North Carolina (184-109).

“Both of our teams are extremely dialed in on our specific team goals,” Head Coach Christopher Ip said. “We understand our weaknesses and strengths. It was great to see our men’s team rise up and beat Kentucky, a solid SEC team.”

The men were paced by Chris Dart, who picked up victories in the 200 backstroke (1:50.94) and 200 IM (1:51.84). He also finished second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 49.16 seconds. Eric Bruck also turned in a solid performance for Clemson, tying his season-best time of 20.29 seconds in winning the 50 freestyle and finishing second in the 100 freestyle with a season-best time of 44.91 seconds.

Tori Cervone was the top performer for the women’s team. She won the 200 IM with a time of 2:06.60 and posted a season-best time of 1:52.43 in a fourth-place showing in the 200 freestyle. She also finished in third place in the 500 freestyle (5:04.99).

Clemson’s men’s squad showed its depth on Saturday, getting contributions from a variety of sources. That depth was never more evident than in the relays. The crew of Seth Broster, Myles Oliver, Chris Reinke, and Bruck won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:02.74. The 200 medley relay team of Dart, Mark Schindler, Broster, and Bruck came in second place with a time of 1:31.14.

The women’s team had similar success, as the 400 freestyle relay group of Meg Anderson, Kelsey Krauss, Ali Polhill, and Cervone finished second with a time of 3:31.28. The 200 medley relay team of Polhill, Maddie Tarantolo, Krauss, and Anderson came in third place in 1:45.93.

The men’s team got additional contributions from several key performers. In the 200 back, Andrew Abeysinghe combined with Dart to make it a 1-2 Clemson finish with his time of 1:51.68.

Steven Gasparini shattered his previous season-best time by almost three seconds in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:10.69. He finished in third place and was followed by Schindler (2:10.93) and Anderson Sloan (2:10.94). David Gordon (4:38.51), Lucas Gerotto (4:42.61), and Alex Carr (4:43.99) had a 3-4-5 finish in the 500 freestyle.

For the women’s team, Cervone (5:04.99), Sarah Smith (5:05.95), and Kristen Redmond (5:08.09) gave Clemson another 3-4-5 combination in the 500 freestyle. Smith also came in third place in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 10:23.76.

Elizabeth Savage posted a third-place finish in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:25.27, and Hannah Collins finished fifth in that event with a time of 2:26.50. Anderson finished third in the 100 freestyle in 52.10 seconds.

The women’s squad also got a lift from its divers. Brooke George finished second in three-meter diving with a score of 238.60, and her score of 219.00 was good enough for third place in one-meter diving. Cassie Self and Elizabeth Tatum also turned in solid performances.

The Tigers will be back in action on Saturday, January 15, as they travel to Tallahassee to face Florida State in a dual meet.