Don’t look now, but Columbia is a hard court town now.
Not just because the men’s and women’s basketball teams are both atop the SEC at the same time for the first time in school history — while that’s pretty freaking awesome and all — but the Gamecock tennis teams are off to a hot start in their own right.
Yes, while basketball rages on at South Carolina other sports are in season as well. Most notably tennis, who swept the weekend with wins over Virginia and Georgia State. It’s early on in their respective seasons, but both teams are off to nice starts this year.
Swimming, equestrian and track are all in session too, so let’s give them all their due respects in this week’s Olympic Roundup:
Gamecock Tennis still ballin’
9-1 is all you need to know about the Gamecock tennis teams right now, The ladies are 4-1 and are ranked No. 21 in the country, while the men are 5-0 and continue to receive votes for the top 25. Yes, it’s early on in the season and the meat of their schedules won’t turn up until early March — but give the respect where it’s due.
The men went to Georgia State this weekend and swept away the Panthers in a 7-0 match. Top-100 players Gabriel Fredrich, Harrison O’Keefe, Yancy Dennis and Thomas Mayronne all won in straight sets to clinch the match with in an hour of the start time. They’ll look to stay undefeated as they host for the first time in two weeks this Friday against Old Dominion and South Carolina State.
As for the ladies, they beat Virginia but suffered a bad casualty in the process. The No. 16 ranked singles player in the country, Ingrid Gamarra Martins, suffered an injury and couldn’t continue her match. Her status is currently unknown, but either way South Carolina forged on with singles wins from No. 62 Mia Horvit, Hadley Berg and Brigit Folland. They’ll travel upstate to face Clemson next on Saturday.
Swim and Dive makes waves at UNC
Specifically, it was the men’s and women’s 200 meter freestyle relay teams that made waves this weekend in Chapel Hill. Both Gamecock relay teams won at the Carolina College Nike Invitational with times of 1:33.74 for the women and 1.21.65 for the men.
As for the other placers, the men’s 400 medley relay placed second while Carter Bennett swam a personal best 20.67 in the 50 meter freestyle to place fifth in the event. Katie Shannahan placed third in the 200 meter medley with a PR time of 2:04:40 while Mairyan Branaman placed third in the 50 meter freestyle with a PR of 23.28.
Up next for Swim and Dive are the SEC Championships, which take place next week starting Feb. 14 and will run through Feb. 18 in Knoxville, TN.
Women’s Track wins Armory Invitational
Both men’s and women’s track teams showed out in New York City this weekend by placing multiple athletes in a number of events. More importantly, the women won the entire collegiate division while the men placed second as a team.
Ncincilili Titi won the 200 meter dash for the men, while the women saw three of their athletes win first place. Natasha Dicks won the triple jump, Taranisha Taylor won the 60 meter hurdles and the 4x400 meter relay team took home first. Nine other athletes/relay teams placed at least in the top five.
Friday track and field will join the women’s tennis team in Clemson to participate in the Tiger Paw Invitational.
Equestrian splits meets
Remember the horse sports? We certainly can’t forget about the former national champions, who had two meets this weekend in Bishop, Ga. where Georgia holds all their equestrian meets.
However unlike the men’s basketball team, the Gamecock horse riders couldn’t vanquish the Bulldogs in as thrilling a fashion. Georgia would win at their home course 5-16 but the Gamecocks bounced back a day later to beat Delaware State 14-6 to move back to .500 at 4-4.
Texas is the next destination for the Gamecocks, as they’ll head to the lone star state this weekend to face Texas A&M Friday and TCU Sunday.