South Carolina To Begin Poppell Era Against Gardner-Webb In Season Opener

by SwimSwam

October 08th, 2021 College, News, SEC

Courtesy: South Carolina Athletics

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina swimming & diving kicks off its 2021-22 season on Saturday at the Carolina Natatorium. The Gamecocks will face Gardner-Webb in the first dual meet under new head coach, Jeff Poppell, along with an entirely new coaching staff.

“We need to find out what our team looks like,” said Poppell. “Being a new staff, we’re trying to figure out where our strength and our weaknesses lie in our lineup.”

Competition will get started at 11 a.m. with pre-meet events beginning at 10:50 a.m. Live scoring and results will be provided through MeetMobile.

The Gamecocks welcome 21 newcomers to this year’s squad, including Team USA diver Sophie Verzyl and Israeli Olympian Michael Laitarovsky.

NCAA qualifier Janie Smith returns to the pool for the Gamecocks this year after breaking the school record last season with a career-best time of 48.69 in the 100 free.

Program record-holder AJ Ross has returned for a fifth year. Ross earned 11 entries in the school record books during his first four years as a Gamecock.

A number of Gamecocks will also be back in action after gaining experience in the Olympic trials over the summer. Ross was joined at the trials by Phil CostinLuke MasseyGeorgia JohnsonMegan Armstrong, and Taylor Steele.

Admission to the meet is free. Tickets are not required. The University of South Carolina continues to abide by the City of Columbia face mask ordinance and requires face coverings at all times in campus buildings.

For all the latest South Carolina swimming & diving information, continue to follow or the team on social media (@GamecockSwim).

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