The Georgia women’s swimming and diving team helped get the Bulldogs started off with a record-setting 200-yard medley relay victory in the 2017 SEC Championships at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center on Tuesday.
After one day of competition, the Lady Bulldogs stand second with 155 points, just three back of Texas A&M. Missouri is third with 146 points. On the men’s side, the Bulldogs are ninth with 104 points. Texas A&M has the team lead with 188 points, followed by Florida with 165.5.
“It was a mixed bag for us tonight,” Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. “The women’s medley relay was a super way for us to get started, but we all know we’re just pulling out of the driveway on a long ride this week. This meet is an absolute war and we knew that coming in. We’ve got eight more sessions with a whole lot of swimming to come.”
The women’s 200 medley relay of Olivia Smoliga, Emily Cameron, Chelsea Britt and Chantal Van Landeghem touched first in 1:35.28, nipping the 1:35.33 turned in by Texas A&M.
The Lady Bulldogs’ time eclipsed the school record of 1:35.52 set in 2014 and the pool record of 1:35.33 set by Tennessee from 2012.
“It was a good way to start the meet,” Van Landeghem said. “We were all pretty excited to get the meet going. It was great being on the relay with these girls. For three of us, this is our last SECs, so it’s a little bittersweet.”
Smoliga now has led off the four fastest 200 medley relays in school history (and six of the top seven) and Van Landeghem has anchored the top three.
The Lady Bulldogs came in third in the 800 freestyle relay as Meaghan Raab, Kylie Stewart, Veronica Burchill and Meryn McCann touched in 7:00.44.
McKensi Austin placed ninth on the 3-meter springboard with 317.40 points, while Olivia Ball took 10th with 315.25.
On the men’s side, the 800 freestyle relay of Jay Litherland, Chase Kalisz, Pace Clark and Gunnar Bentz reached the wall in 6:17.17 to come in third. That is the second-fastest time in school history, while Litherland’s leadoff split of 1:33.83 matches the second-best effort in UGA annals.
In the 200 medley relay, the quartet of Taylor Dale, Kalisz, Clark and Javier Acevedo placed ninth in 1:25.79.
Charlie Clifton paced the divers as he came in 17th on 1-meter with 301.65 points, followed by Ian Forlini in 24th with 267.15.
The SECs will continue on Wednesday with the 500 freestyle, the 200 individual medley, the 50 freestyle, the 200 freestyle relay and women’s 1-meter springboard. Swimming prelims will begin at 10 a.m., followed by diving prelims at 1 p.m. Finals will open at 6 p.m. All sessions can be viewed on SEC Network+.
CLICK HERE for Tuesday’s results.
And for Wednesday’s heat sheets, CLICK HERE