Jan. 20, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia women's swimming and diving team moved into sole possession of the all-sports school record on Friday with its 77th straight home victory.
The top-ranked Lady Bulldogs dispatched South Carolina 177-112 at Gabrielsen Natatorium to extend their streak that began in November of 1995. The Lady Bulldogs earlier had matched the school record of 76 set by men's tennis between 1968 and 1972. The Lady Bulldogs are now 6-1 on the season, including a 3-0 mark against SEC competition. Georgia has won 19 of its last 20 and 52 of its last 54 dual meets overall.
In the men's meet, the ninth-ranked Bulldogs coasted to a 180-112 win over the Gamecocks. The Bulldogs improved to 4-2-1 overall and 1-1-1 against SEC foes.
Georgia's teams will get right back into action on Saturday as they host the No. 14 Tennessee women and the No. 21 Tennessee men at 2 p.m. Not only will Saturday's competition be the final home dual meet of the year, but Georgia's seniors will be recognized in a pre-meet ceremony.
"It's an exciting night for our women to be sure, but it was a little subdued because of the challenge we have Saturday," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "We'll let ourselves enjoy it for a couple of hours, but we've got work to do to keep it going. If that happens, then we'll be able to soak it all in. Seventy-seven straight is great, but to do it over that many seasons is even better. We're so proud of the overall body of work. The neatest thing is that these swimmers and divers have a strong connection to those who started the streak and those who've helped continue it."
The Lady Bulldogs dominated the freestyle events in Friday's meet. Lauren Harrington won the 50 and the 100 freestyle races in 23.27 and 50.74, respectively. Jessica Graber took the 200 freestyle in 1:49.07, Sommers Creed took the 500 freestyle in 4:48.70 and Shannon Vreeland touched first in the 1,000 freestyle in 10:04.72.
Georgia also swept the backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly races. Melanie Margalis won the 100 backstroke in 55.29 and the 100 butterfly in 57.99. Anna Neumeister claimed the 200 backstroke in 1:58.98, while Michelle McKeehan won the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.67, Shannon O'Malley took the 200 breaststroke in 2:12.90 and Creed won the 200 butterfly in 2:00.77. Meghan Faulkner touched first in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:01.06.
Megan Romano, O'Malley, Margalis and Graber went 1:42.28 to win the 200 medley relay, and Kelsey Gaid, Creed, Maddie Locus and Wendy Trott took the 400 freestyle relay in 3:26.16.
The Bulldogs also set the tone for their meet in the freestyle races. Michael Arnold won the 50 and 100 freestyle events in 20.44 and 44.70, respectively. Jameson Hill took the 200 freestyle in 1:39.46, while Martin Grodzki went 4:31.47 in the 500 freestyle and Will Freeman touched in 9:17.38 in the 1,000 freestyle.
Shane Hall and Freeman swept the 100 and 200 butterfly, respectively, with times of 49.61 and 1:50.36. Nic Fink and Brett Roberson won the 100 and 200 breaststroke, respectively, in 56.12 and 2:01.84. Hall took the 100 backstroke in 49.69 and Jared Markham won the 200 individual medley in 1:51.59. Owen Blank came in first on the 1-meter springboard with 360.38 points.