Kalisz, 200 Free Relay Shine At SEC Championships

Head Coach Jack Bauerle, Chase Kalisz and Emily Cameron recap Georgia's performances after day two of the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.

Feb. 15, 2017

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --- Chase Kalisz had a record-setting performance in the men's 200-yard individual medley to highlight Georgia's showing at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center on Wednesday.

After two days of competition, the Lady Bulldogs are second with 410 points, trailing Texas A&M's 488. The Bulldogs stand fourth with 314 points, behind Florida's 486.5, Auburn's 346 and Texas A&M's 324.

Kalisz won the men's 200 individual medley with a time of 1:41.28, edging Florida's Mark Szaranek's 1:41.30. Kalisz shattered the SEC meet record of 1:41.66 set by Florida's Ryan Lochte in 2005 and the pool record of 1:41.88 established by South African Darian Townsend in 2013. Kalisz also won the 200 individual medley in 2013 and he now owns six individual SEC titles.

"It was a little sloppy. It's not really where I wanted it to be or where I think it should be," Kalisz said. "But it's all about racing right now and I'm happy with that. I don't think about records or times at this meet. It's all about scoring as many points as I can for the team, so I'm more happy about that."

Georgia's other title of the night came in the women's 200 freestyle relay. The quartet of Olivia Smoliga, Veronica Burchill, Emily Cameron and Chantal Van Landeghem claimed the conference crown for the fourth time in five years with a time of 1:27.57.

"I think we needed this to end today on a good note and to get us started for (Thursday)," Cameron said. "I think Thursday is going to be a good day for us. I've never seen a UGA team not thrive in the face of challenges. We'll keep working these next few days and hopefully come out on top."

In the men's 500 freestyle, Kevin Litherland (4:15.98), Jay Litherland (4:16.41) and Walker Higgins (4:16.54) finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Clayton Forde, registering his third 500 of the day due to a swim-off during prelims, came in 16th with a time of 4:21.35. Aidan Burns followed in 20th at 4:19.84.

Also in the men's 200 individual medley, Gunnar Bentz claimed fifth in 1:43.81 and Javier Acevedo came in 12th with a time of 1:45.39.

The men's 200 freestyle relay of Taylor Dale, Acevedo, Bentz and Jay Litherland took eighth in 1:18.88.

Smoliga finished second in the women's 50 freestyle with a time of 21.56, followed by Van Landeghem in fifth at 22.07 and Burchill in 12th at 22.39.

Rachel Zilinskas came in fifth in the women's 500 freestyle as she reached the wall in 4:42.22. Stephanie Peters placed second in the consolation final to take 10th in 4:42.96.

On the women's 1-meter springboard, Olivia Ball rolled up 327.75 points to place fifth.

Meaghan Raab finished eighth in the women's 200 individual medley as she stopped the clock in 1:59.44. Cameron placed 10th in 1:57.28 and Megan Kingsley took 11th in 1:57.65. Caitlin Casazza touched in 2:00.51 to come in 24th.

The SECs will continue on Thursday with the 400 individual medley, the 100 butterfly, the 200 freestyle and men's 3-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+.



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