Georgia Swimmers Rack Up Five Wins At SECs

Feb. 20, 2013

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- Georgia won five events -- three by the women and two by the men -- on the second day of the Southeastern Conference Championships on Wednesday at Texas A&M.

The Lady Bulldogs moved into first place in the team race on the strength of wins by Melanie Margalis, Chantal Van Landeghem and the 200-yard freestyle relay. Georgia, which has won the last three SEC titles, has 500 points, while second-place Texas A&M has 464.

On the men's side, Matias Koski and Chase Kalisz notched victories for the Bulldogs. Georgia now has 372 points and is in third place. Auburn has the lead with 417 points.

"What I'm proud of is how we swam tonight," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "I'm proud of who we are and what we showed tonight. It was a heck of a Georgia night. That's the best news. A Georgia night. We had a great one. It was a job well done."

Margalis claimed the women's 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:54.55, which set SEC and Georgia records. Former Lady Bulldog Morgan Scroggy held the previous marks of 1:54.58 set in 2011. Margalis was the runner-up in the event at the SECs each of the last two years.

"I've been second way too many times," Margalis said. "I thought I had a curse and that I'd never get first. It feels really good."

Van Landeghem and Tennessee's Faith Johnson touched the wall in an identical 21.90 in the women's 50-yard freestyle. Van Landeghem's time is the fourth-best in school history.

"This is my first SECs, and honestly I've never experienced anything like it before," Van Landeghem said. "Watching Georgia rip it up and do so well is amazing. It provided a lot of inspiration for my 50 free tonight."

The 200-yard freestyle relay of Maddie Locus, Van Landeghem, Allison Schmitt and Megan Romano went 1:26.89 to win. That eclipsed the school record of 1:27.51 set in 2009.

"To be a part of this relay is an amazing feeling," Schmitt said. "It was a real team effort, and I'm just proud to have been a part of it."

Koski took the top spot in the men's 500-yard freestyle as he stopped the clock in 4:14.28 -- the fifth-best time in Georgia annals. The Bulldogs have won the event eight of the past 10 years, including each of the last two.

"It feels great to get out here and race in this atmosphere," Koski said. "It's an awesome feeling. The key was making some adjustments from my morning swim and changing some things, and it paid off."

Kalisz touched in 1:43.04 to take the 200-yard individual medley title. Kalisz broke the school record of 1:43.56 set by Bill Cregar in 2011 in just his fifth collegiate competition.

"It's unbelievable," Kalisz said. "I didn't expect to do that. I was definitely trying to compete for the top spot, but I didn't know if I could do it now because of where I am with my training. To go that time is unbelievable and I'm really happy with it."

Also on Wednesday:

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

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