Feb. 21, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- Freshman Chase Kalisz won another title and the Georgia women extended their lead at the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships at Texas A&M on Thursday.
The Lady Bulldogs, who have won the last three SEC crowns, boosted their points total to 790 on the third day of competition, with Florida (676) and Texas A&M (659) serving as the other primary contenders.
"We did a heck of a job," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said of the women's team. "We gave ourselves a chance. But we also know it's going to be a fight to the finish. Tomorrow is a very important day for us."
Behind Kalisz, the Bulldogs strengthened their hold on third with 549 points, trailing only Florida's 748 and Auburn's 630.5.
Kalisz won the men's 400-yard individual medley title with a time of 3:39.82. That broke the school record of 3:39.92 set by Robert Margalis in 2003, previously the second-longest standing mark in school history. A midyear enrollee, Kalisz also joined Roy Hall from 1965 as the only Bulldogs to win the both the 200- and 400-yard individual medley events at the same SECs.
"It's been one of my goals since the start of the season," Kalisz said. "I haven't been at Georgia that long, so to do it this soon means a lot to me. It was a good swim, and I'm happy with it."
Said Bauerle, "That was a a great swim. He might be making a case for SEC Freshman of the Year if I ever saw one. To win a couple of SEC titles as a freshman is really something."
The Lady Bulldogs boasted five of the eight championship finalists and seven of 24 overall in the women's 200-yard freestyle. Megan Romano took second in 1:43.38, while Allison Schmitt was third in 1:43.46, Shannon Vreeland placed fourth in 1:44.30, Jordan Mattern came in seventh in 1:45.24 and Kelsey Gaid finished eighth in 1:46.38. In addition, Brittany MacLean was 10th in 1:46.11 and Jessica Graber placed 21st in 1:47.87.
Annie Zhu was Georgia's top finisher in the women's 400-yard individual medley as she placed fourth in 4:05.55, the third-fastest time in school history. Hali Flickinger came in fifth in 4:09.53, followed by Amber McDermott in sixth (4:09.75), Nicole Vernon in seventh (4:12.09) and Anna Neumeister in 12th (4:12.63).
Lauren Harrington paced the Lady Bulldogs in the women's 100-yard butterfly as she stopped the clock in 52.40 to come in seventh. That is the third-fastest time in school history. Maddie Locus placed 18th with a time of 53.76.
The SECs will continue on Friday with the 200-yard butterfly, the 100-yard backstroke, the 100-yard breaststroke, the 400-yard medley relay and women's platform diving.