March 17, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas --- Led by 500 freestyle winner Allison Schmitt, the Georgia women's swimming and diving team moved into first place after one day of the NCAA Championships at the Jamail Center.
On Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs rolled up 129 points and leads Southern Cal's 122, Stanford's 116, Cal's 115 and Arizona's 99.
"I could not be prouder of the way we competed today," Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. "As a coach, you want as many points as you can get, but it's hard to complain with any aspect of today. The young ladies battled all day long and got us in the hunt. We knew today was important in terms of setting the stage for the rest of the meet. I am very pleased with what we did."
Schmitt won the NCAA title in the 500 freestyle for the third straight year as she touched in 4:34.20, holding off Towson's Meredith Budner (4:34.56) down the stretch. Wendy Trott came in fifth in 4:37.55, followed by Shannon Vreeland in seventh at 4:39.14. Chelsea Nauta came in second in the consolation final for 10th place with a time of 4:38.61.
"It feels good," Schmitt said. "Every time I'm out there I swim for what's on my cap, so it's great to win one for the Bulldogs."
During the prelims, Schmitt set the NCAA, school and pool records with a time of 4:32.71.
Schmitt is just the third woman to win the 500 freestyle three times, joining Stanford's Marybeth Linzmeier (1982, 1983, 1984) and Southern Cal's Lindsay Benko (1996, 1997, 1999).
Morgan Scroggy came in fourth in the 200 individual medley, touching in 1:55.15. Melanie Margalis took sixth with a time of 1:55.42.
The Lady Bulldogs came in seventh in the 200 freestyle relay as the team of Emily Montesinos, Scroggy, Jessica Graber and Megan Romano stopped the clock in 1:28.99.
Georgia also was seventh in the 400 individual medley relay as Kristen Shickora, Sara Nicponski, Scroggy and Romano posted a time of 3:33.43.
The NCAAs will continue on Friday with the 200 medley relay, the 400 individual medley, the 100 butterfly, the 200 freestyle, the 100 breaststroke, the 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving and the 800 freestyle relay.