March 17, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. --- Georgia's women's swimming and diving team finished second on Saturday in the NCAA Championships at Auburn's Martin Aquatic Center.
The Lady Bulldogs came in as the runner-up in the three-day meet for the second straight year and for the seventh time overall. Georgia finished with 366 points, trailing only Cal's 412.5.
"Second is second, but it's not a gut-wrenching second," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "At the beginning of the year, I thought we were about the seventh- or eighth-best team out there. But we kept plugging away and getting better. I'm proud of the way we handled this meet. We got off to a rough start, but we never gave up. This team really grew up at this meet."
In the 1,650 freestyle, Wendy Trott fell just shy of becoming the first woman in NCAA history to win the event four times. Trott posted a time of 15:38.94, but she was edged by North Carolina's Stephanie Peacock in 15:38.79. Both Peacock and Trott had swims under the NCAA record of 15:39.15 set by Stanford's Janet Evans in 1990. Trott eclipsed her own school record of 15:40.32 and ends her career as one of just five women with three titles in the 1,650 freestyle. The Lady Bulldogs' Amber McDermott placed fifth with a time of 15:51.49, the second-fastest effort in Georgia annals.
Megan Romano placed second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.01, trailing only Auburn's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace at 46.88. Romano twice lowered the school record in the event Saturday, going 47.05 in prelims. Maddie Locus took 11th in 48.39 and Shannon Vreeland placed 16th in 48.82.
Georgia capped the NCAAs by coming in third in the 400 freestyle relay. The team of Locus, Vreeland, Melanie Margalis and Romano stopped the clock in 3:11.56 - the second-best time in school history.
Kelsey Gaid won the consolation final in the 200 backstroke to place ninth in 1:53.62, while Kristen Shickora came in 12th in 1:54.31. In the 200 breaststroke, Michelle McKeehan finished 10th with a time of 2:08.84, followed by Margalis in 11th at 2:09.31 and Jana Mangimelli in 12th at 2:09.48.
ESPNU will air a highlights show from the NCAAs at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
The NCAAs for the men will be held Thursday through Saturday in Federal Way, Wash. The Bulldogs will be represented by Michael Arnold, Peter Benner, Nic Fink, Will Freeman, Andrew Gemmell, Martin Grodzki, Jared Markham and Doug Reynolds. The Bulldogs have finished in the top 10 four straight years and seven times in the past eight seasons.