March 24, 2012
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. --- Georgia's Doug Reynolds, Nic Fink, Peter Benner and Martin Grodzki earned First-Team All-America honors as an 800-yard freestyle relay team on Friday at the NCAA Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
After two days of competition, the Bulldogs stand 13th with 62.5 points. Georgia has finished in the top 10 four straight years and seven times in the past eight seasons.
Swimming together for the first time this season, Reynolds, Fink, Benner and Grodzki came in eighth with a time of 6:25.30. That is the Bulldogs' top time of the season and the seventh-fastest in school history.
"I'm so proud of them," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "They hung in there and they made it work. I'm happy as heck with all of them. It feels good to get a break. We've had some near misses at this meet. It's nice to have some momentum walking out of here and seeing the kids smiling."
Michael Arnold and Andrew Gemmell also moved up in the Georgia record books on Friday.
In the 100 butterfly, Arnold came in 10th with a time of 46.33 - the third-best effort in Georgia history. Reynolds finished 16th, touching in 47.04. Gemmell paced the Bulldogs in the 400 individual medley, stopping the clock in 3:44.89 to take 12th. Gemmell's time is the fifth-best in school history. Benner finished 15th in 3:47.42, while Jared Markham placed 18th with a time of 3:49.46.
Said Bauerle, "Andrew is a tough kid who gets better and better as he swims. And I can't say enough about Michael. He's been a great senior who has helped us out a lot and has gotten the job done."
Fink came in 17th in the 100 breaststroke, registering a time of 53.50.
The NCAAs will conclude on Saturday with the 1,650 freestyle, the 200 backstroke, the 100 freestyle, the 200 breaststroke, the 200 butterfly, platform diving and the 400 freestyle relay.
"We'll fight again (Saturday)," Bauerle said. "We want to end the season the way we started it, and that's fighting. We've done that every darn meet."