March 29, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas --- The Georgia men's swimming team placed fifth at the NCAA Championships on Saturday, completing its second-best finish ever at the national meet.
Georgia rolled up 259 points in the three-day event and went wire-to-wire as the fifth-place team. Only the third-place Bulldogs in 1997 had a better effort at the NCAAs. Georgia now has finished in the top 10 six out of seven years and 15 times overall.
"We are really pleased with the way this season went and the way it ended here," Senior Associate Head Coach Harvey Humphries said. "The guys set some pretty lofty goals for themselves and they worked hard every day to reach them. A top-5 finish at the NCAAs is a tremendous accomplishment. We had great leadership and great chemistry throughout the year. You don't finish the way we did without those things. I'm so proud of each and every one of them."
The team title went to California with 468.5 points. Texas was second with 417.5, followed by Florida with 387 and Michigan with 310.
On Saturday, Nicolas Fink reached the wall in 1:51.92 to take third in the 200 breaststroke.
Andrew Gemmell paced the Bulldogs in the 1,650 freestyle as he stopped the clock in 14:46.17 to come in sixth. Matias Koski followed in eighth at 14:47.74 and Will Freeman was 11th in 14:50.69.
In the 200 backstroke, Ty Stewart placed 10th with a time of 1:40.37. That eclipsed his own school record of 1:40.92.
The Bulldogs capped the meet by finishing 14th in the 400 freestyle relay. The quartet of Doug Reynolds, Koski, Fink and Michael Trice posted a time of 2:52.96. During prelims on Saturday, Reynolds, Koski, Taylor Dale and Trice went 2:52.88 to break the school record of 2:53.04 set at last month's SEC Championships. Reynolds also led off with a split of 43.00 to match the school mark set in 2013 by Matt Ellis.
"We have the most cohesive group of swimmers you could ask for," Stewart said. "We're so close, so tight-knit. We've got something really special. ... This is incredibly thrilling. Coming in, I think we all knew we could break into the top five. And this will definitely be fuel for next year."
The highlights show from the NCAAs will air April 19 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. The Georgia women won the team title in their national meet and that highlights show will air on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.