Nov. 30, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- Freshman Matias Koski and junior Melanie Margalis qualified for the 2013 NCAA Championships to highlight Georgia's showing on Friday in the UGA Fall Invitational at Gabrielsen Natatorium.
Koski, already twice named SEC Freshman of the Week, posted a time of 4:15.55 in winning the 500 freestyle. His time was an A cut for the NCAAs, which will be held March 28-30 in Indianapolis. The 4:15.55 is fifth-best in school history. Koski was followed Friday by Georgia teammates Martin Grodzki (4:16.72) and Andrew Gemmell (4:18.98) were second and third, respectively.
Margalis recorded a third-place time of 1:54.68 in the 200 individual medley to qualify for the NCAAs. She lowered her own second-fastest time in school history and is just 1/10th of a second off Morgan Scroggy's school mark. The women's NCAAs will be held March 21-23, also in Indianapolis.
Megan Romano won the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.33. Shannon Vreeland went 4:38.27 to win the 500 freestyle, edging teammate Allison Schmitt by 1/100th of a second.
The 200 freestyle relay of Jessica Graber, Maddie Locus, Chantal Van Landeghem and Romano had a winning time of 1:28.05.The 400 medley relay of Romano, Margalis, Schmitt and Vreeland posted an A-cut time of 3:34.65. Under a new rule at least one swimmer must qualify individually for the NCAAs for the relay to advance.
The Lady Bulldogs rolled up 335 points in the first day of competition, followed by Cal in second with 266 and Virginia in third with 180. The Bulldogs stand third with 200 points, trailing Cal's 261 and Virginia's 211.
"I was really proud of our kids today," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "In this meet the points don't mean as much to us. It's more about racing and trying to go as fast as you can. We had a lot of great swims today. This was probably the best first day we've ever had. But it won't mean as much if we don't keep it going on Saturday. We need to keep that momentum going."
The UGA Fall Invitational will continue on Saturday with swimming prelims at 9:30 a.m., diving prelims at 11 a.m., and finals at 5 p.m. There is no cost for admission to Gabrielsen Natatorium inside the Ramsey Center. The invitational will conclude on Sunday.