Dec. 2, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Three Georgia swimmers automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships to highlight the teams' showings in the Georgia Fall Invitational on Friday at Gabrielsen Natatorium.
In the women's 500 freestyle, Amber McDermott and Wendy Trott went 1-2 with NCAA A-cut times. McDermott finished in 4:34.55 and Trott stopped the clock in 4:36.32. Melanie Margalis posted an A-cut time of 1:55.47 as she won the 200 individual medley. McDermott, Trott and Margalis are the first Lady Bulldogs to qualify for the NCAAs, which will be held March 15-17 at Auburn.
The top-ranked Lady Bulldogs grabbed the first-day lead at the Georgia Fall Invitational with 335 points. Cal is second with 197.5 points, followed by Virginia with 187 points. The No. 9 Bulldogs stand second in the men's meet with 238 points, trailing only Auburn's 279 points.
"That was a good first day, and I'm really happy," Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. "It was probably the best first day we've had in a long time. A lot of that is the competition. No one can relax in the morning; otherwise you're not swimming in the right spot at night. This is as good a competition as you'll ever find in an invite this time of year."
Martin Grodzki paced the Bulldogs as he won the men's 500 freestyle with a time of 4:18.16.
The Georgia Fall Invitational will continue on Saturday with prelims at 9:30 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. The meet will conclude Sunday as the prelims are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and the finals will start at 3 p.m. Admission to the meet is free.