Jan. 4, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia swimming teams will return to action in Savannah on Saturday against Savannah College of Art & Design and North Carolina State.
The meet, which will be Georgia's first since the UGA Fall Invitational Nov. 30-Dec. 2, will take place at the Chatham County Aquatic Center and will begin at 11 a.m.
"It's been about a month, so the kids are anxious to swim another meet and see other people instead of looking at themselves," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "We're going to be a little rough around the edges. We're a little beat up and tired because we've been going at it pretty hard. We had three practices on New Year's Eve and we had swimming and weights on New Year's Day. We've been pounding it, so this meet will be a welcome reprieve."
Georgia's teams left Friday morning for Savannah, affording the Bulldogs and the Lady Bulldogs a chance to practice in the facility and to do some sightseeing. Said Bauerle, "Savannah is one of the great cities in the USA, and I wanted our kids to have time to have dinner by the river and enjoy themselves."
The Lady Bulldogs are led by seniors Megan Romano and Allison Schmitt and junior Melanie Margalis. Romano is the SEC leader in the 50 and 100 freestyle, while Schmitt tops the NCAA in the 200 freestyle and Margalis leads the SEC in the 200 IM. Georgia also has the nation's best times in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relays. On the men's side, freshman Matias Koski is the SEC leader in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle.
Saturday's meet will mark the first competition for mid-year enrollee Chase Kalisz of Bel Air, Md. Kalisz competed for North Baltimore Aquatic Club (with the likes of Schmitt, Annie Zhu and Michael Phelps) under Coach Bob Bowman. Kalisz came in fifth in the 200 IM and sixth in the 400 IM at the 2012 Olympic Trials and he took first in the 400 IM at the 2012 Winter National Championships and first in the 200 and 400 IM at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships.
In other Georgia news, the diving teams continued competition in the Tennessee Invitational on Friday in Knoxville. Junior Ansley Long paced the Lady Bulldogs with 252.65 points on the 1-meter springboard to take 13th, missing a spot in the 12-woman finals by just 3.8 points. Freshman Kelly Thatcher was 37th with 216.50 points and freshman Haley Goodman came in 51st with 152.40 points. Sophomore Bobby Chambless finished 41st on the men's 3-meter with 198.15 points. The Tennessee Invitational will conclude on Saturday with platform. Live results can be found at divemeets.com.