Feb. 27, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia swimming and diving teams will make their final appearance at Gabrielsen Natatorium this season as they host their annual Bulldog Invitational Last Chance Meet this weekend.
The meet offers individuals an opportunity to qualify or improve their swimming times or diving standards for the upcoming NCAA Championships.
Saturday prelims will take place at 10 a.m., with finals at 5 p.m. Prelims on Sunday will begin at 10 a.m., while the finals will be held at 4 p.m. There is no charge for admission.
The NCAAs for the women are slated for March 20-22 in Minneapolis, Minn., and the men will compete March 27-29 in Austin, Texas.
The Lady Bulldogs already have nine women with NCAA automatic qualifying standards (A cuts) covering 20 entries: Melanie Margalis with four; Brittany MacLean, Olivia Smoliga and Shannon Vreeland with three each; Maddie Locus and Amber McDermott with two apiece; and Hali Flickinger, Annie Zhu and Rachel Zilinskas with one each. Another 11 Lady Bulldogs have at least one NCAA provisional qualifying time (a B cut).
Nicolas Fink and Chase Kalisz have A cuts in three events to pace the Bulldogs. Matias Koski and Ty Stewart each have two, while Andrew Gemmell and Doug Reynolds have one apiece. Another 11 Bulldogs have at least one B cut.
Swimmers with B cuts can advance to the NCAAs if an event does not have a full allotment of A cuts.
In diving, Laura Ryan, Ann-Perry Blank, Darcie O'Brien and Ansley Long for the women and Spencer Madanay for the men have Zone B qualifying scores already. They will compete March 10-12 at the Zone B Championships in an attempt to advance to the NCAA Championships.
Georgia can bring a maximum of 18 swimmers or 17 swimmers and one or two divers to the NCAAs. A swimmer at the NCAAs may enter a maximum of three individual events and compete on up to four relays. A diver may compete on all three boards once qualified.
"This is an important meet for our teams," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "We are expecting our people to swim really fast. We have a fair amount already qualified, but you always want to see improvement in the times. The bottom line is, this is another chance to race, another chance to compete and another chance to show improvement."
Joining Georgia this weekend will be student-athletes from Brenau, LSU, North Carolina State, Southern Illinois, Texas A&M, Alabama, Nebraska, Florida State, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida, North Carolina, Emmanuel, Arkansas, Western Kentucky and Kentucky.
Both Georgia teams are coming off strong showings at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Athens as the Lady Bulldogs placed first for the fifth straight year and the Bulldogs took third for the third consecutive season.
Highlights of the SECs will be shown on Monday on ESPNU. The women's meet will air at 3 p.m., followed by the men's meet at 4:30 p.m.