March 1, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia swimming and diving teams will make their final appearance at Gabrielsen Natatorium this season as they host their annual Bulldog 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 21-23 and the men will compete March 28-30, with both meets taking place in Indianapolis, Ind.
Melanie Margalis, Amber McDermott, Megan Romano, Allison Schmitt, Chantal Van Landeghem, Shannon Vreeland and Annie Zhu for the Lady Bulldogs and Nic Fink, Will Freeman, Chase Kalisz and Matias Koski for the Bulldogs have achieved individual NCAA automatic qualifying standards (A cuts) already. In addition, Kelsey Gaid, Jessica Graber, Lauren Harrington, Maddie Locus and Jordan Mattern for the women and Matt Ellis, Jameson Hill, Doug Reynolds and Jameson Hill for the men are expected to be invited to the NCAAs based on relay performances. Both teams have several swimmers who have attained provisional qualifying times (B cuts) heading into the Last Chance Meet. Swimmers with B cuts can advance to the NCAAs if an event does not have a full allotment of A cuts.
Divers Ann-Perry Blank, Ansley Long, Darcie O'Brien, Laura Ryan and Kelly Thatcher all have qualified for the NCAA Zone B Championships, which will be held March 11-13 in Knoxville, Tenn. The only way divers can advance to the NCAAs is to be one of the top performers at the Zone Championships.
Georgia can bring a maximum of 17 swimmers and two divers to the NCAAs.
"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 Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Florida-Gulf Coast, Kentucky, LSU, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Western Kentucky.
Both Georgia teams are coming off strong showings at the Southeastern Conference Championships in College Station, Texas, as the Lady Bulldogs placed first for the fourth straight year and the Bulldogs took third for the second consecutive season.
Highlights of the SECs will be shown on Monday on ESPNU. The women's meet will air at 4 p.m., followed by the men's meet at 5:30 p.m.