March 6, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia women's swimming team will have the maximum number of participants at the NCAA Championships, according to the meet selections released on Wednesday.
The Lady Bulldogs will have 17 swimmers at the NCAAs, which will be held March 21-23 in Indianapolis. Minnesota will have 14, followed by Texas A&M with 13; California and Florida with 12; Indiana, North Carolina, Southern Cal and Virginia with 11; and Arizona, Auburn, Tennessee and Texas with 10.
Qualifying for the NCAAs for the Lady Bulldogs were Hali Flickinger, Kelsey Gaid, Jessica Graber, Lauren Harrington, Maddie Locus, Brittany MacLean, Melanie Margalis, Jordan Mattern, Amber McDermott, Shannon O'Malley, Courtney Peters, Megan Romano, Allison Schmitt, Chantal Van Landeghem, Nicole Vernon, Shannon Vreeland and Annie Zhu.
Additional information about the NCAAs can be found here.
Schmitt is the top seed in the 200 freestyle and she ranks fifth in the 100 freestyle and seventh in the 500 freestyle. Romano is No. 2 in the 100, No. 3 in the 200 and No. 8 in the 50. Georgia has additional top-10 ratings with MacLean (10th in the 1,650 freestyle), Margalis (third in the 200 individual medley, seventh in the 400 individual medley), McDermott (sixth in the 500 freestyle, eighth in the 1,650 freestyle), Van Landeghem (fifth in the 50 freestyle), Vreeland (fourth in the 200 freestyle, 10th in the 500 freestyle) and Zhu (fourth in the 200 breaststroke, eighth in the 400 individual medley).
The Lady Bulldogs also own the nation's fastest times in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relays. Georgia lowered the American record in the 800 freestyle last month at the SEC Championships.
A student-athlete may enter three individual events and can compete on up to four relays at the NCAAs
"We feel like we'll be one of the four or five teams in contention for the title, and that's all you can ever ask for," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "We're excited to be taking a full squad with us to the NCAAs. The depth will give us some options with our relays and hopefully we'll be able to maximize our chances to get as many points as we can. In this meet, every point is going to be critical. Our team has worked hard to get to this point, and we're excited about the opportunity that's in front of us."
Georgia also could add up to two divers for the NCAAs. The Lady Bulldogs' team of Ann-Perry Blank, Ansley Long, Darcie O'Brien, Laura Ryan and Kelly Thatcher will compete in the Zone B Championships in Knoxville, Tenn., next Monday through Wednesday as they attempt to advance to the championship meet.
The Lady Bulldogs won the team title at the SECs last month in College Station, Texas.
The meet selections for the men's NCAAs will be announced next week.