March 26, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas --- The members of the Georgia men's swimming team will take their turn at the NCAA Championships this week in Austin, Texas.
The Bulldogs will be in action Thursday through Saturday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center in Austin, Texas. The prelims will begin at noon each day, followed by the finals at 8 p.m. Last week, the Georgia women won the program's second straight and sixth overall national championship in Minneapolis.
The Bulldogs will have an NCAAs roster of Pace Clark, Alec Cohen, Taylor Dale, Nicolas Fink, Will Freeman, Andrew Gemmell, Chase Kalisz, Matias Koski, Jared Markham, Chris Powell, Garrett Powell, Doug Reynolds, Ty Stewart and Michael Trice this week.
The Bulldogs have finished in the top 10 five times in the past six years, highlighted by a seventh-place showing in 2008. Georgia would like to meet and possibly exceed that finish.
"We do think we can get a little higher than we've been," Senior Associate Head Coach Harvey Humphries said. "That's because we have some of the best relays we've had in school history. We've walked in before hoping our relays would be able to reach their potential. This year, we're extremely confident in what the relays can do. And because they're double points, we have the opportunity to be in a greater position."
The Bulldogs set four school relay records during last month's Southeastern Conference Championships in Athens: the 400 and 800 freestyle relays and the 200 and 400 medley relays. And the 200 freestyle relay notched the fourth-best time in Georgia history.
Georgia will be led this week by Kalisz, the defending champion in the 400 individual medley. The sophomore has the nation's fastest time this season at 3:36.89, more than a second better than the next-closest competitor. Kalisz also is seeded fourth in the 200 butterfly. Fink is No. 2 in the 100 breaststroke and No. 3 in the 200 breaststroke, while Gemmell is No. 5 in the 1,650 freestyle.
The Bulldogs are coming off a third-place showing in the SECs.
"We wanted to perform the best there than we ever had and we accomplished that," Fink said. "And that was after we had a successful dual meet season. We have a lot of goals for the NCAAs, and I think we can have a really good meet."
"Every year, we get to stand up against some of the best teams in the country because we swim in the SEC," Humphries said. "We also see top-flight programs like Texas this year and Cal in past years. By the time we get to the NCAAs, it's a pretty safe bet in a final that we'll be going against somebody we've already seen this year. And our guys are looking forward to the racing."
There will be live streams from all sessions on Thursday and from the prelims on Friday and Saturday on Texas' website, TexasSports.com. The Friday and Saturday finals will be aired on ESPN3. The highlights show from the NCAAs will air April 19 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
Live results from swimming and diving can be found at TexasSports.com as well.