March 27, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The members of the Georgia men's swimming team will take their turn at the NCAA Championships this week in Indianapolis.
The Bulldogs will be in action Thursday through Saturday at The Natatorium on the IUPUI campus. Last week, the Georgia women won the program's fifth national championship in Indianapolis.
The Bulldogs will have an NCAAs roster of Alec Cohen, Matt Ellis, Nic Fink, Will Freeman, Andrew Gemmell, Martin Grodzki, Jameson Hill, Chase Kalisz, Matias Koski, Jared Markham, Garrett Powell, Doug Reynolds, Anival Rodriguez, John Simmons and Ty Stewart this week.
"We have high expectations," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "It's a funny year because there are 10 great teams and we're one of them, but it's going to be hard to break in. I know this, we're a lot better than we were a year ago when we came in 11th. We have some solid veterans and we're taking a young group that will score. It's a heck of a group. It was hard to make this meet. We're taking 11 who qualified and another four as relay alternates, and 15 matches the highest number we've ever taken. This is the most fun team we've had in a long time. I can't wait to see where we are when the dust settles. This group has fun, but they're focused and they work hard. This is the hardest-working group we've ever had."
Grodzki won the 500 and 1,650 freestyle titles at the 2012 NCAAs in Federal Way, Wash. Kalisz was picked as the SEC Male Freshman of the Year after winning the 200 and 400 individual medley crowns at the SEC Championships last month in College Station, Texas. Fink (100 breaststroke) and Koski (500 freestyle) also claimed SEC titles. The Bulldogs came in second as a team at the SEC meet.
"We've been training so hard since SECs and we've put our noses to the grindstone," Reynolds said. "We know where we are and where we need to be. I think we have a great team. We stepped it up at SECs and we want to put ourselves in a spot to improve at NCAAs. We have a lot of guys going, so that's exciting for us. It means a lot to make it to the NCAAs."
"You have to come ready to compete," Fink said. "This will be a fast meet, and everyone knows it. I think we can swim just as good if not better at NCAAs. It will be a great competition. The spirit of collegiate swimming is high. Whether you do well or not, it's amazing to be there."
The meet will start Thursday with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 7 p.m. Live video of the finals on Friday and Saturday will be available on ESPN3.