Dec. 13, 2012
ISTANBUL, Turkey --- Three members of the Georgia women's swimming team and one signee for the Lady Bulldogs claimed gold medals at the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships at the Sinan Erdem Arena.
The victorious women's 800 freestyle relay featured the three current Lady Bulldogs. Megan Romano led off, Shannon Vreeland swam the third leg and Allison Schmitt served as the anchor as the United States posted a time of 7:39.25. Russia was second in 7:42.77 and China took third in 7:43.26.
Signee Olivia Smoliga of Glenview, Ill., won the 100 backstroke in 56.64. She went out in 27.90 and was in sixth place at the first split, but her 28.74 second-half split – the only second-half split to break 29 seconds – gave her the win. Denmark’s Mie Oestergaard Nielsen claimed silver in 57.07 and Czech Republic’s Simona Baumrtova won bronze in 57.18.
"We could not be more proud of these ladies," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "To win gold on a big-time stage is incredible. We are really happy about that relay. Having three of the four is incredible and really means so much to us."
Romano picked up a silver medal in the 100 freestyle as she stopped the clock in 52.48. Germany’s Britta Steffan, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the event, won in 52.31. Said Bauerle, “Meg was keeping pretty good company there.”
The 400 medley relay, led off by Smoliga and anchored by Romano, placed third with a time of 3:51.43. Denmark took top honors ion 3:49.87.