Georgia Swimming Takes Down Florida In Long Course Duel

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold

This year’s dual meet between Florida and Georgia was held in long course meters, to give athletes a little more racing preparation in the final months of the Olympic cycle. The meet was a runaway for the Georgia women, who posted numerous 1-2-3 finishes to win with a score of 169-129. On the men’s side, a few dominating races helped Georgia win 172.5-127.5.

Georgia press release:
The Georgia swimming and diving teams recorded a pair of impressive early season wins on Friday as they swept Florida at the O’Connell Center.

The No. 2 Bulldogs topped the No. 1 Gators 172.5-127.5, while the No. 1 Lady Bulldogs dispatched the No. 13 Lady Gators 169-129.

The Bulldogs improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the SEC as they topped Florida for the second straight year. The Lady Bulldogs, also 2-0 and 1-0, won their ninth consecutive over Florida and improved to 24-0-1 in their last 25 overall dual meets.

“These were great wins for our teams,” said Harvey Humphries, Georgia’s senior associate head coach. “Florida has a tremendous program with world-class athletes and coaches, so we knew it would be a great competition. Winning both meets means a lot to us. We got off to a great start, which was the key, and the kids continued to compete hard in every event.”

Since this is an Olympic year, the teams chose to swim a 50-meter long course meet (as opposed to the traditional 25-yard short course college meet).

Pace Clark, Matias Koski and Jay Litherland had two individual wins apiece to lead the Bulldogs.

Clark won the 100-meter butterfly in 54.83 and tied for first in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:01.08 (reaching the Olympic Trials standard).

Koski stopped the clock in 1:51.69 and in 4:00.66 to claim the 200- and 400-meter freestyles, respectively.

Litherland got to the wall first in the 200-meter backstroke (sparking a 1-2-3 finish) with a time of 2:03.94 and in the 400-meter individual medley in a Trials-qualifying time of 4:25.32.

Other winners for the Bulldogs included Kevin Litherland in the 800-meter freestyle (8:16.34), Gunnar Bentz in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:05.86) and James Guest in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:23.14).

The Bulldogs swept the relays. Taylor Dale, Guest, Clark and Michael Trice stopped the clock in 1:43.51 in the 200-meter medley relay, while Trice, Clark, Koski and Bentz won the 400-meter freestyle relay in 3:27.79.

Hali Flickinger and Annie Zhu each won three events to pace the Lady Bulldogs.

Flickinger took the 200-meter freestyle in 2:01.92 (leading a 1-2-3-4 finish), the 200-meter butterfly in 2:12.26 (to spark a 1-2-3 effort) and the 200-meter backstroke in 2:11.83. Her 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly times were under the Olympic Trials standards.

Zhu won the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:12.70, the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:34.58 and the 400-yard individual medley in 4:54.38. The 200 breaststroke and 400 individual medley times met the Trials standards.

Brittany MacLean claimed victories in the 400-meter freestyle (4:18.70) and the 800-meter freestyle (8:44.35).

Olivia Ball won the 1-meter springboard with 307.35 points.

The Lady Bulldogs also swept the relays. Kylie Stewart, Zhu, Courtney Weaver and Olivia Smoliga touched in 1:58.77 in the 200-meter medley relay, while Smoliga, Meaghan Raab, Flickinger and MacLean had the fastest time in the 400-meter freestyle relay at 3:50.69.

Georgia’s teams will return to action Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Georgia Tech at Gabrielsen Natatorium. There is no cost for admission.

Florida press release:

Four members from the University of Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams swam to U.S. Olympic Trial-Qualifying times in Friday’s matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. The Bulldogs came away with wins on both ends, but the Gators didn’t go away easy — swimming to four U.S. Olympic Trial-qualifying times, 12 wins, and seven career-best performances.

Friday’s competition opened up in the diving well where the Gators took 3-of-4 boards. Senior Kahlia Warner nearly rewrote the record books at UF with a dominating performance off the three-meter. Warner posted a career-best six-dive mark of 373.28, just missing Monica Dodson’s mark of 373.85 from 2011. Warner, a Queensland, Australia, native, also posted a runner up finish off the one-meter (290.70).

On the men’s side, newcomer Sam Smith — who’s already met his NCAA Diving Standards on all three boards — swept the one and three-meter diving events ahead of Georgia’s Ian Forlini. Smith dove to a score of 345.44 off the one-meter and later took gold off the three-meter with a score of 381.30.

In the pool, senior Natalie Hinds led the UF women with three individual wins and one as a member of UF’s 400-meter freestyle relay victory. Hinds’ individual performances came in the 50-meter freestyle (26.61), 100-meter freestyle (57.72), and 100-meter butterfly (1:02.41) while the Midland, Texas, native, teamed up with freshman Mollie Pulte, sophomore Elisavet Panti, and senior Ashlee Linn to win the 400-meter freestyle relay (3:54.09).

Linn also had a strong showing in the 100-meter backstroke, swimming to a first-place finish with a time of 1:03.43.

On the men’s side, the Gators were led by sophomore Caeleb Dressel, who swam to a pair of wins and a third place finish. Dressel’s individual events opened in the 50-meter freestyle race, where he met a U.S. Olympic Trial-qualifying time of 22.73. The Green Cove Springs, Florida, native, also came through with a first-place time in the 100-meter freestyle, touching out at the 51.61 mark, edging second-place Trice Michael by 1.3 seconds.

Other notable wins were had by senior Corey Main in the 100-meter backstroke, where he and Jack Blyzinskyj had a 1-2 showing — and both touched the wall with U.S. Olympic Trial-qualifying time standards. Main came in first with a time of 56.90 while Blyzinskyj followed close behind (57.15).

Freshman Jan Switkowski gathered UF’s final U.S. Olympic Trial-qualifying time in the 200-meter butterfly, swimming to a first-place time of 2:01.08.

Final Men’s Scores:
#2 Georgia 172.5
#1 Florida 127.5

Final Women’s Scores:
#2 Georgia 169
#13 Florida 129

Head Coach Gregg Troy’s Thoughts:
“We raced well in spots and not so well in other spots today. This was the second meet in a row where the competition was extremely good — which is what we’re looking for.

“We didn’t feel like we responded as well today as we had at Texas. The Georgia guys raced real well and hats off to them for an incredible job. In fact, they might even be as good of a team if not better than Texas at the moment.

“We were in some good races and we lost some close ones. There were a few spots in the meet where we needed to take advantage of it. There’s some real bright spots out there yet.

“We started a new training cycle and we’re right in the middle of it which is a little more aggressive than what the end of the other one was at Texas a few weeks ago.

“We’re going to take a look at where we’re at. We’re in it for the long haul – the meets that really count are in the Spring. We’re comfortable where we’re at but of course disappointed with a loss.

“There was certainly no lack of effort, we’ll retune a few things moving forward.”

Head Diving Coach Dale Schultz’s Comments:
“The divers did really well and we’re getting better every meet.

“Kahlia Warner had a really strong meet only missing the school record by a half a point — when you consider it was 373 points, that’s not very much.

“Both the men and women dove real well. We’re trying to continue making progressions each week and set ourselves up for the rest of the year.

“Sam Smith stuck out on the men’s side, he won both events and he’s continuing to progress and improving on his consistency.

“We’ll keep adding new dives for some of our divers for a few of our divers but we’ll keep working on our consistency.”

Up Next:
Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will return to action next Friday, November 6, at 2 p.m. inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center when they square off with SEC foe South Carolina. The meet will be broadcast live on SEC Network+.

2015 Florida vs Georgia Dual Meet – Results