Photos: Georgia vs. Charleston Southern
S&D: Women Finish First , Downing Sets Record
With another four wins by the women’s team and a new school record in the men’s 100 freestyle, the University of Georgia swimming and diving team concluded fall competition with a strong final day at the Georgia Tech Invitational Saturday at the McAuley Aquatic Center.
In the final standings, the ninth-ranked Georgia women finished first overall with 1,254 points, earning a tight win over runner-up Florida at 1,215. On the men’s side, the No. 8 Bulldogs placed fifth at 713 points as the Gators prevailed with 1,557.
The highlight of the day came in the morning prelims session as junior Dillon Downing set a new school record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 42.19, breaking the previous top mark of 42.35 set by Michael Trice at the 2016 NCAA Championships. Downing also holds the school record in the 50 freestyle and was a member of the top-ranked 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, and 200 medley relay teams.
Downing later closed out the meet with the Georgia men’s second A-cut relay of the weekend, joining sophomore Luca Urlando and juniors Zach Hils and Bradley Dunham to post a time of 2:50.89 in the 400 freestyle relay, the fourth-fastest time in program history. After Urlando posted a season-best 42.57 on the leadoff leg, Downing closed the race with a 42.10 on the final 100 yards.
In the women’s meet, junior Zoie Hartman concluded the meet with her third individual win, taking first in the 200 breaststroke with a season-best B-cut of 2:08.11. Hartman finished the meet with seven finals victories, including four first-place relays as she joined seniors Gabi Fa’amausili and Callie Dickinson and sophomore Maxine Parker to lead the 400 freestyle relay with a B-cut of 3:14.77. Also in the 200 breast final, senior Danielle Della Torre placed third with a time of 2:09.36, while junior Ashley McCauley and senior Angharad Evans earned B-cuts.
Senior Dakota Luther continued her dominant season with a victorious B-cut of 1:54.16 in the 200 butterfly. With the win, Luther remained unbeaten in butterfly races this season. Freshmen Mia Abruzzo and Duné Coetzee placed fourth and fifth, respectively, with personal-best B-cuts. Fellow first-year Abby McCulloh also added another achievement to her terrific rookie campaign as she won the 1,650 freestyle with a B-cut of 15:57.23, the seventh-fastest time in program history. McCulloh also entered the program top-10 in the 1,000 freestyle as her opening split of 9:40.22 ranks ninth all-time.
In other impressive results, junior Millie Sansome earned runner-up in the 200 backstroke with a season-best B-cut of 1:55.60, while Fa’amausili finished second in the 100 freestyle with a season-best B-cut of 48.88. In the men’s 100 free final, Urlando took third at 42.88 with junior Ian Grum placing third in the 200 backstroke with a B-cut of 1:42.38. Finally, in the men’s 200 breaststroke B final, sophomore Connor Haigh was victorious with a personal-best time of 1:58.42, picking up a B-cut in the process.
At the diving well, two Bulldogs competed in their first platform events of the season, with both divers finishing ninth overall. Sophomore Meghan Wenzel tallied a score of 211.35, while freshman Timothy Fagan notched a mark of 246.00.
Georgia will resume its season on Monday, Jan. 3 with the opening of the Tennessee Diving Invitational in Knoxville, followed by the return of the entire team in dual action against Alabama on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. at Gabrielsen Natatorium.
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