Brittany MacLean’s individual title and honors showcased Georgia’s efforts on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference Championships at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
The No. 2-ranked Lady Bulldogs finished the meet in third place with 1099.5 points. Top honors went to Texas A&M with 1166.5 as the Aggies ended Georgia’s six-year stranglehold on the team title. Tennessee earned second place with 1139.5 points.
On the men’s side, the No. 3 Bulldogs closed the meet in third with 1010 points. Florida took home gold with 1275 points while Auburn claimed silver with 1223 points.
“It was a heck of a meet,” Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. “We swam hard and it was a great effort. We left a few points on the table on the women’s side that could have changed the meet, but there was some great competition. I’m so proud of Brittany and we are going to miss our seniors. On the men’s side, we swam great. Auburn and Florida are stellar teams and I think we have a shot against them at NCAA’s. Between the men and women combined, we put up the most points in the meet and I am really proud of our swimmers.”
MacLean, a senior, won the women’s 1,650 freestyle for the second time in her career as she stopped the clock in 15:36.52, breaking her own SEC meet record. The 1,650 was her third individual win, making her undefeated throughout the meet. MacLean’s win was Georgia’s sixth win in the event in the past eight years and 10th overall.
“It hasn’t been the best weekend for us as a team but everyone has been so tough,” MacLean said. “I just wanted to start the night off right for our team. I love this group of ladies more than anything and this was my last ever SEC race. I just had to get in there and give it everything I had and swim with heart and I knew my training would back me up.”
MacLean was also awarded the SEC Female Swimmer of the Meet, voted on by the conference coaches for the best overall showing in the meet. Additionally, MacLean won the female Commisioner’s Trophy for scoring the most points throughout the meet. MacLean’s three individual wins gave her 96 points.
“I’m just really proud to be a Bulldog right now,” MacLean said. “It’s an honor to swim with this team. I’m definitely not thinking of my individual performances right now because I’m really just proud of this team. These trophies are nice but we have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks and we are ready to fight going into NCAA’s.”
In the women’s 200 backstroke, Hali Flickinger set a school record in 1:50.95, earning third. Kylie Stewart finished fourth in 1:52.28 and Rachel Zilinskas placed 20th in 1:56.68.
Olivia Smoliga claimed silver in the women’s 100 freestyle in 47.49, Meaghan Raab finished ninth in 48.83 and Shauna Lee placed 19th in 49.53.
In the women’s 200 breaststroke, Annie Zhu took sixth in 2:08.77 and Emily Cameron won the consolation final for ninth in 2:10.55.
Zilinskas finished eighth in the women’s 1,650 freestyle in 16:15.81, Anna Kolanowski earned 18th in 16:31.87 and Stephanie Peters reached the wall in 21st in 16:37.15.
The 400-freestyle relay comprised of Smoliga, Raab, Stewart and Flickinger claimed second in 3:12.74.
Natalie Wallace finished 18th in the women’s platform with 212.80 points.
In the men’s 1,650 freestyle, Garrett Powell placed fifth in 14:58.57, Aidan Burns stopped the clock in 15:00.52 for seventh, Matias Koski earned 12th in 15:09.54 and Kevin Litherland finished 13th in 15:10.97.
Garrett Powell reached the wall in 1:42.55 for ninth in the men’s 200 backstroke, followed by Taylor Dale in 10th (1:42.62) and Pace Clark in 15th (1:44.30).
Michael Trice won the consolation final of the men’s 100 freestyle in 43.40 for 17th.
In the men’s 200 breaststroke, James Guest stopped the clock in 1:55.77 for ninth and Colin Monaghan placed 24th in 1:59.72.
The men’s 400-freestyle relay comprised of Koski, GunAnd tonar Dale, Bentz and Trice took home fourth in 2:51.37.
Georgia’s teams will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 27-28 for the Bulldog Last Chance Meet in Gabrielsen Natatorium.
The recap of the men’s championship will air on Wednesday, March 2, at 4 p.m. on ESPNU, followed by the women’s championship recap at 5:30 p.m.