The Georgia men’s swimming and diving team opened the NCAA Championships in record-setting fashion on Wednesday with a fifth-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay.
Swimming in the MacAuley Aquatic Center on the Georgia Tech campus, the relay of Matias Koski, Pace Clark, Jay Litherland and Gunnar Bentz reached the wall in 6:12.54. That eclipsed the school mark of 6:17.40 set by the same quintet at the SEC Championships last month.
Koski’s leadoff split of 1:32.31 also lowered his own school mark of 1:32.66.
Georgia swam in the second of three heats, topping Southern Cal by more than five seconds.
“The guys got us out in front early and we stayed out there,” said Bentz, the relay anchor. “Mentally, that’s such an advantage. When you’ve got clean water like that, you just stay in the middle of the lane and let it go. That’s a great start here for our team.”
Texas had the winning time of 6:08.03 to set the American record.
By virtue of their finish, the Bulldogs received 28 points. Texas leads with 40 points, followed by N.C. State with 34, Florida with 32 and Cal with 30.
The NCAAs will begin in earnest on Thursday with the 200 freestyle relay, the 500 freestyle, the 200 individual medley, the 50 freestyle, the 400 medley relay and the 1-meter springboard.
Streaming for all prelims and Thursday finals can be found at AtlantaSwimming.com/Webcast, while ESPN3 will carry the finals on Friday and Saturday. Results can be seen at RamblinWreck.com.