In the 2020-21 home opener, the University of Georgia swimming and diving team established itself as one of the nation’s top squads, sweeping Florida Friday at Gabrielsen Natatorium. The No. 4 women decisively topped the No. 10 Gators, 184-116, followed by a 165.5-134.5 victory for the eighth-ranked men over their third-ranked opponents, sweeping the matchup for the first time since 2016.
The Georgia women started quickly in their meet, taking the first three races on their way to 13 overall victories in the morning session. In the 200 medley relay, the team of senior Gabi Fa’amausili, sophomore Zoie Hartman, junior Dakota Luther, and freshman Maxine Parker pulled out a close win with a time of 1:39.63.
Senior Olivia Anderson took first in the 1,000 freestyle for a second-consecutive week at 9:57.35, followed by a win from fellow senior Courtney Harnish in the 200 freestyle with a B-cut of 1:47.04. Harnish would later win in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:47.51 and helped the 400 freestyle relay team close the meet with a win. Parker and junior Callie Dickinson also posted two victories in the meet, with Parker taking the 50 (22.80) and 100 (49.86) freestyles, and Dickinson topping the 200 backstroke (1:58.85) and 100 butterfly (53.73).
Hartman and senior Danielle Della Torre once again dominated the breaststroke events, with Hartman taking the 100 with a B-cut time of 1:00.56, followed closely by Della Torre at 1:00.99, who later won the 200 with a B-cut time of 2:11.38. Hartman added another win later in the meet, taking the 200 IM with a time of 2:00.27. Luther prevailed in the 200 butterfly for the second-consecutive week with a time of 1:57.95 and also placed second in the 100 (54.49) behind Dickinson. Elsewhere, sophomore Jillian Barczyk posted runner-up finishes in the 200 (1:49.12) and 500 freestyles (4:52.54), while Fa’amausili placed second in the 100 backstroke.
The men’s meet began auspiciously for the Bulldogs as a disqualification by the Florida A team gave the group of redshirt senior Javier Acevedo, senior Jack Dalmolin, freshman Luca Urlando, and sophomore Dillon Downing the win with a time of 1:26.71. Acevedo continued the outstanding start to his season with a sweep of the backstroke events, taking the 100 and 200 with times of 47.10 and 1:43.37, respectively. Dalmolin won for the second-straight week in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 1:59.99, while Downing dominated the 50 freestyle with a time of 19.87.
Urlando remained impressive in the butterfly events, winning the 100 (47.02) and 200 (1:44.05) with B-cut times in each. He was followed by senior Camden Murphy, who also surpassed the provisional marks, including a time of 47.04 in the 100. Through two meets, Urlando and Murphy have finished in the top two in all four butterfly races for Georgia.
Along with Urlando, fellow freshman Jake Magahey once again proved critical for the Bulldogs’ chances of victory. In the 1,000 freestyle, Magahey dazzled with a national-best time of 8:53.73, placing him fourth in program history in just his second race. Senior Greg Reed finished second with a new personal-best time of 8:55.00, giving him the No. 6 position in the all-time rankings. Later in the meet, Magahey pulled ahead late in the 500 freestyle for a winning time of 4:19.14, holding off a pair of Gators and cementing the Bulldogs’ lead for good. Overall, the Georgia men placed first in 10 events.
At the diving well, senior Zach Allen won the 1-meter springboard for the second-consecutive outing, topping the field with a score of 327.00. Allen then qualified for Zones on the 3-meter, taking second with a mark of 346.80. In the morning meet, freshman Meghan Wenzel again posted Zones-qualifying scores in both events, placing third on the 1-meter (267.08) and fourth on the 3-meter (281.18). Junior Ellie Crump finished just behind Wenzel in each event.
Georgia remains home next Friday, Nov. 6 as it hosts Auburn in dual competition at Gabrielsen Natatorium. The women’s meet will begin at noon, followed by the men’s action at 4 p.m. Live coverage of both meets will be available on SEC Network+.