S&D: Georgia Remains Undefeated with Victory over Duke

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S&D: Georgia Remains Undefeated with Victory over Duke

Photo: Courtney Harnish Instagram
Photo: Courtney Harnish Instagram

In a hard-fought meet, University of Georgia swimming and diving remained unbeaten on the season as they topped a competitive Duke squad Saturday afternoon at the Taishoff Aquatics Center.

In the men’s meet, the Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 SEC) pulled away late to grab a 170-130 victory, while the Lady Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 SEC) held off a Blue Devil rally for a 160-140 result. Overall, Georgia placed first in 18 events.

Georgia’s top performer of the day was junior Courtney Harnish, who led all swimmers with 27 points and three wins. Harnish opened the scoring for Georgia with a 10:01.88 in the 1000 freestyle, followed shortly by a winning time of 1:48.25 in the 200 free. She finished her day with a victory in the 500 free (4:51.35), giving her wins in the 200 and 500 for the third-consecutive meet.

Fellow junior Danielle Della Torre swept the breaststroke events, taking the 100 (1:01.91) and 200 (2:14.74) for the first time this season, as well as swimming the second leg of Georgia’s victorious 400 freestyle relay. Della Torre was joined in the relay by junior Gabi Fa’amausili, senior Veronica Burchill and freshman Zoie Hartman in the anchor leg. Fa’amausili and Burchill narrowly missed wins in the 50 and 100 frees respectively, but combined for 13 points on the day.

Elsewhere for the Lady Bulldogs, senior diver McKensi Austin followed Friday’s win in the 1-meter with a first-place mark of 315.75 in the 3-meter, while also scoring in the 1-meter with a third-place finish. In the 200 butterfly, sophomore Dakota Luther remained unbeaten in the event this season with a B-cut time of 1:57.98, while senior Meryn McCann took first in the 200 backstroke at 1:58.71.

For the Bulldogs, juniors Camden MurphyJack Dalmolin and Greg Reed continued the impressive starts to their seasons, with each winning two races and racking up 18 points. Murphy tallied a 1:48.46 in the 200 fly, followed by a 48.57 mark in the 100 for the sweep, while Dalmolin took both breaststroke events (100: 56.08 / 200: 2:02.35). Reed was excellent in distance races, taking both the 1000 free (9:06.55) and 500 free (4:26.95), besting the field by seven seconds in the 1000.

Senior Clayton Forde provided a consistent presence with his 16-point day, narrowly finishing behind Murphy in the 200 fly and third in the 200 breast before using a 25-second final lap to take the 400 IM. Freshman Harry Homans carried over his strong performance from Friday with three top-three finishes, including a thrilling win (1:46.80) in the 200 backstroke. Homans, along with teammates Andrew Abruzzo and Charlie Logan, swept the top three and helped put Georgia ahead for the remainder of the meet. Junior Grant Norgan also went back-to-back in the 200 free, posting a mark of 1:38.47. At the well, junior Zachary Allen scored for the Dawgs with a 3-meter mark of 362.78, nearly topping his career-high.

Georgia will now turn its attention toward a meeting with rival Florida next week in Gainesville. The diving competition will begin at the Stephen O’Connell Center on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 6 p.m., followed by the full meet on Friday, Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. Live coverage of the meet will be available on SEC Network Plus.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.