S&D: Record-Setting Relay Highlights Opening Day of Georgia Invitational

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S&D: Record-Setting Relay Highlights Opening Day of Georgia Invitational

Georgia competes in preliminaries during the Georgia Invitational at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)
Georgia competes in preliminaries during the Georgia Invitational at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)

Led by a record-breaking men’s 200 freestyle relay, the University of Georgia swimming and diving team opened the 2020 Georgia Invitational in impressive style Wednesday at Gabrielsen Natatorium.

The Bulldogs were victorious in nine of their 10 swimming events, posting a multitude of top national times and eight top-10 program times. Through the opening day of competition against Florida State and Georgia Tech, the Georgia men lead with 425 points, while the Bulldog women sit in first with 414 points.

Georgia opened Wednesday night’s finals with dominant performances in the 200 freestyle relay, as the men’s A team of sophomore Dillon Downing, seniors Javier Acevedo and Camden Murphy, and freshman Luca Urlando set a new school record time of 1:16.35, earning an NCAA A-cut and setting the nation’s fastest time by over two seconds. The relay time obliterated the previous top mark of 1:17.96 set at the 2015 SEC Championships.

Prior to the men’s triumph, the women’s A team of freshman Maxine Parker, senior Gabi Fa’amausili, sophomore Zoie Hartman, and sophomore Danielle Della Torre also set the nation’s fastest time with a B-cut of 1:29.15. Later, in the closing 400 medley relay, Fa’amausili, Hartman, and Parker would be joined by senior Courtney Harnish to tally an A-cut time of 3:31.56, the fastest time nationally this season.

In individual events, Hartman and Fa’amausili set new national standards with their performances in the 200 IM and 50 freestyle respectively. Hartman led a seven-way Bulldog sweep in the A final with a B-cut time of 1:54.35, followed in second by Della Torre, who set a new personal-best time of 1:55.84, moving her into seventh place in program history. Fa’amausili posted her best time of the season with a B-cut sprint of 22.08, besting Parker, who reached 10th all-time with her time of 22.24. In the men’s 50, sophomore Dillon Downing topped the field with a time of 19.44, having earlier posted the fourth-fastest time nationally (19.42) in prelims.

Following the women’s dominance in the 200 IM, the men turned in the most exciting race of the evening as Acevedo edged out Georgia Tech’s Caio Pumputis with a winning time of 1:41.75, the third-fastest time in school history and second-fastest in the nation. Urlando placed third with a B-cut time of 1:42.84, the sixth-fastest all-time mark, while senior Jack Dalmolin and sophomore Zach Hils tied for fourth with a season-best time of 1:45.24.

In the 500 freestyle, freshman Jake Magahey continued his outstanding rookie campaign with an A-cut of 4:10.48, the second-fastest time in school history and second-fastest nationally this season. Senior Greg Reed finished third with a season-best time of 4:17.02, followed by Andrew Abruzzo in fourth at 4:18.43. Earlier in the morning prelims session, Abruzzo marked his birthday with a personal-best time of 4:13.54, raising him to sixth all-time in school history.

In the women’s 500, Harnish led a four-way Bulldog sweep with the nation’s fastest time this season at 4:36.86. She was followed by the trio of senior Olivia Anderson (4:42.03), Maddie Homovich (4:42.94), and Jillian Barczyk (4:44.10), who each turned in personal-best B-cut times.

At the diving well, the Bulldogs picked up a pair of runner-up finishes on the springboard. In the women’s 3-meter, freshman Meghan Wenzel took second with a Zone-qualifying score of 283.40, with sophomore Raquel Mason notching a season-best mark of 245.25. Meanwhile, in the men’s 1-meter, senior Zach Allen placed second with a Zone cut of 338.10.

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