The Georgia swimming and diving teams will make one final push before the NCAA Championships this weekend as they host their annual Bulldog Invitational Last Chance Meet at Gabrielsen Natatorium.
The meet offers individuals an opportunity to qualify or improve their swimming times or diving standards for the upcoming NCAA Championships.[break] [break]
Saturday prelims will take place at 10 a.m., with finals at 5 p.m. Prelims on Sunday will begin at 10 a.m., while the finals will be held at 4 p.m. There is no charge for admission.[break] [break]
The NCAAs for the women are slated for March 19-21 in Greensboro, N.C., and the men will compete March 26-28 in Iowa City, Iowa.[break] [break]
The Lady Bulldogs already have eight women with NCAA automatic qualifying standards (A cuts): Hali Flickinger, Lauren Harrington, Maddie Locus, Brittany MacLean, Amber McDermott, Olivia Smoliga, Kylie Stewart and Chantal Van Landeghem. Another 15 Lady Bulldogs have at least one NCAA provisional qualifying time (B cuts).[break] [break]
On the men’s side, Gunnar Bentz, Pace Clark, Nicolas Fink, Chase Kalisz, Matias Koski, Jay Litherland and Ty Stewart already have their A cuts. Ten additional Bulldogs boast at least one B cut heading into the weekend.[break] [break]
Swimmers with B cuts can advance to the NCAAs if an event does not have a full allotment of A cuts.[break] [break]
In diving, Olivia Ball, Darcie O’Brien, Kelly Thatcher, Crawford Berry, Ian Forlini and Walker Wheeler have Zone qualifying scores already. They will compete March 9-11 at the Zone B Championships at Gabrielsen Natatorium in an attempt to advance to the NCAAs.[break] [break]
Georgia can bring a maximum of 18 swimmers or 17 swimmers and one or two divers to the NCAAs. A swimmer at the NCAAs may enter a maximum of three individual events and compete on up to four relays. A diver may compete on all three boards once qualified.[break] [break]
Joining Georgia this weekend will be student-athletes from Louisville, Tennessee, Richmond, Duke, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Alabama, Gardner-Webb and South Carolina.[break] [break]
Both Georgia teams are coming off strong showings at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Auburn, Ala., as the Lady Bulldogs placed first for the sixth straight year and the Bulldogs took second for the first time since 1998.[break] [break]
“We are proud of what we did at the SEC meet, but this weekend is really important so we need to focus on that,” Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. “We¹ve got to make a few more cuts and we’ve got to keep the kids sharp before going to NCAAs. We need to do some pretty good racing. It’s an important meet for working on things like starts, turns and pacing a race. We want to keep getting faster and keep getting better.”[break] [break] Highlights of the SECs will be shown on Monday on ESPNU. The men¹s meet
will air at 4 p.m., followed by the women’s meet at 5:30 p.m. The shows
will re-air on the SEC Network Tuesday at noon and 1:30 p.m.