The No. 12 Tennessee men’s swimming and diving team came to Athens, GA to Gabrielsen Natatorium looking to remain perfect on the year, but the eighth-ranked Georgia men sank their hopes with a 176.5 to 122.5 drubbing on Saturday. With the win, the Bulldogs move to 5-1 on the season.
Unfortunately, the Lady Bulldogs didn’t fare as well and fell to the Lady Volunteers 191-101. That loss drops the Georgia women to 4-2 on the season
Junior Danielle Della Torre gave the Lady Bulldogs a boost and their first win of the day, finishing the 100-yard breast in 1:00.04 Sophomore Callie Dickinson followed suit, earning a season-best 1:56.37 finish in the 200-yard butterfly. This was also Dickinson’s first win of the season in the event.
“The ladies were a bit more tired than I thought,” said Tom Cousins Head Coach Jack Bauerle. “Tennessee is one of the best teams in the country, and Tennessee’s women are as good as I’ve seen since 2013. Danielle De Torre did a heck of a job today…and Zoie (Hartman) is going to be a force at the NCAAs for sure. On the men’s side— I’m really proud…Ian Grum is going to be a force. He sort of saved us a lot today…Camden (Murphy) is just so tough. I’ll tell you who was great today— Walker Higgins. His 200 free was maybe the best swim we had today…Overall, I like the character of the group, and they did a great job.”
The Bulldogs kickstarted the meet with four wins before the intermission, including 1-2-3 sweeps in two events. In the 1,000-yard freestyle, junior Greg Reed finished first with a season-best of 9:00.63. Sophomore Andrew Abruzzo (9:05.77) and senior Kevin Miller (9:11.32) rounded out the top-three in the 1,000-yard free.
The Georgia men dominated the 200-yard fly to sweep their second event of the day. Finishing first for the Bulldogs was junior Camden Murphy (1:45.97), with freshman Harry Homans (1:46.46) and senior Clayton Forde (1:47.59) finishing in second and third place, respectively.
Against his hometown team, Knoxville native Walker Higgins boasted a season-best (1:35.38) in the 200-yard freestyle to finish first overall. Higgins’ win allowed the Bulldogs to grab their first double-figure lead of the meet.
Prior to the intermission, freshman Bulldog Dillon Downing matched times (20.25) with the Vols’ Braga Verhage for first place in the 50-yard freestyle.
At the first break, the Georgia men led the Vols, 67.5-63.5, while the Lady Bulldogs trailed, 77-54.
The Bulldogs kept rolling to start the second round of competition. Georgia natives Ian Grum and Jack Dalmolin grabbed the Bulldogs’ first two wins out of the break. Freshman Grum (44.70) took the 200-yard backstroke before Dalmolin, a junior, recorded a win in the 200 breast (1:59.09).
Hartman and Della Torre finished strong for the Lady Bulldogs with top finishes in their remaining events. In the 200 breast, freshman Hartman (2:11.12) came in second place with Della Torre (2:11.39) following in third. Hartman capped the day for the women with a second-place finish in the 200 IM (1:59.19).
With scores by Reed (4:22.48), Abruzzo (4:23.27) and Higgins (4:26.27) in the 500 free, the Bulldogs sealed their third top-three finish of the day. Murphy (47.16) then recorded an additional win for Georgia in the 100 fly, taking the Dogs into the second break with a 134.5-110.5 advantage over Tennessee.
Georgia rounded out the final events of the day with top finishes in the men’s 200 IM as Abruzzo and Forde finished first and second, respectively. The Bulldogs then took the top two spots in the 400 free relay to seal the SEC victory.
In diving, junior Zach Allen went 2-for-2 with wins in the 1-meter and 3-meter. In the 3-meter, Allen’s 349.88 score marked his third win of the season in the event.
Up next for the Georgia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams is a return home where the Bulldogs will host Emory in Athens on Saturday, February 1, at 11:00 a.m. ETE in the Gabrielsen Natatorium. The meet will be broadcast on SEC Network +.