Swimming & Diving: Javier Acevedo Wins SEC Title

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Swimming & Diving: Javier Acevedo Wins SEC Title

Georgia's Javier Acevedo during the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships in College Station, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)
Georgia’s Javier Acevedo during the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships in College Station, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Javier Acevedo became the first Georgia male to win the 100-yard backstroke at the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in two decades on Saturday at the Student Recreation Center Natatorium on the Texas A&M campus.

 

After four days of competition, the Georgia women stand second with 748 points, trailing Texas A&M’s 953 and leading Tennessee’s 706.5. On the men’s side, Florida is first with 876, Texas A&M is second with 779 and Georgia is third with 735.5.

 

Acevedo reached the wall in 45.26, edging Alabama teammates Luke Kaliszak (45.68) and Zane Waddell (45.83). Kaliszak led Acevedo by 8/10ths of a second at the final turn, but Acevedo clipped him 11.33 to 12.55 over the final 25 yards to win.

The last Bulldog to win the 100 backstroke at the conference meet was Robert Brewer in 1998 when Acevedo was only three weeks old.

“It’s a great feeling,” Acevedo, a sophomore from Scarborough, Toronto, said. “It’s a reward for all the training I’ve been doing this year. I try not to think about winning. I think about my own race, doing my own thing. I walked in a little nervous, but I thought to myself, ‘What’s the worst that can happen? I’ve already improved on last year, so let’s go after it.’ It means a lot to me to win this title.”

Georgia now has six titles in the event — Reid Patterson in 1952, Al Gentry in 1955, Charles Gentry in 1961, Brewer in 1994 and 1998, and Acevedo in 2018.

 

Youssef Said placed 10th for the Bulldogs as he reached the wall in 46.80, while Atmore finished 24th with a time of 49.03.

 

In the men’s 200 butterfly, Camden Murphy tied for fifth (with LSU’s Harrison Jones) with a time of 1:42.84. Gunnar Bentz stopped the clock in 1:43.56 for seventh. Blake Atmore finished 10th in 1:43.30, Powell Brooks came in 11th in 1:43.67, Mick Litherland placed 12th in 1:43.81 and Clayton Forde was 19th in 1:44.44.

 

In the men’s 100 breaststroke, James Guest placed 10th with a time of 53.15, followed by Basil Orr in 18th in 53.49 and Colin Monaghan in 24th in 54.28.

Zachary Allen   Photo: Georgia Sports Communications
Zachary Allen Photo: Georgia Sports Communications

 

Zachary Allen came in 11th with 316.15 points in men’s platform diving.

 

The men’s 400 medley relay of Acevedo, Guest, Murphy and Bentz stopped the clock in 3:07.47 to place sixth.

 

Megan Kingsley finished second in the women’s 200 butterfly in 1:53.27, trailing only the 1:53.05 turned in by Texas A&M’s Jing Quah. Chelsea Britt came in fifth in 1:54.34 and Caitlin Casazza placed sixth in 1:55.38. During prelims, Kingsley had an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:52.62, which also is No. 2 in Georgia history behind Hali Flickinger’s 1:52.33 in 2016.

 

Kylie Stewart paced the Lady Bulldogs in the women’s 100 backstroke as she reached the wall in 51.71 for fourth. Gabi Fa’amausili came in 12th with a time of 52.71 and Britt followed in 14th at 53.30. Stewart’s 51.39 recorded during prelims is the third-fastest time in school history.

 

In the women’s 100 breaststroke, Lexi Glunn came in 16th with a time of 1:02.15. Caitlin Casazza won the C final in 1:01.10 for 17th, while Danielle Della Torre placed 21st in 1:01.67.

 

The women’s 400 medley relay of Stewart, Meaghan Raab, Britt and Veronica Burchill came in fifth with a time of 3:32.35.

 

The SEC Championships will conclude on Sunday with the 200 backstroke, the 100 freestyle, the 200 breaststroke, the 1,650 freestyle, women’s platform diving and the 400 freestyle relay.

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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.