SWIMMING & DIVING: Tennessee Visits Athens Saturday

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SWIMMING & DIVING: Tennessee Visits Athens Saturday

Georgia’s Samantha Fazio starts the backstroke during the Lady Bulldogs’ swim meet against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Gabrielsen Natatorium on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 in Athens, Ga.
(Photo by John Kelley)
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Georgia swimming and diving teams will make their 2016 Gabrielsen Natatorium debut on Saturday when they entertain Tennessee.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The meet will begin with 1-meter diving at 11 a.m., followed by the remainder of the meet starting at noon. The competition will air on the SEC Network on Sunday at 8 p.m.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “Georgia-Tennessee has developed into a pretty intense rivalry these last few years, so we know we’re going to have our hands full on Saturday,” Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. “There are going to be close, fast and exciting races. Our kids are excited about the opportunity to stand up and race fast. We’re getting closer to SECs and NCAAs, and competition like this does nothing but make us tougher.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia’s teams last were in action at home in the UGA Fall Invitational in December. They opened 2016 with duals at Texas A&M and Texas Jan. 8 and 9, respectively.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Lady Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in the nation with a 7-0 mark, including a 3-0 record against SEC opponents, and they are 29-0-1 in their last 30 meets. The Bulldogs are rated fourth at 6-1 and 3-0. Each Tennessee squad is ranked 12th.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Lady Bulldogs continue to be one of the country’s most dominant freestyle squads. Olivia Smoliga has the nation’s fastest times in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, while Hali Flickinger is No. 1 in the 200 and No. 3 in the 500, and Brittany MacLean is No. 2 in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650. The Lady Bulldogs also hold the best efforts in the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays. Flickinger also holds the country’s best time in the 200-yard butterfly.
[su_spacer size=”40″] On the men’s side, Matias Koski is No. 1 in the 200-yard freestyle and Jay Litherland is No. 1 in the 400-yard individual medley. Taylor Dale (100-yard backstroke), Pace Clark (200-yard butterfly) and Matias Koski (400-yard individual medley) hold the second-fastest times in the country.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia’s teams will entertain Wisconsin on Saturday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m. in the final home dual meet of the season. Prior to competition, the members of the senior class will be recognized.
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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.