A victorious and record-setting women’s 800 freestyle relay highlighted Georgia’s showing on Tuesday at the Southeastern Conference Championships at Mizzou Arena.
The No. 2-ranked Lady Bulldogs landed in third after the first day of competition with 133 points, trailing the 154s posted by Kentucky and Tennessee.
On the men’s side, the No. 3 Bulldogs stand seventh with 122 points. Auburn opened in first with 170 points and Missouri followed with 151 points.
“Anytime you have swimmers and divers on the podium, it’s a good day,” Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. “We had all three of our women’s events go top three and a guys’ relay go top three, so it’s hard to be disappointed in that. This meet is a grind for several days, but we got off to a good start today and I think we’re ready to keep it going.”
The Lady Bulldogs capped Tuesday’s session as Hali Flickinger, Meaghan Raab, Shauna Lee and Brittany MacLean turned in a pool-record 6:55.56, which is the fastest time in the season. Flickinger led off in a personal-best 1:43.19, also the country’s fastest time this year.
Georgia has won the 800 freestyle relay seven straight years and 12 times overall.
“I’m just so proud to be part of such an incredible relay tradition,” Flickinger said. “It’s an honor to swim that event for Georgia and with three amazing teammates. Our team enjoys competing in this relay and it means a lot that we were able to win it again.”
The women’s 200 medley relay of Olivia Smoliga, Emily Cameron, Kylie Stewart and Raab stopped the clock in 1:36.28 – the second-fastest time in school history.
Olivia Ball posted a third-place finish on women’s 1-meter springboard with 324.95 points. Madison Duvall came in 21st with 245.20 points.
The men’s 800 medley relay of Matias Koski, Pace Clark, Jay Litherland and Gunnar Bentz reached the wall in a school-record 6:17.40 to come in third.
The Bulldogs’ 200 medley made up of Taylor Dale, Bentz, Clark and Michael Trice touched in 1:25.68 to finish sixth.
In the men’s 3-meter springboard competition, Crawford Berry paced the Bulldogs with a 16th-place effort with 301.55 points, while Ian Forlini took 17th with 293.45 points.
The SEC Championships will continue on Wednesday with the 50 and 500 freestyle, the 200 individual medley, the men’s 1-meter springboard and the 200 freestyle relay. Prelims will start at 11 a.m. and 2finals will begin at 7 p.m. Sessions can be viewed on SEC Network +.