Led by a runner-up finish from Courtney Harnish in the 500-yard freestyle, the Georgia women moved into second place at the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday at the Student Recreation Center Natatorium on the Texas A&M campus.
After two days of competition, the Lady Bulldogs stand second with 361 points, behind Texas A&M’s 469 and leading Tennessee’s 337.5. On the men’s side, the Bulldogs are fourth with 365 points, trailing Florida (432), Tennessee (411) and Texas A&M (409).
“We’re racing hard,” said Jack Bauerle, Georgia’s Tom Cousins Swimming and Diving Head Coach. “It’s not perfect, but the effort is there without question. It’s a little bit of a mixed bag. It could have been better in a couple of spots, but as long as the effort is there, and it is, I’m fine. We’re setting some things up for the future and we’re going to be even better down the road.”
The Lady Bulldogs had three swimmers in the championship final of the 500 freestyle. Harnish was the runner-up with a time of 4:38.21, trailing only the 4:37.20 posted by Kentucky’s Geena Freriks. Meryn McCann stopped the clock in 4:40.50 for fourth, followed by Stephanie Peters in sixth at 4:42.16. Jordan Stout placed 16th in 4:46.79.
In the women’s 200 individual medley, Megan Kingsley finished seventh with a time of 1:56.72 and Meaghan Raab followed in eighth at 1:56.77. During the prelims on Thursday, Kingsley registered a time of 1:55.88, which ranks fifth all-time in school history. Caitlin Casazza came in 19th with a time of 1:57.67.
Gabi Fa’amausili, who joined the Lady Bulldogs in January, stopped the clock in 22.32 to finish seventh in the women’s 50 freestyle. Fa’amausili went 22.18 during prelims to move into No. 8 in Georgia annals. Veronica Burchill came in eighth in 22.33.
The women’s 200 freestyle relay of Fa’amausili, Burchill, Kylie Stewart and Raab finished fourth with a time of 1:28.78.
Jay Litherland and Walker Higgins paced the Bulldogs in the 500 freestyle, taking fifth in 4:17.92 and sixth in 4:21.37, respectively. In the B final, Tal Davis came in 12th in 4:17.77, followed by Clayton Forde in 14th at 4:18.59 and Kevin Litherland in 15th at 4:21.44. Georgia also had three in the C final as Aidan Burns placed 19th in 4:19.94, Greg Reed was 22nd in 4:21.52 and Aaron Apel touched in 4:22.15 for 23rd. (Swimmers are not able to move points-wise out of their finals, even if their times are faster than swimmers in higher finals.)
In the men’s 200 individual medley, Gunnar Bentz went 1:43.94 to come in sixth.
Javier Acevedo finished 10th in the men’s 50 freestyle with a time of 19.65. That effort moved him to No. 4 in the Georgia record book.
The men’s 200 freestyle relay of Acevedo, Camden Murphy, Alex BeMiller and Bentz touched in 1:19.13 to finish sixth.
In men’s 1-meter springboard diving, Ian Forlini paced the Bulldogs as he came in ninth with 336.55 points. Zachary Allen was 15th with 314.30 and Charlie Clifton was 16th with 307.30.