ATHENS, Georgia, November 30. THE California Golden Bears, defending champions for both the men and the women, put on a show during the first night at the Georgia Invitational. With NCAA A cuts going down left and right, California definitely shined with some of its outstanding swims.
Georgia's Jessica Graber (22.60), Maddie Locus (22.18), Chantal Van Landeghem (21.87) and Megan Romano (21.40) raced to victory in the women's 200 free relay with a time of 1:28.05, while California's Kaylin Bing (22.72), Rachel Bootsma (21.87), Rachael Acker (22.30) and Cindy Tran (21.89) placed second in 1:28.78. Both times cleared the NCAA A cut of 1:29.80. Auburn's Hannah Riordan (22.99), Emily Bos (22.43), Haley Krakoski (22.68) and Aubrey Peacock (22.20) placed third in 1:30.30.
Auburn's Marcelo Chierighini (19.37), James Disney-May (19.51), Kyle Owens (18.90) and TJ Leon (19.77) won the men's 200 free relay in an NCAA A cut time of 1:17.55. California's Nick Dillinger (20.20), Fabio Gimondi (19.33), Seth Stubblefield (19.66) and Shayne Fleming (19.32) took second in 1:18.51, while California B's Dana Foster (20.26), Michael Haney (20.27), Ben Hinshaw (19.62) and Marcin Tarczynski (19.40) earned third in 1:19.55.
Georgia's Shannon Vreeland touched out teammate Allison Schmitt, 4:38.27 to 4:38.28, for the women's 500 free title, while Virginia's Rachel Naurath claimed third in 4:38.48. No one managed to clear the NCAA A cut of 4:38.13 even though they were close. Georgia's Matias Koski punched his ticket to NCAAs with a 4:15.55 to win the men's 500 free. Teammates Martin Grodzki (4:16.72) and Andrew Gemmell (4:18.98) rounded out the top three.
California went 1-2 in the women's 200 IM with a pair of NCAA A cut times. Elizabeth Pelton crushed the field with a time of 1:53.39, bettering her lifetime best of 1:53.92 set in February of this year. Meanwhile, Caitlin Leverenz placed second in 1:54.30. Georgia's Melanie Margalis claimed third in 1:54.68 as all top three times beat the NCAA A cut of 1:55.96. California's Marcin Tarzcynski touched out teammate Josh Prenot, 1:44.36 to 1:44.69, for the men's 200 IM title. Georgia's Ty Stewart earned third in 1:45.22 with the NCAA A cut of 1:43.62 remaining untouched.
Georgia's Megan Romano clipped Virginia's Lauren Perdue, 22.33 to 22.37, for the 50 free title, while Georgia's Maddie Locus tied teammate Chantal Van Landeghem for third with matching 22.41s. Auburn's Marcelo Chierighini returned with another swift 50 free time, winning the men's title in 19.50. California's Shayne Fleming placed second in 19.78, while Tom Barrett earned third in 20.11.
California's Cindy Tran (51.43), Caitlin Leverenz (58.99), Rachel Bootsma (51.50) and Elizabeth Pelton (47.94) blasted the field in the women's 400 medley relay with a winning time of 3:29.86. Not only did that time smoke the NCAA A cut of 3:35.39, Tran also blasted the 100 back cut of 52.13 and would have won the national title in Austin tonight as well. Auburn's Jillian Vitarius (53.11), Micah Lawrence (58.88), Olivia Scott (51.72) and Hannah Riordan (49.54) touched second in 3:33.25, also earning an NCAA A cut. Georgia's Megan Romano (53.32), Melanie Margalis (59.11), Allison Schmitt (53.50) and Shannon Vreeland (48.72) placed third in 3:34.65.
California's Marcin Tarczynski (47.01), Trevor Hoyt (52.06), Seth Stubblefield (47.22) and Fabio Gimondi (43.07) topped the men's 400 medley relay in 3:09.36, while Auburn's Kyle Owens (46.54), Stuart Ferguson (53.55), Alex Hancock (48.53) and Marcelo Chierighini (42.12) took second in 3:10.74 as both teams beat the NCAA A cut of 3:10.91. Georgia's Ty Stewart (48.07), Nic Fink (53.52), Doug Reynolds (46.89) and Matt Ellis (43.11) touched third in 3:11.59.
In diving, Virginia Tech's Kaylea Arnett won the women's three-meter with 358.50 points, while teammate Logan Shinholser claimed the men's one-meter title with 356.70 points.
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