The Georgia Lady Bulldogs thrilled the home folks by winning the team title at the 1999 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships being held at UGA’s Gabrielsen Natatorium. The national title was the first for Georgia in women’s swimming. Georgia has 10 additional national championships in other sports. Georgia totaled 504.5 points to outdistance Stanford (441) and SMU (370.5).
“What a feeling. It’s really a dream come true,” Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. “It really feels good to win it at home.” Bauerle and Kristy Kowal were named the Coach and Swimmer of the Year, respectively, after leading the Lady Bulldogs to the crown. Kowal put the title on ice by winning the 200 breaststroke and setting the American, U.S. Open and NCAA record with a time of 2:07.66.
Julie Varozza got the Lady Bulldogs, who led the meet after each of the first two days, off to a good start on Saturday by winning the 1,650 freestyle and setting a pool record with a time of 15:59.66.
Keegan Walkley continued Georgia’s early surge by recording a pool-record 1:53.63 in the 200 backstroke.
Courtney Shealy took second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 48.49 seconds, trailing only Martina Moravcova of SMU, who clocked a pool-record 48.05.
Georgia also got some big points from diver Tammy Crystal, who placed fifth in the platform.