ATHENS, GA, January 9. THE Georgia Swimming and Diving team swept Southeastern Conference foe Alabama Friday afternoon at the Gabrielsen Natatorium, per reports each school.
The Lady Bulldogs finished first in 10 of the 13 events en route to a 131-94 victory, while the men won six of the first seven events to capture a 130-101 win.
"We are really pleased with the kids," said Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle. "We are in the middle of Christmas training, so we are tired right now."
Senior Robert Margalis, who did not compete during the fall semester, stopped the clock in 1:41.18 to win the 200-yard freestyle. He returned to the pool just two events later to win the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 1:52.02.
In his first meet as a Bulldog, freshman Sebastien Rouault took top honors in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:13.95. Georgia (3-3, 1-2 SEC) swept the top four spots in the event, as Matt Owen was second (9:27.80), Judson Cuttino took third (9:35.98) and Miguel Mendoza finished fourth (9:50.67).
Freshman Gil Stovall led a 1-2-3 finish in the 200-yard butterfly, as he clocked a time of 1:51.12. Rouault and Jonathan Schmidt finished second and third, respectively. The Bulldogs claimed the top three spots in the 200-yard backstroke, highlighted by Will Thorburn's win in 1:51.01.
"I am particularly proud of the men," added Bauerle. "We are now a different team by getting a few swimmers back, including Margalis, (Jeff) Parsley and Judson (Cuttino). This is perhaps the best meet we have had right after Christmas, and we are a more confident team. We look to have the makings of a top-10 team. That is our goal."
Coming off an impressive performance at the Georgia Diving Invitational, sophomore Chris Colwill topped the leader board in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events. Colwill amassed a total score of 371.02 to win the 1-meter, and he posted an award of 396.74 on the 3-meter. Sophomore Genya Gouzeev was runner up on the 1-meter and finished fourth on the 3-meter.
"Chris Colwill is an ace in the hole for us right now," said Bauerle. "He seems to be able to bank one in for us each time out, and he is one of the best dives in the country right now."
Highlights for Alabama included the continued dominance of breaststroke sophomore teammates Vlad Polyakov and Hunor Mate,’ taking first and second in the 200 breaststroke. Polyakov posted a 1:58.58 while Mate’ touched at 2:04.80.
The Tide’s sprint crew also had a strong showing. Junior Darren Erasmus and Apostolis Tsagkarakis went one-two in the 100 freestyle posting times of 45.66 and 45.84 respectively, and Tsakarakis also winning the 50 freestyle at 20.76, while Erasmus was third at 20.85. Both times were season best marks for Erasmus.
‘Bama was also effective in the diving well. Junior Aaron Ashworth and senior Stewart Smith took first and second off the three-meter springboard, posting scores of 345.59 and 333.15.
The top-ranked Georgia women remained undefeated, as sophomore Kara Lynn Joyce won a pair of events to lead the Lady Bulldogs. Joyce touched first in 22.99 to win the 50-yard freestyle, and she picked her second victory of the day when she stopped the clock in 51.10 to win the 100-yard freestyle.
Sophomore Haley Chura led a 1-2 Georgia finish in the women's 1000-yard freestyle, as she posted a winning time of 10:03.83. Freshman Stephanie Carr was runner up in 10:05.02. Claire Maust took top honors in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:53.28, while Samantha Arsenault took second in 1:53.32.
Joining the list of event winners was junior Beth Grams, who clocked a time of 2:03.58 to win the 200-yard butterfly. Laura Conway finished third in the event.
Mary DeScenza, who anchored the winning 400-yard medley relay, led a 1-2 Georgia finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a winning time of 2:01.09. Teammate Katie Yevak earned runner-up honors with a time of 2:03.91.
One of the tightest races of the day came in the 500-yard freestyle, as freshman Anna Miller touched first in 4:58.05, which was a mere 0.03 of a second ahead of teammate Amanda Weir (4:58.08).
Lindsey Ertter and Elizabeth Hill finished second and third, respectively, in the 100-yard freestyle. Sophomore Melissa Klein had the fastest time in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:17.49) as an exhibitioned swimmer.
"The women did a great job as well," offered Bauerle. "Mary and Amanda were great again, and Kara Lynn was typical Kara Lynn. Some of our second-line swimmers really came through today."
In the diving well, senior Brooke Bassham posted the top score on the 3-meter springboard at 300.00, and she finished second in the 1-meter event with a total score of 271.50. Sara Hershman and Emily Hunter finished third and fourth, respectively, on the 1-meter, while Hunter was runner-up on the 3-meter.
Alabama’s women also had a few highlights. Senior Anne Poleska came out on top in the battle of German Olympians. Poleska faced off against Bulldog Sarah Poewe in the 200 IM with Poleska coming out on top 2:06.44 to 2:07.34. Both women swam for Germany this summer at the Athens Olympics with Poleska coming home with a bronze medal in the 200 breaststroke, and then Poleska added the gold medal at 200 meters-short course from the Vienna European Championships this fall.
The Tide women finished off with a season best time in the 400 freestyle relay. Senior Arlene Semeco, freshman Hanna Miluska, sophomore Melina Bassino and junior Anna Grant combined to win the relay with a 3:29.78, touching out the Georgia exhibition group by 0.12 seconds.
The Lady Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0 SEC) will have little time to rest, as the women will face No. 6 Southern Methodist Saturday, Jan. 8, at 1 pm in Dallas.
"We are going to have a challenge tomorrow," said Bauerle of the contest at SMU. "They are going to give us everything they are worth. We are making it tough on our ladies with this travel, but in the end, I think it will be good. Our motivation is to keep the meet close and to try to stay undefeated. We are looking forward to tomorrow."
Alabama returns to action in two weeks, hosting the Florida Gators Saturday, Jan. 22.