ATLANTA, Nov. 19. THE No. 2-ranked Florida's Fightin' Gator men's team (298 points) and the third-ranked Lady Gators (267) are comforably ensconsed atop the leaderboard after the first day's splashing at the Georgia Tech Invitational here tonight.
Despite not utilizing the services of Olympic 200 meter Individual Medley silver medalist Ryan Lochte, Florida is 35 points ahead of North Carolina State on the men's side while in the women's race, the Gators lead Tennessee by a 267-250 margin.
The host Yellowjackets' junior All-America Sam Morgan and sophomore All-America Vesna Stojanovska posted NCAA "B" cut times of 4:37.32 and 4:51.20 in the men's and women's 500-yard freestyle to lead their respective squads. The host men and women are currently in third place with 245 and 244 points.
Morgan finished first in the 500 free, while Stojanovska finished second with a school record time, breaking her mark of 4:53.70 from last season. Freshman Elizabeth Stowe tallied a fourth-place finish with a personal-record time of 4:54.66.
Florida's Maureen Farrell, who opted to swim for the Gators despite a sensational prep career in suburban Los Angeles, won the 500 free in a solid 4:48.72. The 200 IM was an all-Tennessee affair, with the Vols' Kaitlyn Orstein (2:03.30) and Megan Tomes (2:05.l2) going one-two. Tomes was fastest qualifier with a 2:03.06.
The women's 50 saw Tennessee collect yet another gold (Christian Magnusson, 23.63) andthe Knoxville ladies bookended the competition with wins in the opening and closing relays. Tennessee won the 200 sprint in a pool-record 1:34.25 and the 400 medley with another Yellowjacket pool-record (3:46.37.
Farrell led off the Gaators' second-place medley relay team with the night's fastest backstroke split, 56.08.
On the men's side, Gator Robert Fischetti won the 200 IM (1:51.00) and North Carolina State's Cullen Jones the 50 free (seasonal-best 20.05 after a 20.07 in the prelims.). The Wolfpack also set a pool-record with their 3:21.05 medley relay victory.
The GT Invitational will continue on Saturday with the prelims beginning at 10 a.m. EST and finals commencing at 5:30 p.m. in the GT Aquatic Center. The entire meet can be followed via live stats on GT Invite.