ATHENS, Georgia, December 3. THE Georgia Invitational produced a handful of automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Championships on Saturday. The Cal Berkeley women’s 200 medley relay was the first to grab an ‘A’ cut with a time of 1:39.36. The Georgia women came up just short of that standard posting a quick 1:39.86.
Georgia’s Mary DeScenza blazed the 100 butterfly in a very swift 52.55. UCLA’s Kim Vandenburg just missed the ‘A’ standard with a 53.94. The women’s 200 freestyle saw a strong race from Cal’s Erin Reilly, posting an extremely fast 1:46.85. Jessica Cole also posted a solid time of 1:47.18 in that race.
The 100 breaststroke produced three very fast times from some of the best breaststrokers in the world. Jessica Hardy popped her first sub-minute performance of the year with a 59.51. Sarah Poewe from Georgia finished second at 1:01.18. Hardy’s teammate from Cal, Annie Babicz also achieved an ‘A’ time with a 1:01.26.
Three women posted qualifying times in a close 100 backstroke race. Brielle White from UVA dominated the event with her 53.63. DeScenza popped a solid 54.10 to get second. Cal’s Helen Silver also got her cut with a 54.40. Missing the ‘A’ standard by one one-hundredth of a second, was UCLA’s Katie Arnold with a 54.48, a time that should easily get pulled in.
Cal Berkeley’s 800 free relay of Ashley Chandler, Erin Reilly, Lauren Rogers and Emily Silver slid under the cut-off time en route to winning with a 7:11.48.
On the men’s side there weren’t as many ‘A’ standards achieved. The Georgia duo of Peter Verhoef and Jonathon Schmidt rocked the 100 butterfly. Verhoef won the event in 47.12, but went 47.02 in prelims. Schmidt produced a 47.58 in finals for a solid ‘B’ cut effort. Verhoef’s time was the only ‘A’ standard achieved on Saturday by any of the men.