Georgia Routs Kentucky in Season-Opening “Double Distance” Meet

ATHENS, Georgia, September 25. THE Georgia Bulldogs kicked off their season with a dual meet against Kentucky today, and the women started their road to defending the national title with a decisive victory over Kentucky 165-98, while the men’s team took their first win of the season 162-110. For the women, it marked the 83rd meet in a row they have won at home.

Though the meet was dubbed as a “double distance” meet, only the 100 free and 2000 free could be counted as events that are twice the distance of official races. The butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke events were held in distances of 150 and 300 yards, while the freestyle events were staged in 100, 150, 300 and 2000 yards. The meet also featured a 300 individual medley.

Georgia’s Matias Koski was technically the only triple winner of the day, though teammate Chase Kalisz also won three events, with one counting as an exhibition swim. Hali Flickinger also won three events for Georgia, with two of the swims registering as exhibition races.

Koski, an NCAA finalist in the 500 and 1650 freestyles, came down to the sprints and won the three shorter distances on the program. His 100 free time of 44.76 ranks second in the early goings of the season, behind the 44.52 posted by California’s Tyler Messerschmidt last Friday. He also won the 150 free in 1:11.82 and the 300 free in 2:34.57.

Kalisz, the silver medalist in the 400 IM at the world championships, posted a 3:10.04 in the 300 breast to beat Georgia teammate and world championships team member Nic Fink, who swam a 3:14.24. Kalisz also won the 300 fly with a 2:48.15 and touched first in the 300 IM (75 yards of each stroke) with a 2:47.55 ahead of teammate Tynan Stewart’s 2:48.34. Kalisz’s and Stewart’s swims, as well as Jared Markham’s 2:57.98 in the 300 IM, were counted as exhibition swims, allowing Kentucky’s Brandon Flynn to score the winning points for his team with a 3:01.86.

In other highlights on the men’s side, Olympian Andrew Gemmell won the 2000 free with a 19:01.01, splitting 9:40.18 at the 1000-yard mark. Fink, who swam the 100 breast at worlds, won the 150 breast in 1:31.09. Tynan Stewart was able to sweep the backstrokes, swimming a 1:19.12 in the 150 back and 2:50.23 in the 300 back.

Of Flickinger’s three wins, only the 300 fly scored points, as she won with a 3:08.06. She also posted the top time in the 150 fly with a 1:27.80 and the fastest 300 IM with a 3:12.15. Kentucky’s Abby Myers officially won the 150 fly with a 1:28.91 and Kendra Crew took the 300 IM with a 3:26.23.

Olympic and world championship gold medalist was another highlight on the women’s side, winning the 300 free with a 2:50.43. Melanie Margalis won the 150 free with a 1:18.51 and doubled up with a 1:26.28 to win the 150 backstroke. Also winning two events was Georgia’s Annie Zhu who swept the breaststrokes with a 1:38.32 in the 150 and 3:30.91 in the 300.

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