TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, January 31. THE Georgia Lady Bulldog swimming and diving team completed its ninth undefeated season in the past 13 years on Saturday afternoon, earning wins over South Carolina and Alabama at the Alabama Aquatic Center.
The Lady Bulldogs defeated Alabama 191-109 and South Carolina 211-89. The men's swimming and diving team finished the season with a pair of wins as well, defeating Alabama 169-131 and South Carolina 197-103.
"Those were good wins, that's for sure," head coach Jack Bauerle said. "Certainly it is never easy being on the road and getting a few wins was. It was one of our better last meets of the season. Usually we are a little raggedy, but the effort was great.
"I am excited for the women," Bauerle said. "To finish undefeated nine out of the past 13 years is pretty unbelievable. Overall, I am proud of the kids. It was a good dual meet season for men and women. They performed better than we expected, but now we expect more the rest of the way."
Morgan Scroggy was the lone double-winner for the No. 1 Lady Bulldogs (9-0, 5-0 SEC). She claimed the top prize in the backstroke events, finishing the 100 back in 55.45 and the 200 back in 1:58.50.
Following Georgia's win in the 200 medley relay to begin the meet, Kelsey Ditto won the 1,000 freestyle with a time of 9:55.39. Chelsea Nauta took home a win in the 200 free in a time of 1:49.74, one-hundredth of a second ahead of South Carolina's Claire Thompson.
Scroggy then won the 100 backstroke with Kristen Shickora and Jessica Cole finishing second and fifth in the event. Emily Montesinos earned a win in the 50 freestyle, finishing with a 22.95, while teammate Anne-Marie Botek was the runner-up. In the 100 freestyle, Cole finished with a 50.55 to win first place. Scroggy then won the 200 backstroke 1:58.50, with Shickora finishing as the runner-up. The Lady Bulldogs ended the meet by winning the 400 free relay with a time of 3:22.72.
Neil Versfeld was the lone double-winner for the No. 12 Bulldogs (5-4, 2-3) as he once again swept the breaststroke events. Versfeld lead from start to finish in both races, winning the 100 in 55.50 and the 200 in 1:58.08.
The first individual event of the meet for the men saw the first of what could be several exciting head-to-head matchups between the top two distance swimmers in the conference. Georgia's Troyden Prinsloo won the 1,000 free in 9:03.63, less than .30 seconds ahead of Alabama's Mark Randall.
Georgia's next win would come in the 100 breaststroke, where Versfeld led the field from start to finish. Craig Jennings would earn a victory in the 50 freestyle, finishing with a time of 20.59, while Kevin Frankenfeld won the 100 freestyle with a season-best time of 44.47.
Chris Thompson would earn his first individual win of the season with a win in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:46.31, which was followed by Versfeld's win in the 200 breaststroke 1:58.08. Mark Dylla finished first in the 100 butterfly in a time of 48.74 and Georgia would finish the meet with a win in the 400 free relay with a time of 2:58.99
In the diving well, Hannah Moore finished with wins off both springboards. Off the 1-meter board, Moore finished with a score of 283.35. Teammates Lexie Bryant and Landon Watters finished fifth and 11th, respectively. Off the 3-meter, Moore's score of 311.50 was good enough to earn first-place points, while Bryant and Watters finished ninth and 10th.
For the men, Webb Worthington led the diving effort for the Bulldogs off both boards with a pair of third place finishes. Off the 1-meter, Worthington finished with a score of 292.05. Teammates Tim Barrett and Owen Blank finished fifth and seventh. In the 3-meter, Worthington finished in third with a score of 324.50, while Blank finished fourth and Barrett was sixth.
"We are moving in the right direction toward the conference meet and beyond. Everyone performed pretty well today." diving coach Dan Laak said. "We are progressing at the points and we need to continue to work on our consistency."
The Georgia swimming and diving squads have completed the dual meet portion of their schedule and now prepare for the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships, which is set for Feb. 18-21 at Auburn, Ala.
Special thanks to Georgia for contributing this report.