By Rebecca Noblett
ATLANTA, Georgia, November 22. THE Georgia Tech men took full advantage of their home pool tonight to pull ahead in the first night of the Georgia Tech Invitational. The Yellow Jackets swam to victory in every event but one, giving them a sound lead in points over visiting Tennessee and Florida Atlantic.
The Yellow Jackets kicked things off with a win in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Andrew Kosic, Andrew Chetcuti, Jacob Johnson, and Nico van Duijn took first with a time of 1:19.95, helped out by a sizzling anchor leg of 19.43 from van Duijn. Tennessee placed second in 1:20.80, and Florida Atlantic touched third at 1:23.09.
Georgia Tech swept the top three spots in the 500 free. Junior Elliot Brockelbank snagged first with a time of 4:26.57, while Mats Westergren (4:29.21) touched out teammate Ben Southern (4:29.39) for second. In the 200 IM, Tech’s Mark Sarman took home the top points with a 1:49.49. Teammate Anton Lagerqvist took second with a 1:52.22, and the Volunteers’ Tristan Slater touched third at 1:52.69.
The 50 free proved to be the race of the evening, as it almost always does. The top three finishers all earned provisional NCAA cuts with their times tonight. Georgia Tech’s Andrew Kosic was the only swimmer under the twenty second mark with a 19.94. Nico van Duijn improved on his B-cut time from preliminaries with a 20.14, touching just ahead of Tennessee’s Gustav Aberg Ledjstrom (20.15).
The Volunteers won the final event of the night, the 400 medley relay, to keep the Yellow Jackets from sweeping all of the men’s events. Tennessee’s team of Sean Lehane, Ross Dibblin, Sam Rairden, and Gustav Aberg Ledjstrom took the victory with a time of 3:18.23. Georgia Tech posted a 3:18.93 to take second, while Florida Atlantic was third (3:29.64).
On the women’s side, Florida Gulf Coast had the most first place finishes, but still trail Tennessee by two points overall. The Eagles led off the meet with a victory in the 200 freestyle relay, with the team of Emma Svensson, Christina Tannien, Sara Hamilton, and Kira Toussaint posting a 1:31.55. Tennessee and James Madison tied for second, with times of 1:32.07.
FGCU’s Lani Cabrera touched out top qualifier Camryne Morris in the 500 free. Cabrera dropped two and a half seconds from her preliminary time to win with a time of 4:49.72. Morris took second with a 4:49.80, and Florida Atlantic’s Annet Kovacs hit the wall third (4:52.34).
Vanderbilt’s Elly Faulkner earned the maximum points in the 200 IM with a time of 2:02.91. Georgia Tech’s Frederique Lefebvre took second (2:05.18), just touching out Tennessee’s Amanda Carner (2:05.21). Florida Gulf Coast’s Emma Svensson’s winning time of 22.77 in the 50 free earned her an NCAA B-cut. She outpaced Tennessee’s Faith Johnson (23.05) and James Madison’s Susanne Gingher (23.09).
Florida Gulf Coast’s women posted a victory in the final event of the night, the 400 yard medley relay. The team of Kira Toussaint, Evita Leter, Emma Svensson, and Sara Hamilton took first with a time of 3:40.69. James Madison placed second in 3:42.33, followed by Tennessee (3:43.08).
The Georgia Tech Invitational continues through the weekend at the GT Aquatic Center, with prelims at 10 AM and finals at 6 PM.