TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, January 28. THE Georgia swimming and diving teams closed the books on the dual-meet portion of their schedule on Saturday by sweeping Alabama at the Don Gambril Olympic Pool.
The 10th-ranked Bulldogs pulled out a 152-148 victory to improve to 6-2-1 overall and 3-1-1 in the league. The No. 5 Lady Bulldogs recorded a 173-121 win to move to 8-1 and 5-0. The Lady Bulldogs also won their 26th straight meet against SEC competition.
Martin Grodzki was a triple winner for the Bulldogs. He took the 500 freestyle in 4:29.17, the 1,000 freestyle in 9:14.38 and the 400 individual medley in 3:56.47. Jameson Hill won the 200 freestyle in 1:38.44, Michael Arnold claimed the 50 freestyle in 20.54 and Nic Fink touched in 2:02.00 to win the 200 breaststroke. Owen Blank placed first on the 1-meter springboard with 325.80 points. The 200 medley relay of Luke Upchurch, Fink, Doug Reynolds and Arnold stopped the clock with a first-place time of 1:30.93.
Melanie Margalis won three times to pace the Lady Bulldogs, claiming the 1,000 freestyle in 10:07.99, the 200 backstroke in 2:00.39 and the 100 butterfly in 56.71. Georgia swept the other freestyle races with Lauren Harrington in the 50 (23.30), Maddie Locus in the 100 (51.32), Shannon Vreeland in the 200 (1:48.31) and Jordan Mattern in the 500 (4:53.06). Megan Romano won the 100 backstroke in 56.02, Jana Mangimelli claimed the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.12, Courtney Peters took first in the 200 butterfly in 2:03.13 and Nicole Vernon had the meet's fastest time of 4:19.89 in the 400 individual medley. The 400 freestyle relay team of Erica Malagon, Mangimelli, Locus and Romano posted a meet-best time of 3:25.22.
"Our guys knew what they were getting into, and we expected a close meet," Georgia associate head coach Harvey Humphries said. "They had to be really tough mentally to overcome Alabama. There were a few events we had to be good in — the distance free, the long breaststroke and the IMs — and we couldn't afford a misstep there. We had to fight and claw everywhere else. So we were all proud of the effort.
"The good part for our women was that our young swimmers really stood up and showed us that they can race at the SECs. Our upperclassmen took the lead today. The mark of a good team is to be good no matter who you're swimming against, no matter what the score is. Today, we just kept on racing."
Saturday's meet served as Georgia's last competition before the Southeastern Conference Championships Feb. 15-18 at Tennessee. The Lady Bulldogs are the two-time defending league champions.
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