By Rebecca Noblett
ATHENS, Georgia. February 19. On the first night of individual swimming, the Georgia women kept up their winning streak by placing first in every event, while Florida continued their dominance on the men’s side with three individual event wins.
The Bulldogs got the night started with a podium sweep in the 500 free. Brittany MacLean clocked in at 4:34.63 for the title and a new SEC meet record, lowering the mark set by Caroline Burckle of Florida back in 2008. Shannon Vreeland also touched under the old SEC meet record with a time of 4:34.73. Amber McDermott rounded out the podium with a time of 4:35.00. Texas A&M’s Cammile Adams (4:35.67) and Sarah Henry (4:36.53) earned NCAA A-cuts for their swims.
Melanie Margalis posted another SEC meet record for the Bulldogs, hitting the wall in 1:52.87. That time puts her at the fastest this year. Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel took second, with her 1:54.26 also under the old meet record time. Erica Dittmer of Texas A&M placed third, clocking in at 1:55.58 for an NCAA A-cut.
Georgia kept their streak alive in the 50 free, with freshman Olivia Smoliga getting the win with a time of 21.54. Fellow Bulldog Maddie Locus touched second in 21.67, with Tennessee’s Faith Johnson hitting the wall third in 21.84. Natalie Hinds of Florida (21.91) and Erica Dittmer of Texas A&M (21.98) earned A-cuts for their swims.
The Bulldog women capped off the night with a win in the 200 free relay. Olivia Smoliga (21.80), Maddie Locus (21.78), Jessica Graber (21.83), and Chantal VanLandeghem (21.68) clocked in at 1:27.09 for the title. Tennessee took second, with the team of Cherelle Thompson (22.90), Faith Johnson (21.55), Harper Bruens (22.18), and Lindsay Gendron (21.74) touching in 1:28.37. Texas A&M rounded off the podium, with the team of Lili Ibanez Lopez (22.44), Breeja Larson (22.17), Sammie Bosma (22.30), and Erica Dittmer (21.57) hitting the wall in 1:28.48. Auburn (1:28.63) and Florida (1:28.70) also earned A-cuts for their swims.
Florida kicked off their dominant night on the men’s side by taking the top two spots in the 500 free. Dan Wallace clocked in at 4:10.73, taking down Conor Dwyer’s meet record from 2011. Wallace’s time is the best of the season by over two seconds. The Gators took second as well, with Mitch D’Arrigo touching in 4:12.73. Matias Koski of Georgia placed third, hitting the wall with a time of 4:14.96 for an A-cut.
Florida once again held the top two spots on the podium in the 200 IM. Sebastian Rousseau took first with a time of 1:42.22, just ahead of teammate Marcin Cieslak, who clocked in at 1:42.34. Georgia’s Chase Kalisz touched third with a time of 1:42.53. Georgia’s Nic Fink (1:43.03) and Florida’s Eduardo Solache-Gomez (1:43.24) also earned A-cuts for their swims.
The Gators’ Bradley de Borde took home the title in the 50 free, with a time of 18.88. The time was even more impressive considering de Borde (or should I say, de Beard) won the event with a full beard. Auburn rounded out the podium, with Marcelo Chierighini (19.18) and Kyle Darmody (18.21) taking second and third. Alabama’s Kristian Kkolomeev also earned an A-cut with his time of 19.23.
deBorde talked about his 50 free.
Auburn got a boost in points during tonight’s 1M diving event, taking first and third place. Senior John Santieu took home the 1M title with a score of 395.25. Tennessee’s Mauricio Robles placed second with 395.20 points, and Auburn’s Fraser McKean took third with 390.45 points.
The Tigers wrapped up the night with a win in the 200 free relay. The team of Marcelo Chierighini (19.04), James Disney-May (19.35), TJ Leon (19.02), and Kyle Darmody (18.57) clocked in at 1:15.98 for the victory. Alabama placed second, with Kristian Gkolomeev, BJ Hornikel (19.13), Vlad Cacuic (19.13), and Brett Walsh (18.72) touching in 1:16.26. Florida’s team of Brad de Borde (19.13), Corey Main (18.77), Pawel Werner (19.62), and Matthew Curby (19.36) took third with a time of 1:16.88. Tennessee (1:17.11) and Texas A&M (1:17.32) also earned A-cuts for their swims.
Not surprisingly, Georgia’s women lead on points after day two, with 577 points. Florida (421) and Texas A&M (417) round out the top three, followed by Tennessee (312), Arkansas (217), Mizzou (199), LSU (191), Alabama (183), Auburn (181), Kentucky (109), and Vanderbilt (94).
For the men, Auburn lead after day two, with 474 points. Florida (451) and Georgia (414) round out the top three, followed by Texas A&M (296), Tennessee (289), Alabama (285), Mizzou (266), South Carolina (251), Kentucky (239), and LSU (208).