ATHENS, Georgia, January 4. WITH head coach Jack Bauerle and star sophomore Chase Kalisz not on deck due to academic eligibility issues surrounding Kalisz, the Georgia Bulldogs had to dig deep to beat the North Carolina State Wolfpack today, especially on the men’s side.
The Georgia women outscored N.C. State 186-113, while the men had a harder time of it, getting the meet win with a score of 156-142. With the two wins, Bauerle collected his 500th and 501st dual meet wins, which will be credited to him despite his suspension.
On the men’s side, N.C. State came prepared, winning eight of the 16 events. A little bit more depth in Georgia’s roster helped with not having Kalisz in the pool, as did a 1-2-3 sweep in the 500 freestyle. That sweep was led by Matias Koski, who posted a 4:29.75 ahead of Will Freeman (4:32.61) and Andrew Gemmell (4:33.43).
Another big swimmer for the Georgia men today was Ty Stewart, who won the 200 fly with a 1:47.31 and the 400 IM with a 3:55.59. Stewart’s better event is the 200 back, in which he sits fourth in the collegiate rankings so far this season. But his talents were sorely needed in the events he swam today, as he prevented N.C. State from taking the precious first-place points in those races.
Nic Fink, back in the swing of things after participating in the Duel in the Pool, won both breaststrokes for Georgia, taking the 100 in 55.71 and the 200 in 2:02.12 ahead of Stewart’s 2:02.42.
For the Wolfpack, Jonathan Boffa also won two events. He led a 1-2 N.C. State finish in the 100 free with a 44.37 over teammate Simonas Bilis’ 44.95. Boffa also outdueled Koski in the 200 free, posting a 1:38.59 to Koski’s 1:38.67. Bilis, who recently competed in the short course European championships, won the 50 free today with a 20.35.
Two events that helped Georgia greatly in the point totals were the 100 back and 100 breast. A win by Georgia’s Taylor Dale by 3-hundredths of a second over N.C. State’s Andreas Schiellerup, 48.80 to 48.83, gave Georgia those crucial first-place points. Also, a disqualification by N.C. State’s Ian Bishop in the 100 breast cost the Wolfpack some points, as Bishop posted a time that was likely to score at least third-place points.
Barrett Miesfeld, an NCAA finalist in the 100 fly last March, took that event handily with a 47.55.
N.C. State kept things interesting through the first part of the meet, winning four of the first eight events. But Georgia’s depth kept the point spread wide enough to make the meet a runaway by the halfway point — as did a 1-2-3 sweep in both diving events.
With three wins, Amber McDermott was the day’s MVP. She won the 1000 free with a 9:58.68 then followed it up with a 2:01.13 in the 200 back to just beat out N.C. State’s Alexia Zevnik’s 2:01.34. McDermott wrapped up her day with a 4:21.47 to cruise to the win in the 400 IM.
The other multiple-event winner for the Georgia women was Annie Zhu, who posted a 1:03.23 in the 100 breast and 2:16.33 in the 200 breast.
None of the N.C. State swimmers got double wins, but the Wolfpack showed off their sprint freestyle prowess with Lauren Poli beating Georgia’s Olivia Smoliga in the 50 free, 23.28 to 23.30. Natalie labonge won the 100 free with a 51.49, taking down Chantal Van Landeghem’s 51.68 and Smoliga’s 51.75.
Though the meet had been decided by the final relay, N.C. State celebrated a win over Georgia in the 400 free relay. N.C. State swam a 3:24.49 over a talented Georgia squad’s 3:25.27.
More results from the meet are available by clicking the link below. Official results from the men’s 400 free relay were not immediately available.