NCAA Div. I Women: Georgia Beats Cal, 163-129

ATHENS, Georgia, Nov. 1. THE second-ranked Georgia women’s swimming and diving team posted an impressive 163-129 victory against the No. 4 California Golden Bears this evening at Gabrielsen Natatorium.

The Lady Bulldogs won 11 of the 16 events en route to their third win of the season. The Dawgs are now 3-0, while the bears drop to 1-1.

"The kids did a great job,” said head coach Jack Bauerle. "I think are a little bit deeper than we have been in the past. I could not be happier with the kids. We kind of stood up and did the job tonight. I
think (Cal) is probably not as deep as we are and that showed, especially in a meet this long. Hats off to our kids for racing hard, and they were very excited about racing Cal.

"I thought we were good with our second and third line scorers, and sometimes the fourth person in the event did a great job," offered Bauerle. "I think some races will get overshadowed. I really believe that sometimes the races that aren’t first place are the ones that are
going to be really important to this team."

During the competition, Georgia (3-0) posted 17 NCAA qualifying times (six automatic, 11 provisional).

"First of all, I had no idea that happened," said Bauerle on the 17 qualifying times. "I was just watching the meet. I am a little surprised (on so many this early in the season). I can’t say enough about them; they are racers."

"I think Georgia is very good, top to bottom,” said Cal head coach Teri McKeever. "They have their stars, but their second and third-place finishers are as good as just about anyone in the country. I am very
impressed with their intensity, the way they raced, and technically they were strong on the starts and turns. They were very impressive."

The Lady Bulldogs started the night by winning the 200-yard medley relay, as the foursome of Lauren Gettel, Sarah Poewe, Mary DeScenza and Maritza Correia won with an NCAA provisional time of 1:41.01.

Julie Hardt led a 1-2 punch in the 1000-yard freestyle as she stopped the clock with a winning time of 10:00.64. Freshman Laura Conway took second with a time of 10:07.54. Cal’s Lauren Medina took third in 10:11.27.

California’s superstar Natalie Coughlin came through with amazing performances in her second appearance at Gabrielsen Natatorium. Coughlin posted an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 53.62 to win the 100-yard
backstroke by more than a second by ahead of second-place Gettel, who also had an NCAA A-cut time of 54.99. Georgia claimed places two through five.

DeScenza continues to be impressive in her first season as a Lady Bulldog, winning two events against Cal. She blazed to a personal-best time of 1:56.27 to win the 200-yard butterfly. Stephanie Buck finished second (2:01.65), and Linn Thorburn took third (2:02.48). DeScenza also led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 200-yard freestyle with an NCAA B-cut time of 1:47.56. Paige Kearns and Rebecca Rose finished second and
third, respectively.

Poewe proved why she is one of the top breaststrokers in the country as she stopped the clock in 1:01.13 to win the 100-yard breaststroke. The time was a season best and NCAA automatic qualifying time. Ertter
finished third (1:03.01) behind Olympian Staciana Stitts from California. Poewe earned her second individual victory with an automatic qualifying time of 2:13.86 to win the 200-yard breaststroke. Stitts
finished second in the event with a time of 2:16.53. Poewe also posted a season-best time of 2:04.58 in the 200-yard individual medley.

The 50-yard freestyle was won by Correia, who holds the American record in that event, with a time of 22.98. Kearns was runner-up with a time of 23.43. Cal’s Danielle Becks finished third, as the Golden Bears took places three through six.

In the diving well, Brooke Bassham claimed top honors in the 1-meter springboard event with a personal-best score of 276.59. Grace Cagle took third with a score of 191.62. Bassham swept the springboard events with
a winning score of 270.22 on the 3-meter. Cagle took fourth. Laura Trkovsky, who is a walk-on this year, posted two fifth-place finishes in her first home meet as a Lady Bulldog.

Coughlin claimed individual victory No. 2 as she posted an automatic qualifying time of 48.06 in the 100-yard freestyle, which was 0.01 of a second off the Gabrielsen Natatorium record that was set by Southern
Methodist’s Martina Moravcova at the 1999 NCAA Championships. Correia recorded an automatic qualifying time of her own, finishing second with
a season-best 48.94.

Both Coughlin and DeScenza posted automatic qualifying times in the 100-yard butterfly, with the Golden Bear taking first with a mark of 51.90. DeScenza stopped the clock in 53.44.

The 200-yard back saw Gettel post a season-best time of 1:58.13 to win the event. Buck finished third, and freshman Jackie Soladay finished fourth.

Rose won the 500-yard freestyle with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 4:53.04, followed by Cal’s Ashley Chandler in second. Hardt had the fastest time in the event at 4:51.01, but she was an exhibitioned swimmer.

"There were some great races — Natalie and Ritz are two of the best freestylers in the country, and Mary and Natalie had a great race," added Buerle.

"Certainly Sarah Poewe showed her stuff tonight, Lauren
Gettel, Maritza Correia and Steph Buck swam great. Linn Thorburn did great, and Brooke gave us a boost with two wins as well."

Georgia will be back in action Thursday, Nov. 7, as the Bulldogs take on instate rival Georgia Tech at Gabrielsen Natatorium beginning at 5 p.m.

Final Score:
Georgia 163
California 129

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