ATHENS, GA – Holding steady to their unblemished dual meet records, Georgia’s top ranked Lady Bulldogs and the seventh-ranked Bulldogs improved to 5-0 on the season with a double-sided victory over the SMU Mustangs on Saturday afternoon at Gabrielsen Natatorium. Georgia won 130-120 in women’s competition and 157-97 in men’s competition.
“I’m not sure we would have gone this fast if we had been racing anyone other than SMU,” said Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle. “They really pushed us. All we asked of our team was that they race hard, and they certainly did that. It’s not uncommon to come out of Christmas training felling sorry for yourself, but both teams really stood up and raced.”
The Lady Bulldogs kicked off the meet with a provisional qualifying mark of 1:52.76 in the 200m medley relay and the men’s team answered with a first-place result as well behind the efforts of Marc Lindasy, Jim Sellers, Chris Murray and John Stratman.
Senior co-captain Beau Wiebel clocked an 8:00.54 to win the 800m freestyle and turned in the fastest time of the night in the 400m IM with a 4:17.55 to improve his own pool record. Sellers doubled in the 100m (1:03.99) and 200m (2:19.05) breaststroke events, leading Georgia’s sweep of the top three positions while closely followed by Jake Reid and Chris Maurer in both races. Lindsay captured firsts in both of the backstroke events and junior Reeve Irvin won both the 200m and 400m freestyle. Parker Shade won the 200m fly (2:01.87) and also clocked a 55.54 for the best time of the evening in the 100m fly.
Georgia also gained valuable points in the sprint freestyle events with Murray taking first in the 50m free (22.77) and Stratman following suit in the 100m free (50.51).
For the Lady Bulldogs, Courtney Shealy clocked a 25.09 in the 50m freestyle for her fastest time of the season while improving on her previous automatic standard and also posted a 54.91 in the 100m free for another first place. Kristy Kowal was unofficially a double-event winner, posting a 1:07.94 in the 100m breast and automatic qualifying time of 4:43.78 in the 400m IM to top the field while swimming in exhibition. Kim Black won both the 200m (1:59.41) and 400m (4:12.15) free and Christine Keller won the 100m back (1:02.44) and posted the fastest time in the 100m fly (1:01.77) in exhibition. Melissa Bartlett posted a 16:41.31 to win the 1500m freestyle.
Georgia swimming and diving action continues next weekend with perhaps the toughest dual meets of the season — the Lady Bulldogs travel to No. 2 Arizona for a meet on Friday, Jan. 14 and the Bulldogs travel to No. 1 Texas for a meet on Saturday, Jan. 15.