Dakota Luther, Luca Urlando Sweep Butterfly Races as Georgia Beats North Carolina

Dakota Luther -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Dakota Luther, Luca Urlando Sweep Butterfly Races as Georgia Beats North Carolina

The Georgia Bulldogs competed in their first dual meet of the season Friday afternoon at home in Athens as Jack Bauerle’s group took on Mark Gangloff’s North Carolina Tar Heels, and Georgia swam away with victories in both the women’s and men’s meets. The Bulldogs’ veteran stars were out in full force as Gabi Fa’AmausiliDakota Luther and Zoie Hartman all won multiple events for the women in a 175-120 victory, and freshman Abigail McCulloh was very impressive in winning the 1000 free and 500 free. For the UGA men, Jake MagaheyLuca Urlando and Andrew Abruzzo led the way as Georgia won 164.5 to 130.5, desptie exhibitioning the last few events.

McCulloh put up times of 9:44.84 in the 1000 free and 4:47.25 in the 500 free as she cruised to victory. Fa’Amausili led off Georgia’s 200 medley relay that also conisted of Hartman, Luther and Maxine Parker, and that group won in 1:39.23. Fa’Amausili then won the 100 back (54.43) and 100 free (49.77), while Luther swam a swift 1:56.93 in the 100 fly and 54.23 in the 100 fly. Hartman won the 100 breast (59.82) and 200 breast (2:11.82), and then team of Fa’Amausili, Parker, Hartman and Eboni McCarty touched first in the 400 free relay in 3:20.17.

Also for Georgia, Dune Coetzee won the 200 free in 1:47.52, and Millie Sansome won the 200 back (1:58.88). Callie Dickinson was the first-place finisher in the 200 IM (2:02.68).

North Carolina’s lone swimming victory in the women’s meet was in the 50 free, where Grace Countie dominated with her 22.35. Aranza Vazquez won both 3-meter (331.28) and 1-meter diving (326.33).

In the men’s meet, Georgia’s 200 medley relay kicked off with a three-second win behind Wesley NgHarrison Wayner, Urlando and Dillon Downing (1:26.32), and then Magahey won the next two events. He pulled the dreaded 1000 free-200 free double quite successfully with a 9:02.97 to win by almost five seconds in the 40-length race and then a 1:36.37 to overtake teammate Zach Hils (1:36.55) in the eight-lapper. Hils later won the 100 free in 44.17.

Urlando, who finished a heartbreaking third place in the 200-meter butterfly at Olympic Trials, opened his sophomore campaign with a 1:43.37 for a convincing win in the 200-yard fly, and he added a 46.43 in the 100 fly to pull off another win there. Meanwhile, Abruzzo took second to Urlando in the 200 fly (1:45.31) before winning the 500 free (4:22.44) and taking first place (as an exhibition swimmer) in the 200 IM (1:47.56).

Georgia picked up wins from Ng in the 100 back (47.56), Downing in the 50 free (20.12), Ian Grum in the 200 back (1:45.08) and the team of Downing, Ananda Lim, Magahey and Bradley Dunham in the 400 free relay (2:56.89).

North Carolina’s standout swimmer was Valdas Abaliksta, who dominated the 100 breast in 54.55 (while finishing 1-2 with teammate Jacob Rauch). Abaliksta also won the 200 breast in 2:00.11. UNC’s Anton Down-Jenkins won 1-meter (385.73) and 3-meter diving (408.90).

Full results