Georgia Invitational Day 2: Bella Sims Scorches NCAA’s Fastest Time in 400 IM; Liendo in 200 to Lead off Relay

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The 2023 Georgia Fall Invitational continued with Day 2 from Athens, Georgia, with several Florida swimmers thriving.

The Day 2 events are the women’s and men’s 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 800 free relay.

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Women’s 200 Medley Relay

Florida kicked off the second day of action from Athens with a win in the 200 medley relay.

Bella Sims, Molly Mayne, Olivia Peoples and Isabel Ivey scorched a time of 1:34.18 to earn the victory for the Gators.

Florida State’s Sarah Evans, Maddy Huggins, Jenny Halden and Gloria Muzito took second in 1:36.53.

Michigan finished third with Casey Chung, Natalie Kan, Brady Kendall and Lindsay Flynn getting tot he wall in 1:36.65.


Men’s 200 Medley Relay

Another quick race from the Florida men started the men’s session as Adam Chaney, Aleksas Savickas, Josh Liendo and Macguire McDuff won the 200 medley relay in 1:23.02 – the second-fastest time in the country this year.

Florida State’s Mason Herbet, Tommaso Baravelli, Tobias Schulrath and Peter Varjasi took second in 1:23.91.

Florida’s B team of Jonny Marshall, Julian Smith, Scotty Buff and Ed Fullum-Hout took third in 1:24.11.


Women’s 400 IM

After breaking a 15-year-old school record to win the 500 free on Thursday, Florida’s Bella Sims continued her stellar performance with the top time in the country this year in the 400 IM.

The freshman got to the wall in 4:01.47 to finish two seconds ahead of the field.

Florida teammate Emma Weyant took second in 4:03.65, followed by Zoe Dixon (4:06.25) for a 1-2-3 Gator sweep.


Men’s 400 IM

Georgia’s Ian Grum won the men’s 400 IM, getting to the wall in 3:40.41.

Auburn’s Danny Schmidt took second in 3:42.33, ahead of Florida’s Giovanni Linscheer (3:42.60) and Georgia’s Jake Magahey (3:44.04).


Women’s 100 Butterfly

Florida went 1-2 in the 100 butterfly with Isabel Ivey clocking a 50.60 to earn the victory. Her time is the third-fastest in the NCAA this season.

Teammate Olivia Peoples was next in 51.72 to hold off Auburn’s Meghan Lee (51.91).


Men’s 100 Butterfly

Florida’s Josh Liendo turned in the second-fastest 100 butterfly in the country this year with a stellar 44.39 to win in Athens.

Only NC State’s Luke Miller has been faster this season.

Michigan went 2-3 in the event with Gal Groumi (44.83) and Tyler Ray (46.19).


Women’s 200 Free

Michigan’s Stephanie Balduccini claimed the victory in the women’s 200 free in an extremely close race.

Balduccini got to the wall in 1:43.30, just four tenths of a second ahead of Georgia’s Dune Coetzee (1:43.70).

Georgia’s Sloane Reinstein took third in 1:44.16.


Men’s 200 Free

Georgia’s Tomas Koski got to the wall first in a close men’s 200 free. He touched in 1:32.75 to earn the victory for the Bulldogs, the fastest time in the country this season.

Florida’s Macguire McDuff took second in 1:33.14, followed by Florida teammate Jake Mitchell (1:33.17).


Women’s 100 Breaststroke 

Florida’s Molly Mayne took the win in the 100 breaststroke, touching the wall in 58.68.

Flordia State’s Maddy Huggins was second in 58.76.

Georgia Tech’s Sabyne Brisson took third in 59.08.


Men’s 100 Breaststroke

Florida State’s Peter Varjasi won the men’s 100 breast in 52.10, holding off Florida’s Julian Smith (52.15) by five hundredths of a second.

Auburn’s Henry Bethel finished third in 52.16.


Women’s 100 Backstroke

Auburn’s Ellie Waldrep claimed victory in the 100 backstroke, breaking 52 seconds and getting to the wall in 51.98.

Michigan’s Casey Chung finished second in 52.35.

Florida’s Aris Runnels was third in 52.45.


Men’s 100 Backstroke

Georgia’s Ruard Van Renen scorched a 44.50 to win the 100 backstroke. He is the second-fastest in the country this year, just two hundredths off the top time by NC State’s Kacper Stokowski.

Auburn’s Nathan Stoffle was second in 44.932, followed by Aidan Stoffle (44.98) in a great performance by the Stoffles.


Women’s 800 Free Relay

Florida’s Isabel Ivey, Bella Sims, Ekaterina Nikonova and Micayla Cronk won in 6:56.49, the fastest time this year and the first team to break 7 minutes.

Ivey and Sims both went 1:43s to lead the charge.

Georgia’s Helena Jones, Sloane Reinstein, Dune Coetzee and Rachel Stege took second in 7:00.14.

Michigan’s Hannah Bellard, Katelyn Crom, Christey Liang and Stephanie Balduccini finished third in 7:02.23.


Men’s 800 Free Relay

Florida’s Josh Liendo, Jake Mitchell, Julian Smith and Macguire McDuff threw down the fastest time in the nation this season with a 6:17.82 to win the 800 free relay.

Liendo’s lead leg of 1:32.96 was also the fastest 200 free of the season.

Michigan took second with Eitan Ben-Shirit, Gal Groumi, Ozan Kalafat and Logan Zucker finishing in 6:19.08.

Georgia’s Tomas Koski, Jake Magahey, Zach Hils and Bradley Dunham took third in 6:19.99.

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