Georgia Men Beat Tennessee By One Point; Lady Vols Defeat Bulldogs

Photo Courtesy: Chamberlain Smith / Georgia Athletics

With a decisive win in the closing men’s 400 freestyle relay, the University of Georgia swimming and diving team managed a split against Tennessee Saturday afternoon at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center.


Georgia Swimming & Diving Press Release

The No. 2 men’s team (5-0) clipped the No. 13 Volunteers by a 150.5-149.5 margin, clinching the first unbeaten men’s dual season since 1997-98 and just the second in program history. The third-ranked Georgia women (4-1) fell to the fourth-ranked Lady Volunteers, 164-136. Overall, the Bulldogs’ squads combined for 17 event wins.

Trailing by eight points entering the final event, the 400 free relay team of senior Javier Acevedo, sophomore Zach Hils, freshman Jake Magahey, and sophomore Dillon Downing finished with a first-place time of 2:55.43. Magahey clocked in a time of 43.36 on the third leg, pulling the Bulldogs ahead for the eventual win.

Four Bulldogs earned a pair of individual wins, led by senior Courtney Harnish, who took the 200 freestyle (1:46.06) and 500 freestyle (4:44.05) with B-cut times in each event, along with a second-place time of 9:45.89 in her first 1,000 freestyle outing of the season. Magahey duplicated the feat in the men’s meet, winning the 200 (1:35.65) and 500 (4:20.58) with B-cuts.

Sophomore Zoie Hartman continued her domination of the breaststroke events with a sweep, taking the 100 (59.58) and 200 (2:09.56) in B-cut swims, while junior Portia Brown earned her first career wins in a backstroke sweep, posting winning B-cut times (53.65, 1:56.42) in the 100 and 200.

In other wins, Acevedo took the 100 freestyle with a season-best time of 44.02, while fellow senior Greg Reed won the 1,000 freestyle for the third time this season with a time of 8:57.55. Sophomore Ian Grum led a four-way Georgia sweep with a B-cut of 1:44.28 in the 200 backstroke.

On the women’s side, junior Dakota Luther took the 200 butterfly for the fifth time this season with a time of 1:56.84, followed by freshman Maxine Parker’s winning time of 49.13 in the 100 freestyle. Parker also anchored the victorious 200 medley relay, posting a 22.00 freestyle split en route to an overall time of 1:38.16.

At the diving well, senior Zach Allen earned his sixth victory of the season on the 1-meter springboard, setting a new personal-best mark of 381.90. Allen nearly tallied a season-best score on the 3-meter, finishing third with a mark of 353.25. Junior Ellie Crump notched the best scores in both events for the women’s team, placing fourth on the 1-meter (276.68) and fifth on the 3-meter (263.78).

Tennessee Release

The Tennessee swimming and diving team concluded its dual meet season Saturday at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center, splitting its dual with No. 2/3 Georgia.

The fourth-ranked Lady Vols took down the third-ranked Georgia women 164-136. In a nip-and-tuck battle to the end, the 13th-ranked Vols fell in heartbreaking fashion to the No. 2 Bulldog men 150.5-149.5.

The Lady Vols won seven total events en route to the victory, including wins on both 1-meter and 3-meter springboard. Throughout the women’s meet, UT showed its depth scoring as the women placed 2-3-4 on four occasions.

“I thought our team was incredibly competitive today,” associate head coach Ashley Jahn said. “They were also really resilient. Georgia is an incredible team and very competitive as well. They have a wonderful history, an awesome coaching staff and they compete ferociously, which is why we love having them come for senior day. They bring out the best in us. Our team showed a lot of resiliency when Georgia did what they do, which is win events. Our team knew that was a possibility and they came out with the mindset of, they may win an event, but we’re going to flood the middle. They knew that even if Georgia won an event, it wasn’t the end of the meet and that was really exciting.”

UT and Georgia split the relay events with UGA opening the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay, while the Lady Vols capped the meet by winning the 400 free relay in 3:18.02. The quartet of Natalie Ungaretti, Abby Samansky, Trude Rothrock and Tjasa Pintar broke the previous meet record of 3:18.31 in the 400 free relay held by Erika Brown, Rothrock, Bailey Grinter and Stanzi Moseley.

Tennessee’s distance group of Kristen Stege, Amanda Nunan and Claire Nguyen flexed their muscles for the Lady Vols once again as they turned in strong performances in the 1,000 and 500 freestyle races. Stege got to the wall first in the 1,000, swimming a 9:40.84. That time is a new personal best and moves her to fifth all-time in Lady Vol history.

Nunan placed third in the 1,000 with a time of 9:47.35, while Nguyen hit the wall fourth at 9:55.32. Nguyen’s time in the 1,000 is also a new personal best.

In the 500, Stege placed second with a time of 4:44.87, while Nunan touched third in 4:49.55. Nguyen finished fifth in 4:50.29.

“Our distance group as a whole was phenomenal today,” Jahn said. “Kristen Stege, Claire Nguyen and Amanda Nunan did a great job. Trude Rothrock had amazing swims today as well and our divers were freaking phenomenal today. They were amazing. This was a whole team effort.”

On the boards, the Tennessee women were dominating. On 1-meter, the Lady Vols placed first, second, third and fifth. Over on the 3-meter board, UT finished first, second, third, fourth and sixth.

Senior Ana Celaya Hernandez won on 3-meter springboard with a score of 331.28, setting a new personal best in the event on senior day.

On 1-meter, junior Grace Cable took home the victory with a score of 295.73.

“I am just so proud of Ana and so happy for her,” diving coach Dave Parrington said. “She has been diving with more and more confidence as the year has been progressing and it showed up today on 3-meter.”

The Lady Vols rounded out the meet with wins in the pool from Ungaretti in the 50 free (22.61), Rothrock in the 100 butterfly (53.16) and Danika Katzer in the 200 IM (1:58.51).

On the men’s side, Tennessee and Georgia evenly split the events with both teams winning eight apiece. Like the women, UT and UGA split the relays with the Vols winning the 200 medley relay in 1:25.22 and the Bulldogs taking the 400 free relay.

Tennessee’s quartet of Harrison Lierz, Michael Houlie, Kayky Mota and Scott Scanlon turned in the 1:25.22, which set a new meet record. It broke the previous time of 1:25.64 held by Braga Verhage, PJ Stevens, Ryan Coetzee and Kyle DeCoursey.

The men’s dual came down to the final relay with Georgia placing first and third after one of UT’s relay teams was disqualified for an early takeoff. The Vol “A” relay team touched third, but due to the early takeoff, was disqualified bumping up the UGA “B” relay.

The 13 points secured by the Bulldogs from the 400 free relay was enough to give them the one-point win.

“We always want to win of course, but beyond that I can’t imagine a better collegiate SEC dual meet,” associate head coach Lance Asti said. “You always want it to be nip-and-tuck like that because it brings out the best in people. I joked with my guys that we were commencing Operation Kitchen Sink. We were going to throw everything we had left at these guys and it was extremely successful. At the end of the day, we jumped a relay. But that’s also because we put ourselves in a hole and the mission was throw everything we had, so we had to push the relay. It was the right thing to do there. You lose the meet either way, so he pushed the relay exchange and I don’t fault him for that. He has being very aggressive and doing what it took to win and it was seven one hundredths and that’s okay.”

As it has done all season long, the men’s breaststroke group brought in a large haul of points for the Big Orange. In the 100 breaststroke, the Vols placed 1-2-3-4 with Houlie winning the event in 52.13. His time broke the old meet record of 52.35 set by Stevens in 2016.

In the 200 breast, UT finished 1-2-3 as newcomer Lyubomir Epitropov earned his second win as a Vol with a time of 1:56.85. Epitropov broke the previous meet record of 1:57.35 held by Georgia’s Chase Kalisz.

“What I like about that group is they train as a pack, compete as a pack and win as a pack,” Asti said. “It’s a team effort. It’s not an individual highlighting it. They do it as a group and that was showcased today.”

The diving Vols split the 1-meter and 3-meter boards with Georgia as Tennessee’s Matthew Wade brought home the win on 3-meter. The Mallorca, Spain, native scored 396.83 to snag the victory as freshman teammate Bryden Hattie placed second with a score of 387.30.

While UGA’s Zachary Allan won on 1-meter, Tennessee’s divers placed second through seventh. Wade and Hattie again led the group, with Wade placing second with a score of 320.40. Hattie was third at 320.18.

“I saw a lot of consistency from the guys today,” Parrington said. “Saw some things from Matt today which were improvements from last week and a couple of things he ironed out. He hit his final dive on 1-meter to pass a few of his teammates to get second. Bryden is starting to show some of his stuff. He is weathering some of the effects of being out, so he isn’t quite were he needs to be but we saw more of what I expect to see down the road.”

In the butterfly events, Mota continued his winning ways as he won both the 100 and 200 fly. His time of 46.28 in the 100 fly set a new meet record, breaking the old time of 46.56 set by Coetzee in 2018.

Scott Scanlon and Jordan Tiffany rounded out the Vols’ wins Saturday as they earned victories in the 50 free and 200 IM. Scanlon’s 19.78 in the 50 free earned him the win, while Tiffany won the 200 IM with a 1:47.99.

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