Jake Magahey, Luca Urlando Win Two Each as Georgia Men Ride Big Comeback to Win at Auburn; Bulldog Women Also Victorious

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Jake Magahey -- Photo Courtesy: Luke Jamroz Photography

Jake Magahey, Luca Urlando Win Two Each as Georgia Men Ride Big Comeback to Win at Auburn; Bulldog Women Also Victorious

The major SEC showdown of this week’s slate of college dual meets saw the Georgia Bulldogs make the trip down I-85 to face off against the Auburn Tigers, and Georgia ended up win wins in both meets. The Bulldog women cruised by a 178-122 score, while Auburn had the lead for most of the day against Georgia’s men before a late comeback saw the visitors prevail, 159-141.

That comeback effort was in large part thanks to the efforts of two accomplished sophomores. First, Jake Magahey, last year’s NCAA champion in the 500 free, finished first both the 500 (4:20.45) and 1000 free (8:57.69), and then Luca Urlando, who narrowly missed qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in the 200-meter butterfly, won the 100 back (46.13) and 100 fly (46.32) in impressive times while also leading Georgia to wins in the 200 medley and 400 free relays.

The highlights for Georgia’s women came from Zoie Hartmann, who won the 100 breast (1:01.50), 200 breast (2:12.69) and 200 IM (1:59.93), and Dakota Luther, who was first in the 200 fly (1:56.65) and 100 fly (53.89). The two seniors swam the middle legs of the victorious 200 medley relay with backstroker Eboni McCarty and freestyler Maxine Parker, and freshman Abby McCulloh was again impressive in winning the 1000 free in 9:45.83.

Check out full results from the meet here.

Read the full press release from Georgia below:

Highlighted by a late comeback by the men’s team, the eighth-ranked University of Georgia swimming and diving team swept rival Auburn Friday afternoon at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center. The men’s team (3-1, 2-1 SEC) used strong performances in the 200 IM and 400 freestyle relay to overtake the Tigers, 159-141, while the women’s team (3-1, 2-1 SEC) bested the 23rd-ranked Auburn women, 178-122.

Sophomore Luca Urlando continued his dominant start with four victories, including a season-best time of 46.13 in the 100 backstroke that ranks second nationally. Urlando also led the clinching 400 freestyle relay with an opening split of 43.22, earning a B-cut via Georgia’s top 100 freestyle this season. Fellow SEC Swimmer of the Week Zoie Hartman also earned four wins, remaining unbeaten in the breaststroke events this season.

After sweeping the opening 200 medley relays, freshman Abby McCulloh and sophomore Jake Magahey remained dominant in the distance events. McCulloh set a new season-best time of 9:45.83 in the 1000 freestyle, the third-fastest time in the nation this season. Magahey then prevailed in both the 500 (4:20.45) and 1000 (8:57.69). In the sprints, senior Gabi Fa’amausili took first in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, earning B-cuts in both events, while Dillon Downing took the 50.

Along with Urlando, the Bulldogs were outstanding in the butterfly as senior Dakota Luther remained unbeaten this season with a pair of wins, including a season-best 1:56.65 in the 200. Luther’s commanding 200 win was followed by senior Andrew Abruzzo’s equally dominant 1:46.12 in the men’s event, with both swimmers winning by four seconds. Abruzzo also finished second in the 500 freestyle and 200 butterfly, with junior Zach Hils taking the 200 IM. In other wins, junior Ian Grum was victorious in the 200 backstroke and sophomore Sloane Reinstein won the 200 freestyle.

At the diving well, Georgia posted its strongest performance of the season, with sophomore Meghan Wenzel earning the Bulldogs’ first win with a Zone-qualifying score of 273.30. Wenzel also earned a Zone cut with a second-place mark of 301.20 in the 3-meter. On the men’s side, freshman Nolan Lewis qualified for Zones on the 1-meter with a second-place score of 310.35.

Read the full press release from Auburn below:

The Auburn men took No. 8 Georgia down to the wire in Friday’s dual meet but ultimately came up short, falling 159-141. It was a similar result for the Auburn women who dropped their meet against No. 8 Georgia with a score of 178-122.

“I thought we competed well,” Auburn head coach Ryan Wochomurka said. “We came up short on too many close races today. That’s something we’ve had conversations about leading into this week. So if there’s one area we could’ve been better, we just came up on the wrong end of every close race. That’s something we have to get better at culturally as a team and as a program.

“But outside of that, we competed extremely well. To be in the hunt on the men’s side and for it to come down to the last relay – we had to make them work for it today, and that’s exciting to see for where we’re going to be in February and March.”

WOMEN

Two of Auburn’s three individual wins in the pool Friday came from freshman Ellie Waldrep who swept the 100 and 200 backstroke events. Waldrep touched the wall first in the 100 back at 53.30 and then swam her fastest time at Auburn (1:56.63) to win the 200 back.

Senior Emily Hetzer earned the other win for the Tigers, finishing first in the 500 freestyle with a season-best time of 4:48.88. Hetzer took second in the 1,000 free.

Fellow senior Mykenzie Leehy, a graduate transfer from Houston, had her best meet as an Auburn Tiger with season-best times in the 100 freestyle (50.30) and 200 freestyle (1:48.97). Leehy finished second in the 200 free and was fourth in the 100 free.

Other season-fast times set on the women’s included Averee Preble (1000 free), Carly Cummings (200 breast, 200 IM) and Lexie Mulvihill (100 fly).

MEN

Through 14 of 16 events, the Auburn men held a slight lead over Georgia thanks in large part to the efforts of senior Christian Sztolcman and sophomore Reid Mikuta.

It was easily the best meet of the season for Sztolcman who picked up the first win of the meet for Auburn in the 200 freestyle (1:36.78) and then came back to win the 100 freestyle, finishing in 44.12. Both were season-best times. Sztolcman also anchored the men’s 400 freestyle relay with a split of 43.01 to take second place.

Mikuta once again swept the breaststroke events for Auburn, winning the 100 breast in 53.53 and then touching the wall first at 1:59.54 to win the 200 breast. Mikuta, who also took third in the 200 IM, has won the 100 breast in all three meets this season.

In the 200 breaststroke, it was a 1-2-3 sweep for the Tigers with Mikuta, Adriel Sanes and Alejandro Flores. It was a season-best time (2:02.19) for Flores.

Freshman Andrew Simmons set new top times at Auburn in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. He finished second in the 200 back with a time of 1:45.42.

DIVING

For the second straight meet, Conner Pruitt won both springboard events on the men’s side. The senior scored 388.58 on 3-meter and 359.93 on 1-meter. Freshman Whit Andrus also had a strong day, finishing second on 3-meter and third on 1-meter.

On the women’s side, junior Ashlynn Sullivan led the way with a score of 313.88 to win the 3-meter competition. She also placed second overall on 1-meter.

“Overall, a really strong day,” head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. “I’m excited with the direction we’re headed. Obviously, Conner showed his athleticism in taking both springboards. And then Whit and Hunter getting a second and third on 3-meter and third and fourth on 1-meter – both had some strong dives, which is encouraging.

“It was good to see Ashlynn get a little bit back to what I know she’s capable of doing.”