Luca Urlando, Jake Magahey Make Georgia Debuts in Win Over South Carolina

luca-urlando
Luca Urlando. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Luca Urlando and Jake Magahey make their long-awaited Georgia debuts with wins over South Carolina to open this unusual season.

Following a seven-month layoff, the University of Georgia swimming and diving team returned to action with a resounding sweep of South Carolina Friday at the Carolina Natatorium.

  • Men: Georgia, 182, South Carolina, 97
  • Women: Georgia, 165.5, South Carolina, 129.5
  • Results

Georgia Swimming & Diving Press Release

With the two victories, Tom Cousins Swimming & Diving Head Coach Jack Bauerle reached 579 career wins, moving him into second place all-time in NCAA history, passing former North Carolina head coach Frank Comfort.

“We’re really proud of both teams today,” said Bauerle. “It was better than we expected because it’s been a long time since they’ve raced. We feel like we have two pretty darn good teams and it was nice to start with a conference win.”

During the two sessions, the Bulldogs claimed 22 event wins in the first of a home-and-home series with the Gamecocks. The two teams will again face off on Saturday, Jan. 16 at Gabrielsen Natatorium.

The morning session opened solidly for the Georgia women as the 200 medley relay team of senior Gabi Fa’amausili, sophomore Zoie Hartman, junior Dakota Luther, and freshman Maxine Parker took first with a winning time of 1:39.62.

Each of the four relay competitors would go on to win individual events later in the meet. Hartman picked right up from last season as she swept both breaststroke events with B-cut times, taking the 100 at 1:00.45 and the 200 at 2:12.99. In the 100, senior Danielle Della Torre finished in second with a time of 1:01.13, also earning a B-cut.

Luther prevailed in the 200 butterfly with a B-cut time of 1:57.19, while Fa’amausili took first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.97. In her collegiate debut, Parker finished first in the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.29, along with a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle. Another freshman, Sloane Reinstein, also had a strong premiere with top-four placements in the 100 and 200 freestyle.

Senior Olivia Anderson posted an outstanding season opener for the Bulldogs, taking both the 500 (4:53.77) and 1,000 freestyle (9:57.75). Fellow senior Courtney Harnish also earned a pair of B-cut wins, leading the 200 freestyle at 1:47.88, followed by the 100 butterfly at 53.65. Junior Callie Dickinson placed second in both backstroke events, while sophomore Jillian Barczyk and junior Maddie Homovich were the runners-up in the 500 and 1,000 freestyle respectively.

At the diving well, freshman Meghan Wenzel turned in an impressive first outing, placing second on both springboards with Zone-qualifying scores. On the 3-meter, Wenzel scored a 312.15, followed by a mark of 302.18 on the 1-meter that narrowly missed out on a first-place finish. Junior Ellie Crump also qualified for Zones in each event with scores of 282.00 on the 3-meter and 267.53 on the 1-meter.

In the afternoon session, the Bulldogs’ victory was headlined by the debut of freshman Jake Magahey, who took first in the 200, 500, and 1,000 freestyle races. Fellow first-year Luca Urlando opened impressively with a winning B-cut time of 1:45.73 in the 200 butterfly, along with a B-cut second-place time in the 100. Junior Andrew Abruzzo earned a B-cut as well in the 200 with a time of 1:46.15.

Redshirt senior Javier Acevedo returned following a one-year absence to claim wins in the 100 freestyle (44.33) and 100 backstroke (47.66), as well as lead off the winning 200 medley relay team. Redshirt sophomore Bradley Dunham also turned in a strong return as he took the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:46.08 after placing second in the 100.

Senior Jack Dalmolin swept the breaststroke events with times of 56.06 in the 100 and 2:03.20 in the 200, while senior Camden Murphy claimed the 100 butterfly with a B-cut of 46.82. In the distance events, senior Greg Reed took second with times of 4:28.78 in the 500 and 9:08.53 in the 1,000 respectively.

At the well, senior Zach Allen took the 1-meter competition with a Zone-qualifying score of 349.05, while junior Hudson Coldren placed third with a score of 240.90.

“We’re deeper and better—we’re going to be a really good team,” said Bauerle. “I’m looking forward to seeing what this team can do. They’re certainly a little rusty, but the spirit’s there and this is a good group.”

The Bulldogs will return to Athens next week to open their home slate against rival Florida at Gabrielsen Natatorium. The women’s meet will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the men at 2 p.m.

South Carolina Release

  • The Gamecock women picked up their first win in the women’s 100-yard backstroke when junior Mari Kraus finished in a time of 55.59 to win the event by 0.18 seconds over Georgia’s Callie Dickinson.
  • Kraus won again for the Gamecocks later in the meet, finishing her 200-yard backstroke victory in a time of 1:59.98, just 0.04 seconds, besting Georgia’s Dickinson for the second time in the meet by a slim margin.
  • Sammie Ai’s Gamecock debut was a memorable one as the Pasadena, Md., native, won the 200-yard IM in 2:01.99, just missing the Gamecocks all-time top 10 mark of 2:00.74 held by Amanda Rutqvist. Ai also took fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke in her debut, finishing in a time of 1:03.22.
  • Yu Qian Goh was a dominant force for the women in the diving portion of the meet, claiming victory in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions. Goh, a senior from Wellington, New Zealand, took the 1-meter win with a score of 308.25 while claiming the 3-meter event with a score of 325.35, edging out Georgia’s Meghan Wenzel in both events.
  • Sophomore Janie Smith was solid for the Gamecocks in the 50-meter freestyle, finishing in second in a time of 23.08 while also finishing fourth in the 100 fly in a time of 54.91.
  • In the men’s meet it was Lewis Burras who won the first event for the Gamecocks. The school-record holder in the 50 yard free proved why he owns that title with a winning time of 20.06, just ahead of Georgia’s Dillon Downing at 20.33.
  • The men’s 400 yard freestyle relay ended the dual in style. The team of Burras, AJ Ross, Mark Shperkin and Phil Costin cruised to a win with an impressive time of 2:58.04, which just missed out of the 10th best time in school history that was set in 2013.
  • AJ Ross was another Gamecock that stepped up in the 50-yard freestyle, taking third in the event in a time of 20.66.

HEAD COACH MCGEE MOODY ON THE WOMEN’S PERFORMANCE:

“Today we were excited to kick off the 2020 season, we had one of the best teams in the country in Georgia to race with. I was really proud of our women, a lot of people stepped up. Mari Kraus had an outstanding meet, having a lifetime best in the 100 backstroke and then won the 200 backstroke as well. We also had some contributions from our younger student-athletes. Sammi Ai won the 200 IM which was outstanding and then had a solid breaststroke. We were excited to see where we were in the training and how we have developed in a very unorthodox year. We have had to make a lot of changes to how we do things and it was just good to see our athletes respond.”

HEAD COACH MCGEE MOODY ON THE MEN’S PERFORMANCE:

“We had some outstanding swims on the men’s side today. Our relays were strong today, especially our men’s 400 meter relay to close the meet out with a victory. 2:58 is a really solid time for right now for those guys. It will look to be a top-10 time in the country as this weekend develops nationally. Lewis Burras was great as always, AJ Ross was really strong. All-in-all we saw some good strong swims. We have some places we have got to improve in. We have some time to go back to the drawing board and and fix some things and race strategies so we can be sharp when we take on the Tar Heels.”

DIVING COACH TODD SHERRITT ON THE DIVING PERFORMANCES:

“Today went extremely well on the women’s side of things. I’m very very happy. Yi Qian Goh winning both boards is huge for her to be able to build some consistency and put some wins together. She really didn’t miss anything. Everything we have been working on she was able to accomplish. On the guy’s side, Alex Claus did a great job today. He has been training so hard. His work over this year and last year is really starting to pay off and he is really starting to turn into a really good diver.”

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