Reid Mikuta Posts 51.33 100 Breast at Georgia Tech Invitational

Photo Courtesy: Auburn Athletics

Reid Mikuta Posts 51.33 100 Breast at Georgia Tech Invitational

During the second night of racing at the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta (the pool which will host both the Women’s and Men’s NCAA Championships in March), the top performance came from Auburn’s Reid Mikuta. Mikuta was not qualified to swim the event at NCAAs last season, but he blasted a 51.33 to throw himself squarely into the mix for this year. That time would have qualified for the A-final at the national-level meet a season ago, and Mikuta beat out Florida State’s Izaak Bastian (52.27) and Florida’s Dillon Hillis (52.37). Previously, Hillis finished second in this event at NCAAs last year.

Meanwhile, after a huge night one for Florida Olympian Kieran Smith, when he won two individual events and led Florida to a pair of relay triumphs, Smith led Florida to a win in the 800 free relay. Smith (1:32.66), Trey Freeman (1:33.48), Alfonso Mestre (1:33.58) and Gerry Quinn (1:35.27) finished in 6:14.99, more than eight seconds ahead of Florida State (6:23.06). Georgie Tech took third in 6:29.16.

Smith swam in just one individual final, and he placed second behind fellow Gator Kevin Vargas in the 400 IM. Vargas won in 3:42.81, and Smith was second in 3:46.95. Auburn’s Jacques Rathle finished third in 3:47.41. The Florida men also got wins in the 200 free and 100 back: Freeman won the 200 free in 1:32.92, beating out Georgia Tech’s Baturalp Unlu (1:33.79) and Mestre (1:34.03). Then, Adam Chaney posted a 45.90 to win the 100 back over Auburn’s Lleyton Smith (46.39) and Florida State’s Mason Herbet (46.49).

Herbet, Izaak BastianMax McCuster and Peter Varjasi led Florida State to a big win in the 200 medley relay, holding off Georgia 1:23.57 to 1:23.97. The Georgia relay included Luca Urlando splitting 19.88 on the fly leg after a non-COVID-related illness took him out of Friday’s action. Florida took third in the relay in 1:24.10.

Meanwhile, the women’s 200 medley relay went to a strong Georgia team consisting of Gabi Fa’AmausiliZoie HartmanDakota Luther and Maxine Parker. The group combined for a 1:36.82, while Florida State (1:37.43) and Florida (1:38.01) also finished among the top three.

Next, Florida’s Mabel Zavaros won the 400 IM in 4:08.53, followed by Auburn’s Hannah Ownbey (4:09.44) and Florida’s Kathleen Golding (4:11.10). Luther then swam a 52.58 in the 100 fly to beat out teammate Callie Dickinson (52.93). Auburn’s Avery Bargeron and FSU’s Edith Jernstedt tied for third in 53.17.

Talia Bates, last season’s NCAA runnerup in the 200 free for Florida, won that event in 1:44.72, a little over a second off her best time. Georgia’s duo of Maxine Parker (1:45.64) and Dne Coetzee (1:46.14) also made the top three. Hartman was then the only swimmer to break 1:00 in the 100 breast. The Georgia Bulldogs’ senior swam a 59.32, easily out-pacing FSU’s Nina Kucheran (1:00.11) and Georgia’s Angharad Evans (1:00.22).

The final individual event for the women was the 100 back, where Auburn’s Ellie Waldrep (52.64) beat out Georgia swimmers Millie Sansome (53.18) and Fa’Amausili (53.24). Lastly, Georgia’s Parker, Coetzee, Jillian Barcyzk and Hartman won the 800 free relay in 7:06.44, with Hartman providing the race’s fastest split with her 1:44.44 on the way home. Florida took second in 7:08.50, and Florida State placed third in 7:14.35.

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