Jan. 10, 2009

Courtesy of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. --- In a matchup that featured 13 Olympic swimmers and coaches from the 2008 Beijing Games, the Georgia swimming and diving teams split the final home dual meet of the season against the visiting Texas Longhorns Saturday afternoon at the Gabrielsen Natatorium.
The No. 1 Lady Bulldogs (6-0), facing one of its toughest dual meet competitions of the season, defeated the No. 3 Longhorns (5-1) 159-141 to extend their home dual meet winning streak to 65 consecutive victories.
Conversely, the No. 11 Bulldogs (3-3) could not pull an upset against the No. 1 Longhorns (5-0) in a 169-126 defeat.
"Both teams swam well," head coach Jack Bauerle said. "For the ladies, I couldn¹t be more proud of them. To have a streak like this is amazing and it means a little more when you swim against good teams. Texas certainly has a chance to be one of the top teams at the national meet."
The Lady Bulldogs had one double winner on the evening as Wendy Trott won the 1,000 freestyle in 9:38.80, then later won the 500 freestyle in 4:43.68.
Teammate Kelsey Ditto scored second-place finishes in both events, highlighting Georgia¹s success in the distance events, which Bauerle cited as one of the differences in the meet.
In addition, the Lady Bulldogs scored 1-2-3 finishes in both breaststroke events as Colleen Haase, Michelle McKeehan and Mhyria Miller combined for 32 points in those two events for the Lady Bulldogs. Haase won the 100 with a time of 1:01.23, while Miller took home the 200 in 2:13.25.
Another significant victory for Georgia came in the 200 freestyle, an event Bauerle said the Lady Bulldogs needed to win in order to win the meet. In her home debut, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Allison Schmitt won the event with a time of 1:46.31 as Georgia claimed four of the top five spots in that event.
Other winners for Georgia included Aleksandra Putra in the 200 backstroke in
1:56.67 and Lisa Caprioglio in the 100 butterfly in a time of 54.29.
"We came into this meet knowing of course that the home winning streak is always there," Miller said. "But we have a goal, not only to keep the streak alive, but we want to be undefeated in dual meets heading into SECs and NCAAs. A close, exciting meet like this will help us down the road."
The Bulldogs had a competitive effort against the top men¹s team in the nation and a Texas team that is headed up by 2008 Beijing Olympic men¹s coach Eddie Reese.
"I thought the guys swam tough," Bauerle said. "We just ran into a buzz saw today. That's the best team Texas has had in a long time and certainly the best team in the country on the men¹s side."
Senior Neil Versfeld swept the breaststroke events and highlighted the Bulldog effort against the Longhorns. In the 100 breaststroke, Versfeld finished with a time of 54.21 and touched the wall in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 1:56.67.
Troyden Prinsloo earned a win in the 1,000 freestyle with a time of 9:05.97, Mark Dylla touched the wall first in the 200 butterfly in 1:48.00 and Bill Cregar earned first-place points in the 400 individual medley with a time of 3:56.15. Georgia also earned first-place points in the 200 freestyle relay, winning the event with a time of 1:22.89.
On the diving boards for Georgia, Webb Worthington, Tim Barrett and Owen Blank each scored season-highs off the 1-meter with scores of 329.32, 287.84 and 281.02, respectively, as Worthington led all Georgia finishers with a third-place effort. The marks set by Barrett and Blank were also career-bests. Worthington was also the top Georgia finisher in the 3-meter, taking fourth place.
For the Georgia women, sophomore Hannah Moore led the Lady Bulldog diving effort by earning a second place finish in the 3-meter and fourth place finish in the 1-meter. On the 3-meter, Landon Watters scored a season-high 246.52.
The Georgia swimming and diving teams will have a couple weeks between competitions as their next meet will be Jan. 24 when they travel to face Tennessee.