INDIANAPOLIS – Allison Schmitt won the 200 freestyle title again and anchored a victorious relay on Friday to highlight Georgia’s showing at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium.
After two days of competition, the Lady Bulldogs have 300 points. California is second with 285, followed by Tennessee with 263.5 and Arizona with 246. On Saturday, Georgia will be going for the program’s fifth national title (the others coming in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005). The Lady Bulldogs have been second to Cal each of the last two seasons.
“We told our kids, it’s not that you have to go above and beyond that far,” Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. “You just have to do what you’re capable of, and that will be enough. If we perform well enough Saturday morning during prelims to set ourselves up for finals, we’ll have a chance. That’s pretty much the way it is. It just comes down to the last day, and whoever swims faster wins the meet.”
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Schmitt claimed the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:41.85. She won the event in 2010 and 2011, then took last year off to train for the London Olympics where she claimed gold in the 200 freestyle. Schmitt now has six NCAA titles, three each in the 200 and 500 freestyles. She also has been on five winning relays.
Megan Romano, who won the 2012 title and set the American record, came in third in 1:42.64. Shannon Vreeland touched in 1:42.97 to claim fourth. In the consolation final, Brittany MacLean placed 12th in 1:45.53, Jordan Mattern was 13th in 1:45.78 and Kelsey Gaid was 16th in 1:46.42.
In the 800 freestyle relay, Vreeland, Romano, MacLean and Schmitt stopped the clock in 6:54.43. Georgia has won the 800 freestyle relay four consecutive seasons. Vreeland and Schmitt were on Team USA’s winning 800 freestyle relay in London.
“The whole atmosphere of this meet is great,” Schmitt said, “Being a Georgia Bulldog here is a blessing. I couldn’t ask for more being this group of girls.”
In the 400 individual medley, Melanie Margalis paced Georgia as she came in seventh with a time of 4:05.36. Amber McDermott took 11th in 4:07.42, followed by Annie Zhu in 12th with a time of 4:08.59 and Hali Flickinger in 14th in 4:11.64.
Laura Ryan placed 13th on the 3-meter springboard with 329.05 points in the consolation final.
The 200 medley relay of Gaid, Shannon O’Malley, Lauren Harrington and Chantal Van Landeghem stopped the clock in 1:38.31 to place 14th.