ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia women lead the 2014 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships following the third day of competition, which took place in front of 1,232 fans on Thursday at the Gabrielsen Natatorium.
The Georgia women have won nine of 11 events so far in the event and lead the team standings with 879 total points. Florida is second with 642, while Texas A&M is third with 614.
Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel became just the second athlete in SEC history to win four consecutive women’s 400 individual medley titles, capturing this year’s event in a nation-leading time of 3:59.26. Beisel joins former Auburn swimmer Maggie Bowen (2000-03) as the only other four-time winner of the women’s 400 IM. Georgia’s Melanie Margalis was second in 3:59.85, while Texas A&M’s Sarah Henry was third in 4:03.90.
Florida’s Ellese Zalewski took home the women’s 100 butterfly title in a time of 51.58, giving the Gators their second consecutive title in the event after Natalie Hinds won in 2013. Kentucky’s Christina Bechtel was second in 51.69, while Georgia’s Lauren Harrington was third in 52.07.
Georgia’s Laura Ryan captured the women’s 3-meter diving event for the second consecutive year with a winning score of 413.75. She became the first back-to-back winner in the event since South Carolina’s Michelle Davisson in 1998 and 1999. UGA teammate Ann-Perry Blank was second in 363.80, while LSU’s Cassie Weil was third in 357.45.
Georgia’s Shannon Vreeland claimed the women’s 200 freestyle, clocking an SEC-record time of 1:41.83 and giving UGA four of the last five titles in that event. Vreeland broke the previous SEC record of 1:42.46 set by Georgia’s Morgan Scroggy in 2011. Tennessee’s Lindsay Gendron, the 2013 SEC women’s 200 freestyle champion, was second in 1:43.35, while Georgia’s Brittany MacLean was third in 1:43.88.