2018 Georgia Fall Invitational: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first finals session from Athens will feature the men’s and women’s 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free, along with the 200 free relays to start things off and the 400 medleys to close things out.

In this morning’s preliminaries, Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil swam (what was) the fastest time in the country and hit an NCAA ‘A’ qualifying time of 21.62 in the women’s 50 freestyle, and her male teammate Andrew Seliskar also posted the top time in the nation in the 500 free. Seliskar clocked in at 4:13.02 to surpass Felix Auboeck (4:13.06) for the #1 time in the NCAA, but he swam the race as exhibition so won’t go head-to-head with Auboeck tonight.

Weitzeil’s swim was overtaken by Erika Brown at the Tennessee Invite, as she checked in with a nation-leading 21.52.

Michigan’s Gus Borges also went a time that was the fastest in the nation in the men’s 50 free, going a PB of 19.11, but that time was overtaken later in the morning by Tate Jackson (19.03) at the Texas Invite.

For a full recap of this morning’s prelims click here.

Women’s 200 Free Relay Timed Final

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:28.61
  1. California, 1:26.94
  2. Michigan, 1:27.61
  3. Virginia, 1:29.03

A sizzling 21.05 anchor from Abbey Weitzeil gave the Cal women the win in the 200 free relay over Michigan, as she dove into the water trailing by three-tenths but blew by Wolverine anchor Miranda Tucker to seal the victory.

The team of Maddie Murphy (22.55), Katie McLaughlin (21.62), Amy Bilquist (21.72) and Weitzeil combined for a final time of 1:26.94, putting them well under the NCAA ‘A’ time of 1:28.61 and also bettering NC State’s nation-leading 1:27.64 from the IU Invite.

The Wolverines also finished inside the ‘A’ time by a full second in 1:27.61, with a strong showing from Siobhan Haughey (22.07), Catie DeLoof (21.74), Maggie MacNeil (21.79) and Tucker (22.01). They move into 2nd in the country behind only Cal.

Virginia (1:29.03) edged out Georgia (1:29.41) for 3rd, with their fastest split coming on the lead-off from Morgan Hill (22.05). The Bulldogs had one sub-22 leg from Veronica Burchill (21.88) swimming 2nd.

Both lead-off swims for Haughey and Hill were also notably lifetime bests.

Men’s 200 Free Relay Timed Final

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:17.41
  1. California, 1:15.86
  2. Michigan, 1:18.07
  3. California ‘B’, 1:19.09

Just like the women, the Cal men overtook NC State for top spot in the country with a blistering 1:15.86 showing in the 200 free relay, over a second and a half under the ‘A’ cut of 1:17.41.

Paweł Sendyk led them off in 19.54, slightly trailing Michigan’s Gus Borges (19.45), and then Ryan Hoffer (18.76), Michael Jensen (18.71) and Andrew Seliskar (18.85) all dropped sub-19 legs to easily bring them to victory by over two seconds.

Borges was joined by teammates James Jones (19.28), Miles Smachlo (19.39) and Alex King (19.95), as they placed 2nd in 1:18.07, and the Cal ‘B’ team (1:19.09) edged out Virginia (1:19.11) and Georgia (1:19.24) for 3rd.

Javier Acevedo, who is swimming his first meet since breaking his foot early in the year, led off the Bulldogs in 19.74, which is less than a tenth off his lifetime best of 19.65.

Women’s 500 Free Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:36.30
  1. Courtney Harnish, UGA, 4:36.06
  2. Rose Bi, MICH, 4:37.24
  3. Sierra Schmidt, MICH, 4:38.91

UGA sophomore Courtney Harnish caught early leader Rose Bi of Michigan with 100 yards to go and then pulled away with a blazing final two 50s of 27.00 and 26.87 to win in a final time of 4:36.06. That puts her inside the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 4:36.30, the first swimmer to do so in the event so far this season, and puts her less than four-tenths off her lifetime best of 4:35.69, done at this meet last year.

Bi was just over a second back for 2nd place in 4:37.24, which ranks her 3rd in the country behind Harnish and Minnesota’s Mackenzie Padington (4:37.01). However, she’s typically been faster at this time of year, with the two fastest swims of her career (4:34.6, 4:35.0) coming at this meet in 2016 and 2017.

Michigan’s Sierra Schmidt (4:38.91) was less than a second off her PB for 3rd, and Virginia’s Paige Madden improved her lifetime best of 4:39.77 down to 4:39.19 for 4th.

Cal freshman Cassidy Bayer swam a lifetime best out of the ‘C’ final in 4:48.82, just behind UVA’s Erin Earley (4:47.49), who had her fastest swim since March of 2015.

Men’s 500 Free Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:12.22
  1. Ricardo Vargas, MICH, 4:11.45
  2. Patrick Callan, MICH, 4:12.56
  3. Felix Auboeck, MICH, 4:14.45

Michigan’s Ricardo Vargas and Patrick Callan went by teammate Felix Auboeck on the back-half of the men’s 500 free final to post the top-2 times in the nation in 4:11.45 and 4:12.56 respectively, with Vargas’ swim getting him under the ‘A’ cut of 4:12.22 and under Andrew Seliskar‘s 4:13.02 from this morning. That’s his 2nd fastest swim ever, trailing his 4:11.11 from the 2018 Big Tens, while Callan’s swim was well under his previous best of 4:13.78.

Auboeck, who came into the weekend as the fastest swimmer in the nation with his 4:13.06 from the ACC/B1G Challenge, couldn’t hold the pace down the last few lengths and ended up 3rd in 4:14.45. Trenton Julian (4:15.77) and Sean Grieshop (4:16.38) of Cal both had small adds from the morning to take 4th and 5th.

Women’s 200 IM Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:54.31
  1. Siobhan Haughey, MICH, 1:55.04
  2. Alicia Wilson, CAL, 1:55.77
  3. Keaton Blovad, CAL, 1:56.41

Siobhan Haughey of Michigan overtook early leader Keaton Blovad of Cal on the third leg with a 33.69 breast split and then out-split everyone coming home (27.23) to win the women’s 200 IM in a time of 1:55.04, ranking her 5th in the nation (coming into tonight). Her best time of 1:53.48 was done at this meet last year, and she also hit 1:53.5 at both the Big Ten and NCAA Championships last season.

Freshman Alicia Wilson, a Great Britain native, also ran down her Golden Bear teammate Blovad on the breaststroke and then held her at bay on the freestyle to edge her out for 2nd in 1:55.77, improving on her best time from prelims (1:56.84). Blovad was 3rd in 1:56.41 after recording the fastest fly (24.86) and back (28.01) splits in the field, her 2nd fastest swim ever outside of her 1:55.72 from the 2018 Big Pac-12s.

Sarah Darcel made it a 2-3-4 finish for Cal in 1:56.51, putting her just under two-tenths better than she was here last year (1:56.69).

Men’s 200 IM Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:41.34
  1. Andrew Seliskar, CAL, 1:40.55
  2. Zheng Quah, CAL, 1:44.02
  3. Charlie Swanson, MICH, 1:44.13

Cal’s Andrew Seliskar out-split the entire field on back (24.88), breast (29.32) and free (24.51) – and was only .02 slower than teammate Zheng Quah on fly (21.84) – as he blasted the #1 time in the nation in the men’s 200 IM in 1:40.55. That falls just .15 shy of his best time from last season’s NCAAs, and puts him well inside the ‘A’ cut of 1:41.34. Last season at this meet he was nearly two full seconds slower – 1:42.46.

Quah was a distant 2nd in 1:44.02, two-tenths slower than he was in the morning, and Michigan’s Charlie Swanson moved up from 8th at the halfway mark to snag 3rd in 1:44.13.

Javier Acevedo swam another best time in his first meet coming back from injury, taking 5th in 1:44.35.

Women’s 50 Free Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 21.74
  1. Abbey Weitzeil, CAL, 21.46
  2. Maggie MacNeil, MICH, 21.93
  3. Catie DeLoof, MICH, 22.09

Abbey Weitzeil reclaimed her spot atop the NCAA rankings, at least for now, as she overtakes Erika Brown‘s 21.52 from this morning in 21.46 to win the women’s 50 free by half a second. That falls just .02 shy of what she went here last year.

Wolverine freshman Maggie MacNeil broke 22 seconds for the first time to place 2nd in 21.93, and her teammate Catie Deloof also went a personal best time of 22.09 to take 3rd. Deloof had previously been 22.16 at the 2018 B1Gs.

In 4th, Georgia’s Veronica Burchill went .05 better than her best time in 22.16, and Virginia’s Morgan Hill was .03 off of hers for 5th in 22.18.

Men’s 50 Free Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 19.00
  1. Pawel Sendyk, CAL, 19.15
  2. Gus Borges, MICH, 19.21
  3. Michael Jensen, CAL, 19.42

Cal’s Paweł Sendyk took out Michigan’s Gus Borges for the win in the men’s 50 free, taking a tenth off for prelims for a final time of 19.15. Sendyk’s fastest swim ever at this point in the season was a 19.10 from 2016.

Borges, who set a best time in the heats in 19.11, still had his 2nd fastest performance ever for 2nd in 19.21. Michael Jensen (19.42) went slightly better than prelims and Ryan Hoffer (19.50) was slightly slower as they gave the Cal men three of the top-4 spots.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay Timed Final

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 3:32.20
  1. Michigan, 3:28.87
  2. California, 3:29.87
  3. Michigan ‘B’, 3:34.88

The Michigan women used superior breast and butterfly splits to beat out Cal by a full second in the 400 medley relay, clocking 3:28.87 to crush Louisville’s nation-leading 3:30.55 and get well under the ‘A’ cut of 3:32.20.

Keaton Blovad (52.08) gave Cal a lead off the backstroke over Michigan’s Taylor Garcia (53.47), but then a 58.24 breast leg from Miranda Tucker put the Wolverines into the lead, and Maggie MacNeil (50.13) only extended the advantage on the fly. Siobhan Haughey closed the door with a very solid 47.03 on the anchor.

Cal’s swim still put them 2nd in the nation and under the ‘A’ standard, as Blovad, Ema Rajic (1:00.42), Katie McLaughlin (50.87) and Abbey Weitzeil (46.50) combined for a final time of 3:29.87.

The Michigan ‘B’ squad managed to snag 3rd in 3:34.88, edging out Virginia (3:35.23) and Georgia (3:35.50). All three of those teams had 47-second anchors from Catie Deloof (47.58), Morgan Hill (47.42) and Veronica Burchill (47.67).

Men’s 400 Medley Relay Timed Final

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 3:06.78
  1. California, 3:04.89
  2. California ‘B’, 3:05.10
  3. Georgia, 3:07.21

The Cal men had their ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams go at it in the 400 medley relay, and there ended up not being much between the two as the ‘A’ squad got it done by just over two-tenths in 3:04.89, just .01 off of NC State’s nation-leading time from the IU Invite. The ‘B’ team went 3:05.10 as both were well under the ‘A’ cut of 3:06.78.

Bryce Mefford (45.78) gave the ‘B’ team the advantage on the lead-off leg over Daniel Carr (46.34), and then Reece Whitley (51.38) and Andrew Seliskar (51.32) had near identical splits on breast. Zheng Quah (44.98) erased most of the ‘A’ squad’s disadvantage on fly, easily out-splitting Paweł Sendyk (45.75), and then Ryan Hoffer (42.19) managed to hold Michael Jensen (42.25) at bay as the ‘A’ team won.

The UGA men placed 3rd in 3:07.21, narrowly missing the ‘A’ cut. Javier Acevedo had a solid lead-off for them in 46.14, and Camden Murphy also hit a notable 44.97 on butterfly. The Michigan ‘A’ team ended up getting DQed for an early take-off from their breaststroker.

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2 years ago

Lol 4:13 and an 18.7 on the relay. If you could build a team around one swimmer in college right now, I don’t know how you wouldn’t pick him

Reply to  Pkwater
2 years ago

Then a 1:40 IM. Can’t wait to see what he’s gonna throw down the rest of the meet.

Reply to  Pkwater
2 years ago

Nice to see Seliskar reach another level. I forget sometimes how young he is because he’s been world-class for so long, but he’s so good in literally everything. Definitely the most versatile swimmer in the NCAA, and perhaps the country.

Reply to  Pkwater
2 years ago

Honestly. A college team would be lucky to have someone who could go 1:40 in the 200 IM or split an 18 in the 50 Free or go 4:13 500 Free. To have one swimmer who can do it all in all four strokes across multiple distances is simply incredible. I can’t wait for his 200 Free.

2 years ago

Nice harnish, nice

Reply to  NothingsFair
2 years ago

She’s such a savage

samuel huntington
2 years ago

4:13, 18.8, 1:40 – nice.

Also, Virginia looking a little sluggish and where are Whiteside and Moroney?

Tammy Touchpad Error
Reply to  samuel huntington
2 years ago

Don’t forget the 51.3

Reply to  samuel huntington
2 years ago

UVA is missing some swimmers… where are they? Sick? Injury?

The women’s team isn’t looking as strong as I thought they would be.

Reply to  Oldswimfan
2 years ago

Uva is purportedly unrested – and these results would suggest that’s true. They also seem to be missing a lot of swimmers.

D3 for the win
Reply to  samuel huntington
2 years ago

Rumor is that Whiteside left UVA because of the academic rigor. Couldn’t stay eligible and was struggling in the class room. Not sure about Moroney though. Another notable absence is their freshman Lewis Burrus… I imagine they are all personal cases.

2 Cents
Reply to  D3 for the win
2 years ago

I’m not going to argue the Whiteside thing, but dont forget he also missed an entire year with a broken back or fractured vertebrae , something like that, last year…. so sounds like he is done done, and dont look for him to pop up at another school on their team either.

Reply to  samuel huntington
2 years ago

Whiteside is no longer at UVA. Moroney has swum this season, but not sure where she is this week.

Lost In The Sauce
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
2 years ago

Whiteside hasn’t been there this season, but Burras, Joe Clark, Matt Otto, Megan Moroney, and Anna Pang are all th notable scorers from last years ACC’s I’ve noticed missing (with the exception of Burras, who was their standout freshman so far). Gotta think they’re injured or sick

2 years ago

Fantastic W400 medley relay for Michigan

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  frizzaly
2 years ago

If they could find anyone who could break 52 on the back, they’ll be a serious national title contender in that event. Might even be the favorite.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

Are any of the Deloofs still swimming there? That might be their best option.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

Taylor Garcia went 51.6 at Arizona. Seems like that’s an easy two second drop for Michigan……….if she can ever repeat that time. Time will tell.

Reply to  Buckeyeboy
2 years ago

… and Maggie MacNeil just went a 51.71 100 back in prelims day two. I wonder if it would be worth it to put Vanessa Krause in fly and MacNeil in back for the 400med at least

2 years ago

Ha ha Seliskar is so insane I am so happy to see him finally swimming at the level I always knew he could, he’s definitely on his own plain, the 200 IM record is going down.

Silent Observer
2 years ago

So Cal men in that 400 Medley relay…. Really they would of destroyed NC state and IU if they had all 4 of their strongest on the A.. Instead of split between A&B…easily claiming the #1 top time in the nation

Ookkaayy NCs is gonna be CRAZY!!!

Reply to  Silent Observer
2 years ago

Cal didn’t split their relays. They just have 2 really fast swimmers in each of the 4 strokes. Both breaststroke and freestyle legs were about the same. Fly was about .7 different and back was about .5 different. That’s not really splitting.

Silent Observer
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
2 years ago

You might be missing the point… Those minor differences would equal anywhere between 0.5-0.7s faster of an A relay.

Seeing as the A relay was only 0.01 off NCState’s top time. That opens up a 0.5-0.7s lead.

TL:DR – a 0.5-0.7s lead = easily claiming the top time….

Reply to  Silent Observer
2 years ago

I get your point, although it doesn’t really matter if Cal has the 4 fastest on the 4MDR last night or not. They qualified for NCAAs, and can switch out those guys if they’d like. No one really cares who has the top time, just that you qualify for NCAAs.

You are correct that if they had put their 4 fastest on the relay, they’d have a faster time and higher seed.

Reply to  Silent Observer
2 years ago

Gotta race and do it again in March. Sprint crew is looking mighty strong! But they were looking mighty strong last year too…. but then totally missed out 100 free finals! That event cost them the national title!

2 years ago

Wonder what the legitimate ‘B’ relay NCAA record would be. Seems like 3:05.10 has to be up there?

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  MIZ
2 years ago

Definitely has to be. The tough part is the 2 breaststrokers going 51.3 or better. 2016 Cal would have been interesting-Pebley/Hoppe/Gutierrez/Seliskar might beat this year’s B. 2018 Cal almost certainly would beat 3:05-Mefford/Seliskar/Lynch/Jensen might have beaten their A relay of Carr/Hoppe/Josa/Hoffer, tbh.

Going back to 2013 there are just so few teams that have 2 breaststrokers score, neverless A final. The teams that do (Zona with Cordes and Steel, Mizzou with Fabian and someone I’m forgetting, Indiana with Finnerty and Brock) just don’t have the horses in fly/back to get them there.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

I’m a Cal fan, and it’s impressive that Cal can always do this. But they really need one of these 100 guys to become a top 3 guy at Nationals and carry the relay. Right now I think Texas’ strong legs are better relative to Cal than their weak legs are (do they have weaker legs now that it looks like Texas found a breaststroker?). Probably same for Indiana still.

Reply to  joe
2 years ago

You have Carr who can go a 45 low in his 100 and will probably break 45 this season, or you can swipe him with Mefford who can probably put up some absurd time, you have either Seliskar or Whitley on breast both of whom can likely split a 50. honestly Seliskar looks so good maybe he can go a 49 from a relay start, you got Quah or Hoffer on fly both can swim 44’s Hoffer from a flat start mind you, if you put Hoffer on free instead you got someone who can throw down a 41.18 anchor but I bet he will be much faster this year. Nobody on Texas’s roster has broken a 45 in the… Read more »

Drama King
Reply to  jmanswimfan
2 years ago

They will definitely use Shebat on fly leg.
44 high leg from Katz
50 mid from Charlie
Considering his underwaters and LC best time , we can expect atleast 44 high leg from Shebat.
Then you get Haas or Jackson who can split 40 high on free.
Remember Texas didnt make the A final on this last year. Hence, finishing in top 3 would be great for them.

2 years ago

Seliskar is the best swimmer in the country

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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