2022 UGA Invite: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2022 UGA FALL INVITATIONAL

We’re back for the second finals session at the UGA Fall Invitational. On tap is the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and 800 free relay. There were fireworks yesterday, with Josh Liendo putting together a string of impressive performances on Day 1, including an 18.29 50 freestyle split. In prelims today, he took on a tough 100 fly/200 free double. He knocked more than a second off his lifetime best in the 100 fly, qualifying first in 46.01.

He’s sitting sixth in the 200 free (1:34.23) and that event promises to be one of the most competitive of the session. Four men went sub-1:34 in prelims, led by Florida’s Macguire McDuff in 1:33.68. Lurking in fourth is Jake Magahey, who cracked 4:10 to win the 500 free on Day 1.

On the women’s side, the 100 back prelims produced a pair of sub-52 swims from Eboni McCarty and Ellie Waldrep. Georgia’s McCarty has been on fire so far at this meet: she won the 50 free in a new lifetime best, and this 100 back swim of 51.63 crushed her previous best by more than a second.

Women’s 200 Medley Relay – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:36.24

PODIUM:

  1. Auburn ‘A’ – 1:36.84
  2. Georgia ‘A’ – 1:36.95
  3. Florida State ‘A’ – 1:37.63

The session kicked off with a close race in the women’s 200 medley relay between Auburn and Georgia. The Tigers and the Dawgs traded the lead back and forth, with Ellie Waldrep getting Auburn out in front with a 24.35 50 backstroke split. Zoie Hartman split 26.97 on breaststroke to move Georgia out in front by .19 seconds heading into the back half of the race.

Auburn’s Claudia Thamm reclaimed the lead on the fly, then handed it off to Lexie Mulvihill, who split 21.76 to hold off a flying Eboni McCarty, who split 21.63. Mulvihill secured the win for Auburn, touching in 1:36.84 to Georgia’s 1:36.95.

A bit behind the main action, FSU claimed third in 1:37.63, ahead of Florida’s 1:37.86.

Men’s 200 Medley Relay – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:23.76

PODIUM:

  1. Florida ‘A’ – 1:22.82
  2. Auburn ‘A’ – 1:23.36
  3. Georgia ‘A’ – 1:24.12

Adam Chaney, Julian Smith, Eric Frieseand Josh Liendo combined to earn the win in the men’s 200 medley relay with a blistering 1:22.82. That takes over as the top time in the nation, with other teams in action a bit later tonight. Notably, Liendo split a sizzling 18.17, beating his 18.27 split from the 200 free relay last night. Chaney was an impressive 21.05, and Smith and Friese split 23.38 and 20.22, respectively.

The Auburn men have been rolling all season, and they kept it up here by taking second in 1:23.36, just .11 seconds off the time they went at 2022 NCAAs. Nate Stoffle got them started with a 21.21, and Reid Mikuta followed up with a 22.88 breaststroke split, which is faster than the 23.06 he split at NCAAs. Both Florida and Auburn secured NCAA ‘A’ cuts with their swims.

Women’s 400 IM – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 4:03.62

PODIUM:

  1. Mabel Zavaros, Florida – 4:07.41
  2. Kathleen Golding, Florida – 4:09.18
  3. Deniz Ertan, Georgia Tech – 4:09.68

The Florida women took the top two spots in the 400 IM, with Mabel Zavaros leading the way in 4:07.41. Zavaros holds a lifetime best of 4:04.43 from 2022 NCAAs, and this time is faster than the 4:08.30 she went at this time last year. Golding was within a second of her lifetime best 4:08.43 to claim second. That’s a strong swim for her, and as close as she’s been to her best since she set it in 2021.

Deniz Ertan has been setting Georgia Tech school records throughout the season, including in the 500 freestyle last night. The freshman set another school record here with her third place finish of 4:09.68, becoming the first Georgia Tech swimmer to break 4:10. The previous record was owned by McKenzie Campbell in 4:11.23.

Men’s 400 IM – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 3:39.16

PODIUM:

  1. Ian Grum, Georgia – 3:40.81
  2. Kevin Vargas, Florida – 3:40.98
  3. Mason Laur, Florida – 3:43.42

Georgia’s Ian Grum threw down a 51.27 freestyle split to come from behind for the win in the men’s 400 IM. He out-touched long course 2022 national champion Kevin Vargas by .17 seconds. Grum was ahead for the first part of the race, splitting 49.37 on fly and 55.08 on back. Vargas took over on the breast leg, splitting 1:02.29 compared to Grum’s 1:05.29 to turn for the final 100-meters almost a second ahead.

While this is off Grum’s lifetime best 3:39.01 from finishing 10th at 2022 NCAAs, this freestyle split is an encouraging sign from him as it’s faster than what he split during that swim.

Mason Laur rounded out the podium in 3:43.42, securing a Gator 2-3 finish.

Women’s 100 Fly – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 50.92

PODIUM:

  1. Olivia Peoples, Florida/Callie Dickinson, Georgia – 52.60
  2. Talia Bates, Florida – 52.90

The thrilling race in the women’s 100 fly between Olivia Peoples and Callie Dickinson ended in a tie, as both women touched in 52.60. They were virtually stroke for stroke the entire race, with Peoples ahead at the 50 by .07 seconds, 24.61 to 24.68. Dickinson made up the ground on the second half of the race, splitting 27.92 to hit the pad at the same time as Peoples. It isn’t a best time for either of them, but it is close–Dickinson holds a lifetime best of 52.33, while Peoples’ best is 52.49.

Florida’s Talia Bates wasn’t too far behind either, taking third in 52.90. She was with the top two at the halfway point in 24.70, but fell off their pace a bit on the second 50.

Men’s 100 Fly – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 44.82

PODIUM:

  1. Josh Liendo, Florida – 45.79
  2. Nate Stoffle, Auburn – 46.22
  3. Adrian Aguilar, Florida State – 46.54

In his second swim of the night, Josh Liendo set a lifetime best to take the win in the men’s 100 fly. In prelims, he lowered his lifetime best to 46.01 and in finals, he broke 46 seconds with a 45.79. He was out in 21.25 and came home in 24.54. After Florida’s dual with Virginia, one of the things that he cited as something he’s working on at Florida is a no-breath final 25 of this race.

Auburn’s Nate Stoffle set a lifetime best of 46.18 to qualify second this morning, and he added .04 seconds in finals but maintained his second place overall. Joining the lifetime best squad, Florida State’s Adrian Aguilar lowered his lifetime best from prelims to finish third in 46.54. Coming into this meet, he hadn’t broken 47 seconds, but went 46.60 in prelims, then dropped another .06 seconds here.

Women’s 200 Free – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:42.84

PODIUM:

  1. Ekaterina Nikonova, Florida – 1:45.12
  2. Katie Mack, Florida – 1:45.38
  3. Micayla Cronk, Florida – 1:45.54

The Gator women swept the podium with a trio of 1:45s. They were the only three women in the field under 1:46, as the fourth place finished was Georgia’s Sloane Reinstein in 1:46.12. While Nikonova and Cronk’s best are both in the 1:44 range, this was a big personal best for Katie Mack, who’s best prior to this swim was 1:46.23 from a 2020 dual meet.

Men’s 200 Free – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:31.98

PODIUM:

  1. Jake Magahey, Georgia – 1:32.70
  2. Baturalp Unlu, Georgia Tech – 1:32.94
  3. Alfonso Mestre, Florida – 1:33.24

Coming out of prelims, this looked to be one of the most competitive races of the session, as four men went sub-1:34 in prelims. That number came up to five in this race, with two under 1:33. Jake Magahey earned the win in 1:32.70, out-splitting Baturalp Unlu on the final 50, 23.62 to 23.94 to get his hand on the wall first. Both swimmers were close to their personal bests; Magahey owns a lifetime best of 1:32.22 from February 2021, while Unlu’s been as fast as 1:32.27, which also stands as Georgia Tech’s school record.

Just behind them, Alfonso Mestre touched out his teammate Macguire McDuff for third by .01 seconds, posting 1:33.24. It’s a new best time for Mestre and McDuff, bettering the times they swam at 2022 NCAAs.

Women’s 100 Breast – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 58.10

PODIUM:

  1. Zoie Hartman, Georgia – 58.76
  2. Stasya Makarova, Auburn – 58.91
  3. Brynn Curtis, Auburn – 1:00.84

After a disappointing last season in regards to her breaststroke times, Zoie Hartman has been turning things around this season. She earned the win here in 58.76, a new season best time and already faster than what she clocked at last year’s NCAAs. She came from behind to win, passing Auburn’s Stasya Makarova on the second half of the race.

Makarova still has plenty to celebrate though: it’s a school record and a new lifetime best for her, getting under 59 seconds for the first time in her career. Before this swim, her best time was 59.36 from 2022 SECs. Her teammate Brynn Curtis rounded out the top three in 1:00.84.

Men’s 100 Breast – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 51.40

PODIUM:

  1. Reid Mikuta, Auburn – 51.14
  2. Julian Smith, Florida – 51.76
  3. Aleksas Savickas, Florida – 51.88

Make that two school records in two events for Auburn. Reid Mikuta smashed his own Auburn program record, earning the win in the 100 breast with an NCAA ‘A’ cut time. Mikuta swam 51.14, getting under the 51.32 he swam at 2022 NCAAs to win the ‘B’ final. 51.14 would have qualified him for the ‘A’ final in fifth (just ahead of Derek Maas) and ultimately would have finished sixth. Auburn has come out swinging this season, and getting an ‘A’ finalist would be a huge boost for them on the national level. 51.14 is also the new top time, pending the results of the other invites around the country.

Behind Mikuta, Gator teammates Julian Smith and Aleksas Savickas earned second and third. Smith set a massive best of 51.60 in prelims–his first time under 52 seconds–and though he added .16 seconds, this is still a strong swim for him. Savickas posted his second best time of the day for third. Prior to this meet, the Lithuanian’s best was 53.73–he blasted a 51.97 in prelims, then lowered that to 51.88 here.

Women’s 100 Back – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 50.89

PODIUM:

  1. Eboni McCarty, Georgia – 51.53
  2. Ellie Waldrep, Auburn – 51.74
  3. Marie Schobel, Georgia – 52.36

Eboni McCarty has been putting together a great meet so far, including winning the 50 free in a new lifetime best last night. In prelims, she posted 51.63 for top seed and a new lifetime best. She backed that up here, winning the event in another personal best of 51.53. She’s cut more than a second off her best today, as before this meet the fastest she’d been was 52.92.

Ellie Waldrep cut .01 seconds off her lifetime best to take second in 51.74, with McCarty’s teammate Marie Schobel rounding out the top three in 52.36.

Men’s 100 Back – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 44.79

PODIUM:

  1. Aidan Stoffle, Auburn – 45.27
  2. Bradley Dunham, Georgia – 45.45
  3. Berke Saka, Georgia Tech – 45.60

Auburn has been on fire in the last four events, with Makarova and Waldrep finishing second in their events and Mikuta and Aidan Stoffle winning theirs. Like the other three, Stoffle secured his podium place with a new lifetime best, shaving .09 seconds off his previous best from 2022 NCAAs. As SwimSwam commenter swimdaag pointed out, he’s still .01 off his brother’s lifetime best though.

Bradley Dunham did set a new lifetime best, cutting three-tenths off his previous best of 45.75 to take second. Berke Saka‘s time is also a new best, maintaining him as the third fastest performer in Georgia Tech history.

Women’s 800 Free Relay – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 7:00.86

PODIUM:

  1. Georgia ‘A’ – 7:03.72
  2. Florida ‘A’ – 7:06.74
  3. Georgia Tech ‘A’ – 7:12.00

The Georgia women easily earned the win in the women’s 800 free relay, clocking 7:03.72 to win by about three seconds. Shea Furse opened in 1:46.78, with Sloane Reinstein (1:46.73), Jillian Barczyk (1:46.34), and Zoie Hartman (1:43.87) taking it from there. Hartman was the only holdover on this relay from 2022 NCAAs, as Dickinson didn’t swim on the relay at this meet.

After having the top three women in the 200 free, it was a bit surprising that the Florida women didn’t earn the win here. Talia Bates led off in 1:45.03, then Cronk, Nikonova, and Mack all split 1:47s.

Men’s 800 Free Relay – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 6:16.02

PODIUM:

  1. Florida ‘A’ – 6:18.45
  2. Georgia ‘A’ – 6:19.30
  3. Florida ‘B’ – 6:20.03

Like the women, the Florida men also added time from their seed, but they still won by .85 seconds ahead of Georgia. After scratching the individual 200 free ‘A’ final, Liendo split 1:34.85 on the second leg of the relay, slightly slower than he went in prelims. Notably, Mestre split 1:32.71 as the anchor after setting a lifetime best 1:33.24 to finish third in the individual event.

Mestre’s split secured the win for the Gators, as they overcame Georgia who had two 1:34s (Magahey and Zach Hils) and two 1:35s (Dunham and Mitchell Norton).

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PFA
15 days ago

Not sure where to post this but according to Kyle Sockwell and meet mobile, Kaii Winkler split 18.9 on his HS relay and broke Ryan Hoffer’s 15-16 NAG record in 42.5

Nicole Krasowski
15 days ago

Remember the article about 5 make breakouts in college swimming this year? I commented that Reid Mikuta had been overlooked. That kid is a ROCKSTAR and will continue to impress! CONGRATULATIONS REID!!

swimdaag
15 days ago

Aidan Stoffle actually went a 45.27 instead of 45.37 which does mark a best time for him. Still .01 slower than his brother though😏

Thoughts
15 days ago

Thoughts on Auburn in this meet so far…?

Ghost
Reply to  Thoughts
15 days ago

👍

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Thoughts
15 days ago

👍👍

Tailless Lizard
15 days ago

Vid of Champ final Men’s 400IM: https://youtu.be/VTyxLIbQEsQ

ArtVanDeLegh10
15 days ago

This accouncer is great.

Ghost
15 days ago

Damn streaming scoreboard not working! Sucks!

SwimmerFan99
15 days ago

Headline says a double; isn’t this a triple for Liendo? 200MR, 100FL, 200FR. Also, that 18.17 relay split is scorching!

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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