2023 Georgia Invite: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2023 GEORGIA INVITATIONAL

  • November 16-18, 2023
  • Gabrielsen Natatorium, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards), Prelims/Finals
  • Prelims start at 9:30AM Eastern, Finals at 5:30 PM Eastern
  • Participating teams: #3M/#6W Florida, #13M/#25W Auburn, #17M/#15W Michigan, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Wisconsin (diving)
  • Live Stream Links (different per session)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “UGA Fall Invitational 2023”

Day 3 Prelims Recap

On the third and final night of the 2023 Georgia Invitational, Florida freshman Bella Sims is expected to take on a tough 200 back/200 fly double and sophomore sprint star Josh Liendo enters the 100 free as the No. 3 seed (42.20) behind Georgia’s Reese Branzell (42.19) and Gator teammate Macguire McDuff (41.85).

Stay tuned below for live updates throughout the evening:

WOMEN’S 1650-YARD FREE – TIMED FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 15:03.31 – Katie Ledecky, Stanford (2017)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 15:52.41
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 16:13.73

Top 8:

  1. Abby McCulloh, Georgia – 15:51.93
  2. Rachel Stege, Georgia – 15:58.57
  3. Dune Coetzee, Georgia – 15:59.18
  4. Averee Preble, Auburn – 16:05.22
  5. Emma Weyant, Florida – 16:07.32
  6. Caroline Pennington, Florida – 16:10.83
  7. Anna Auld, Florida – 16:16.92
  8. Jillian Barczyk, Georgia – 16:17.69

Georgia junior Abby McCulloh threw down a nation-leading time of 15:51.93 to win the 1650 free ahead of Bulldog teammates Rachel Stege (15:58.57) and Dune Coetzee (15:59.18).

No swimmer had been under 16 minutes before today, when Georgia’s trio of distance freestylers cleared the mark along with Arizona State’s Deniz Ertan (15:53.23) at the NC State Invite on Saturday.

McCulloh was just two seconds off her personal-best 15:49.87 from the 2022 NCAA Championships, where she placed 5th. Stege was four seconds off her personal-best 15:54.55 from the 2023 NCAA Championships, where she placed 8th as a sophomore.

Coetzee, a junior who represents South Africa internationally, got under 16 minutes for the first time with her personal-best 15:59.18, dropping almost four seconds off her previous-best 16:03.09 from January.

Auburn fifth-year Averee Preble was just a couple seconds off her lifetime best (16:02.99 from 2023 NCAAs, 16th place) en route to 4th place in 16:05.22.

MEN’S 1650-YARD FREE – TIMED FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 14:12.08 – Bobby Finke, Florida (2020)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 14:37.31
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 14:53.84

Top 8:

  1. Gio Linscheer, Florida – 14:40.21
  2. Mert Kilavuz, Georgia Tech – 14:50.17
  3. Eric Brown, Florida – 14:53.88
  4. Oskar Lindholm, Florida – 14:59.83
  5. Jake Mitchell, Florida – 15:00.81
  6. Mason Mathias, Auburn – 15:02.02
  7. Andrew Taylor, Florida – 15:04.33
  8. Grant Davis, Auburn – 15:05.34

Florida sophomore Gio Linscheer crushed a nation-leading time of 14:40.21 to win the 1650 free, demolishing his best time by more than eight seconds. His previous-best 14:48.63 from the 2023 NCAA Championships placed him 16th, but his time tonight would have placed him 7th.

Georgia Tech junior Mert Kilavuz was about 10 seconds behind Linscheer with a runner-up finish in 14:50.17. The Turkish distance specialist has been as fast as 14:40.99 at the 2022 NCAA Championships, where he placed 11th.

The Gators showed off their distance free depth by claiming 3rd, 4th, and 5th place courtesy of Canadian sophomore Eric Brown (14:53.88), Danish junior Oskar Lindholm (14:59.83), and U.S. Olympian senior Jake Mitchell (15:00.81).

WOMEN’S 200-YARD BACK – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 1:47.24 – Beata Nelson, Wisconsin (2019)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:50.50
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 1:53.34

Top 8:

  1. Catherine Choate, Florida – 1:51.94
  2. JoJo Ramey, Florida – 1:54.62
  3. Ellie Waldrep, Auburn – 1:54.72
  4. Maggie McGuire, Auburn – 1:54.85
  5. Millie Sansome, Georgia – 1:55.57
  6. Kensley Merritt, Auburn – 1:55.89
  7. Casey Chung, Michigan – 1:56.37
  8. Julia Podkoscielny, Florida – 1:57.05

After posting a nation-leading time of 1:51.15 in prelims, Florida freshman Bella Sims did not swim the 200 back final tonight (she still has the 200 fly later in the session). Instead, fellow Gator freshman Catie Choate clocked a huge lifetime best with a winning mark of 1:51.94. Choate’s best time before today was a 1:54.90 from last December, which she lowered to 1:53.73 in prelims en route to the No. 2 seed behind Sims.

World Juniors silver medalist JoJo Ramey took 2nd place in 1:54.62, a couple seconds off her lifetime best (1:52.42) from December of 2021.

Auburn junior Ellie Waldrep was exactly one second off her personal-best 1:53.72 from February of 2021 during her 3rd-place effort in 1:54.72. Her teammate, freshman Maggie McGuire shaved more than a full second off her lifetime best (1:56.31 from last December) with her 4th-place finish in 1:54.85.

MEN’S 200-YARD BACK – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 1:35.73 – Ryan Murphy, Cal (2016)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:39.13
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 1:40.62

Top 8:

  1. Jonny Marshall, Florida – 1:38.52
  2. Aidan Stoffle, Auburn – 1:38.57
  3. Bradley Dunham, Georgia – 1:38.80
  4. Nathaniel Stoffle, Auburn – 1:39.01
  5. Sam Powe, Georgia – 1:39.96
  6. Eitan Ben-Shitrit, Michigan – 1:43.08
  7. Jaka Pusnik, Florida State – 1:43.74
  8. Ruard van Renen, Georgia – 1:44.41

The men’s 200 back final featured some serious speed as Florida freshman Jonny Marshall (1:38.52), Auburn fifth-year Aidan Stoffle, and Georgia fifth-year Bradley Dunham all dipped under the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 1:39.13 with their sub-1:39 efforts. They would have all been the fastest times this season before tonight, when Arizona State sophomore Hubert Kos went an otherworldly 1:36.54 at the NC State Invite on Saturday, scaring Ryan Murphy‘s NCAA record of 1:35.73.

Marshall became the second-fastest Gator ever en route to the win, coming within a second of Ryan Lochte‘s school record (1:37.68) from 2006. Marshall came into today with a best time of 1:41.99 from December of 2021 that he knocked more than two seconds off of during prelims with a top-seeded time of 1:39.56.

Stoffle also recorded a new personal best, dropping almost a second off his previous-best 1:39.30 from the 2023 NCAA Championships, where he placed 9th. Dunham shaved a tenth of a second off his previous-best 1:38.90 from the 2023 SEC Championships, where he ultimately won in 1:39.27.

Georgia fifth-year Ian Grum didn’t make the A-final this morning, but he impressed in the B-final with a 1:38.88, within half a second of his personal-best 1:38.39 from the 2023 NCAA Championships.

WOMEN’S 100-YARD FREE – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 45.56 – Simone Manuel, Stanford (2017)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 47.18
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 48.37

Top 8:

  1. Stephanie Balduccini, Michigan – 47.26
  2. Isabel Ivey, Florida – 47.54
  3. Micayla Cronk, Florida – 47.77
  4. Lindsay Flynn, Michigan – 47.86
  5. Polina Nevmovenko, Auburn – 48.48
  6. Claire Newman, Michigan – 48.48
  7. Christey Liang, Michigan – 48.56
  8. Bri Roberson, Georgia – 48.89

Michigan freshman Stephanie Balduccini blasted a 47.26 to win the 100 free and announce her arrival in the NCAA. The Brazilian freestyle specialist did not have a SCY 100 free swim on record before today, when she led prelims with a 47.70. Balduccini’s new lifetime best tonight ranks 3rd in the NCAA this season, and it would have placed her 6th at NCAAs last season.

Florida senior Isabel Ivey touched 2nd in 47.54. The Cal transfer was half a second shy of her personal-best 46.95 from the 2021 NCAA Championships, when she placed 3rd behind Maggie MacNeil and Kate Douglass.

Florida junior Micayla Cronk dropped a couple tenths off her lifetime best (47.99 from February) with her 3rd-place finish in 47.77. Michigan junior Lindsay Flynn dipped under 48 seconds for the first time since the 2023 Big Ten Championships with a 4th-place showing in 47.86, less than a tenth behind Cronk.

MEN’S 100-YARD FREE – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 39.90 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 41.50
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 42.32

Top 8:

  1. Josh Liendo, Florida – 40.90
  2. Macguire McDuff, Florida – 41.86
  3. Reese Branzell, Georgia – 41.92
  4. Adam Chaney, Florida – 42.17
  5. Peter Varjasi, Florida State – 42.30
  6. Julian Smith, Florida – 42.43
  7. Bence Szabados, Michigan – 42.57
  8. Ed Fullum-Hout, Florida – 42.81

Florida sophomore Josh Liendo became the first NCAA swimmer under 41 seconds in the 100 free this season with a victory in 40.90. The Canadian sprint star won the NCAA title last season as a freshman with a personal-best 40.28.

Florida junior Macguire McDuff rounded out a 1-2 finish for the Gators with a runner-up effort in 41.86. He reached the wall just a couple tenths shy of his personal-best 41.59 from the 2023 SEC Championships, where he placed 4th.

Georgia junior Reese Branzell got under 42 seconds for the first time with a 3rd-place finish in 41.92, sneaking past Florida senior Adam Chaney (42.17). Branzell’s previous best was a 42.32 from his 400 free relay leadoff at the 2023 NCAA Championships.

WOMEN’S 200-YARD BREAST – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 2:01.29 – Kate Douglass, Virginia (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 2:05.73
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 2:09.68

Top 8:

  1. Molly Mayne, Florida – 2:07.89
  2. Zoie Hartman, Georgia – 2:08.02
  3. Sabyne Brisson, Georgia Tech – 2:08.34
  4. Maddy Huggins, Florida State – 2:09.08
  5. Grace Rainey, Florida – 2:10.75
  6. Brynn Curtis, Auburn – 2:11.37
  7. Julia Mansson, Florida State – 2:12.14
  8. Zoe Zeller, Auburn – 2:12.49

After becoming the fastest 100 breaststroker in Florida history on Friday, freshman Molly Mayne nearly took out the 200 breast program record today.

Mayne, who’s from the United Arab Emirates but also represents Ireland internationally, had an insane drop this morning from 2:16.08 last month to 2:07.72 in prelims. That scared the school record of 2:06.59 that Nina Kucheran set last season.

Mayne wasn’t able to replicate that effort tonight, but her 2:07.89 was still good enough for a tight win against Georgia fifth-year Zoie Hartman (2:08.02). Hartman owns a lifetime best of 2:05.05 that won her the SEC title back in 2021.

Georgia Tech freshman Sabyne Brisson hit a new lifetime best en route to 3rd place in 2:08.34, dropping almost a full second off her previous-best 2:09.44 from last month.

MEN’S 200-YARD BREAST – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 1:46.91 – Leon Marchand, Arizona State (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:51.09
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 1:52.94

Top 8:

  1. Aleksas Savickas, Florida – 1:51.57
  2. Tie: Tommaso Baravelli, Florida State – 1:56.31 / Jacques Rathle, Auburn – 1:56.31
  3. Peter Bretzmann, Florida – 1:56.33
  4. Joao Caballero, Georgia Tech – 1:56.69
  5. Raphael Rached Windmuller – 1:57.74
  6. Alejandro Flores, Auburn – 1:57.81
  7. Liam Heary, Auburn – 1:58.09

Florida sophomore Aleksas Savickas dominated the men’s 200 breast with a winning time of 1:51.57, nearly five seconds ahead of the pack. The Lithuania native owns a lifetime best of 1:49.89 from the 2023 NCAA Championships, where he placed 5th in the 200 breast (1:50.48).

Florida State sophomore Tommaso Baravelli tied with Auburn junior Jacques Rathle for 2nd place in 1:56.31, just .02 seconds ahead of 4th-place finisher Peter Bretzmann (1:56.33) of Florida. Baravelli and Rathle were both within a second of their best times from last October (1:55.42) and February (1:55.76), respectively.

WOMEN’S 200-YARD FLY – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 1:49.51 – Ella Eastin, Stanford (2018)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:52.86
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 1:55.92

Top 8:

  1. Hannah Bellard, Michigan – 1:53.21
  2. Meghan Lee, Auburn – 1:55.28
  3. Lainy Kruger, Florida – 1:55.41
  4. Edith Jernstedt, Florida State – 1:56.11
  5. Amanda Ray, Florida – 1:56.30
  6. McKenzie Campbell, Georgia Tech – 1:56.58
  7. Casey Cullen, Auburn – 1:57.06
  8. Sophie Freeman, Florida State – 1:59.22

Michigan freshman Hannah Bellard missed her lifetime best by just a hair, but still came way with a huge victory in 1:53.21. The Michigan native finished more than two seconds ahead of the field, just barely shy of her personal-best 1:53.20 from March.

Auburn senior Meghan Lee (1:55.28) edged Florida freshman Lainy Kruger (1:55.41) by just about a tenth for 2nd place, with both setting personal bests in the process. Lee dropped .12 seconds off her lifetime best with her runner-up finish while Kruger shaved .14 seconds off her previous-best 1:55.55 from January.

Florida freshman Bella Sims also did not swim the 200 fly tonight after leading prelims in 1:55.02 this morning on the back end of a 200 back double.

MEN’S 200-YARD FLY – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 1:37.35 – Jack Conger, Texas (2017)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:40.16
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 1:42.57

Top 8:

  1. Gal Cohen Groumi, Michigan – 1:40.54
  2. Tyler Ray, Michigan – 1:43.13
  3. Mason Laur, Florida – 1:43.53
  4. Colin Geer, Michigan – 1:43.61
  5. Danny Schmidt, Auburn – 1:44.03
  6. Evan McInerny, Auburn – 1:44.31
  7. Rusty Jerger, Auburn – 1:44.50
  8. Collin Klingman – 1:48.88

Michigan junior Gal Cohen Groumi snagged the top spot in the 200 fly with a winning time of 1:40.54, just a few tenths shy of his personal-best 1:40.21 from February. The Israel native reached the wall almost three seconds ahead of the field in a dominant performance.

Groumi’s teammate, Michigan sophomore Tyler Ray, took 2nd in a personal-best time of 1:43.13. Heading into today, Ray’s best time was a 1:46.27 from February, which he lowered by nearly three seconds to 1:43.53 during prelims this morning.

WOMEN’S 400-YARD FREE RELAY – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 3:05.84 – Virginia (Douglass, A. Walsh, Parker, G. Walsh) – 2023
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 3:14.10
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 3:16.25

Top 8:

  1. Michigan – 3:10.30
  2. Florida – 3:11.70
  3. Georgia – 3:13.77
  4. Auburn – 3:14.71
  5. Michigan ‘B’ – 3:16.17
  6. Georgia ‘B’ – 3:16.96
  7. Florida State – 3:17.45
  8. Florida ‘B’ – 3:18.85

Michigan’s quartet of freshman Stephanie Balduccini (47.40), senior Claire Newman (47.90), junior Lindsay Flynn (47.17), and sophomore Christey Liang (47.83) combined to beat Florida by more than a second with a time of 3:10.30 — four seconds faster than they went at NCAAs last season en route to 15th place.

Isabel Ivey clocked a quick 46.67 anchor, but it wasn’t enough to rally Florida’s team of Ekaterina Nikonova (48.95), Micayla Cronk (47.22), and Olivia Peoples (48.86) past the Wolverines.

Georgia also hit the NCAA ‘A’ cut with a 3:13.77 courtesy of Helena Jones (48.93), Sloane Reinstein (48.51), Bri Roberson (48.13), and Zoie Hartman (48.20).

MEN’S 400-YARD FREE RELAY – FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 2:44.07 – Florida (Liendo, Chaney, Smith, McDuff) – 2023
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 2:50.44
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 2:51.86

Top 8:

  1. Florida – 2:46.60
  2. Auburn – 2:49.90
  3. Georgia – 2:50.06
  4. Michigan – 2:50.60
  5. Florida State – 2:50.88
  6. Florida ‘B’ – 2:52.25
  7. Auburn ‘B’ – 2:52.59
  8. Georgia ‘B’ – 2:53.03

Florida (2:46.60), Auburn (2:49.90), and Georgia (2:50.06) all went under the NCAA ‘A’ cut (2:50.44) to lead the way in the men’s 400 free relay.

Florida sophomore Josh Liendo led off with a 41.38, Adam Chaney followed in 41.72, Julian Smith split 42.01, and Macguire McDuff anchored in 41.49.

Auburn’s quartet was more than three seconds behind as Aidan Stoffle (42.67), Kalle Makinen (42.27), Logan Tirheimer (42.71), and Ryan Husband (42.25) all went 42-point.

Reese Branzell (42.34), Zach Hils (42.38), Tomas Koski (43.17), and Bradley Dunham (42.17) led Georgia to a 3rd-place finish just a few tenths under the NCAA ‘A’ standard.

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Flatlander
4 months ago

Josh Liendo is a bad man. The 100 free this year at NC’s is going to be insane with Seeliger, Alexy, and now Giuliano (the kid from Norte Dame) along with some of the youngsters like Johnny Kulow on the come up.

Andrew
Reply to  Flatlander
4 months ago

bro tried to throw Seeliger in there like he’s not a perennial choker

Shaun White
Reply to  Andrew
4 months ago

40.7 best time is always gonna have a chance to win🤷‍♂️

Andrew
Reply to  Shaun White
4 months ago

All his best times are in prelims and Liendo was 40.2 last year. This is Josh’s race to lose

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
Reply to  Andrew
4 months ago

I agree. Liendo is the big favorite.

Michigan fan
4 months ago

Michigan had many great swims. Awesome to cap off the women’s events w a relay win! New coaching staff seems off to a strong start. Go Blue!

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
4 months ago

40.90 from Liendo at this point in the season is scary.

Aquajosh
4 months ago

40.90 from Liendo is faster than he was all year last year until NCs. It looks like Caeleb’s NCAA record is on borrowed time.

Noah
4 months ago

Where is bella

M.
4 months ago

Where is Sims

jess
Reply to  M.
4 months ago

(my bet is swam both events all out this morning and flew to LA for golden goggles tomorrow)
(why USAS would hold that mid season weekend is beyond me, like obvi it doesnt affect everyone who is going to the event, but alot of them are NCAA swimmers)

Noah
Reply to  jess
4 months ago

Maybe to give swimmers enough time to get back in the water before US open? Not good timing at all either way

Dawg Talk
Reply to  M.
4 months ago

Bella was a no show for finals and Emma scratched her prelim events and only swam the mile at the end of prelims. Neither one was in the building tonight.

Aquajosh
4 months ago

1:38.52 Wow. Jonny Marshall is now UF’s #2 all-time 200-yard backstroker as just a freshman and less than a second away from Ryan Lochte’s school record (1:37.68).

Scuncan Dott v2
Reply to  Aquajosh
4 months ago

Represents GB on the international scene, love how we’re finally getting some good male backstrokers when Peaty’s (probably) gonna retire in the next year or two.

Aquajosh
Reply to  Scuncan Dott v2
4 months ago

It could be worse. Sweden has been waiting for a decade to find a female backstroker, or a 4th freestyler.

Diehard
Reply to  Aquajosh
4 months ago

Men’s 2back was best and deepest event of the weekend!

Dawg Talk
Reply to  Diehard
4 months ago

Article didn’t mention Grum going 1:38.8 in the B Final too. It was a stacked event for sure!

Diehard
Reply to  Dawg Talk
4 months ago

Ruard should have given up his spot to Grum!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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