The Georgia Bulldogs were in Savannah this weekend, about four hours south of their Athens Campus, for a tri-meet with the North Carolina State Wolfpack and Savannah College of Art & Design, and the story of the season for Jack Bauerle’s charges continued to be the stellar performance of their freshman.
This meet, though, saw a new face: Chase Kalisz made his collegiate debut for Georgia in this meet. Kalisz was dealing with some minor eligibility issues in the fall semester regarding a correspondence course; while clearing that up, though, it’s not as if he was just sitting around in Baltimore. He was training with one of the top club programs in the world at NBAC, and that showed in this meet as he led the Bulldogs with three individual event wins and a solid relay swim to boot.
Kalisz’s meet started off with a swim on Georgia’s B 800 free relay. He led that group to a third-place finish with a 1:40.35 split (that was actually better than one of his teammates on the A-relay). Both Georgia squads, though, were knocked-off by the North Carolina State relay (6:39.85-6:42.01). A very young Wolfpack relay saw Simonas Billas, Jonathan Boffa, and David Williams all dip under 1:40 on their splits, including a really strong second leg of 1:37.98 from the junior Boffa.
Warmed up and indoctrinated into the ways of NCAA swimming (though he’s seen plenty of big races, including Olympic Trials finals, in his young career), Kalisz finished his day with three individual events: all victories. First he won the 200 fly in 1:50.33, the 200 breaststroke in 1:59.51, and the 200 IM in 1:48.61. This wasn’t a rested meet either; Kalisz rocked Winter Nationals a month ago with best swims in all three events much faster than he was here, however, back in the throes of heavy training, he was able to easily sweep on Saturday.
Other freshmen victories for the Georgia men include Garrett Powell in the 1000 free (9:14); and Ty Stewart in the 100 back (50.18 – just besting Ivan Kopas of NC State in 50.85) and the 200 back (1:47.99),
The Wolfpack had a lot of good swims from their men as well at this meet, though none was as impressive as the 48.67 from junior Barrett Miesfeld in the 100 fly. As compared to where he was coming out of winter training last season, that swim was a full second faster, and he beat 2012 Honorable Mention All-American Doug Reynolds by a full stroke (50.99).
In the women’s meet, Georgia was led by three individual victories from freshman Hali Flickinger. She showed off her impressive talents in both the backstroke and butterfly events at this meet. That included a sweep of the butterfly events as well as an easy win in the 200 backstroke (1:59.38). The 100 fly was by far the most hard-fought of the three individual wins; she was just a little better (55.81) than teammate Lauren Harrington (56.06) and North Carolina State’s (56.23) Zina Grogg.
The Bulldogs will also got a pair of individual victories from sophomore Amber McDermott, one of the best distance swimmers in the country, as she won both the 500 free (4:58.12) and 1000 free (10:04.19). Despite battling a wrist injury that kept her out of the Bulldogs’ big fall invite, McDermott was able to sweep the distance events here, though she was quite a bit slower than the times she posted coming out of last year’s winter training.
Savannah A&D, an NAIA power, overall had a very encouraging performance in the meet, headlined by distance swimmer Caroline Lepeasant. She chased McDermott the whole way in that 1000, and finished in 2nd place in 10:11.65.
North Carolina State Universit 212.00 43.00 SCAD
Georgia, University of 206.00 48.00 SCAD
Georgia, University of 144.00 112.00 North Carolina State
North Carolina State Universit 190.00 62.00 SCAD
Georgia, University of 178.00 73.00 SCAD
Georgia, University of 151.00 99.00 North Carolina State