On the women’s side, the Georgia Bulldogs looked dominant, especially in the 200 and 500 freestyles that are their core. Auburn and Virginia had great swims as well, specifically from Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace and Lauren Perdue, respectively. Auburn’s top breaststroker, Micah Lawrence, scratched most of her events, and was quite slow in most of what she did swim. There might be an injury watch to look out for there.
For the men, Auburn is back into form and cruised to a win. In the battle of #13 teams, Georgia upended Minnesota for second. I would expect the Bulldog men to move up in the next CSCAA rankings release based on this result. The Virginia men, despite some good swims at the top, finished in 4th overall.
Though the Cavaliers probably wouldn’t consider this meet a resounding success, they did have some very good swims from Matt Mclean. They were hurt badly by a lot of seemingly healthy-scratches as well as not having any divers. Georgia and Minnesota scored the bulk of the diving points on the men’s side, which accounted for a good portion of the difference between second and fourth.
1. (#2) Georgia, University of 1115
2. (#10) Auburn University 769.5
3. (#9 ) Virginia, University of 655.5
4. Penn State University 538
5. University of Kansas 371
6. Harvard University 261
7. (# 14) University of Minnesota (divers) 158
1. (# 7)Auburn University 1101.5
2. (# 13) Georgia, University of 832
3. (# 13) University of Minnesota 707.5
4. (#11) Virginia, University of 651
5. Penn State University 444
Swimmers of the Meet
Women’s: Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (Auburn)
Men’s: Adam Brown (Auburn)
Perdue Bulldogs 200 free
The Georgia Bulldogs are probably the most insanely deep 200 freestyle team in the history of swimming. In this meet, they grabbed 2nd-6th place, including 5 swimmers under the 1:46 mark. The freestylers appeared to be at different states of rest. Allison Schmitt, who was 3rd in 1:45.31, is the favorite to win the NCAA Championship in this event and likely had only minimal rest in the lead-up to this meet. Chelsea Nauta, who was 4th in 1:45.50, was less than half a second off of her NCAA mark, and may have been a little more rested. Either way, the Georgia Bulldogs look as deep as ever, and could (read: should) break the American record at NCAA’s.
But at this meet, Virginia sophomore Lauren Perdue stole the show. She won the 200 free in 1:44.12, which is the best time in the nation and seven-tenths better than her 8th place mark from last year’s Championship meet. In fact, that time would’ve been good enough to tie for third at last year’s NCAA meet. Perdue is one of the few swimmers in the country with the potential to break up a 1-2-3 Bulldog finish in March.
Vanderpool-Wallace Nips Perdue in Fabulous Sprint Free Racing
Besides her success in the 200 free, Virginia’s Perdue had two other fantastic swims in the 50 and 100 frees for runner-up finishes with times of 22.16 and 48.14. In fact, these swims were so good that they both stand as second in the country this year. Unfortunately for Perdue, she ran into a blue and orange buzzsaw named Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace. The race between the two in the 50 was outstanding, with Vanderpool-Wallace out-touching Perdue in a time of 22.14. In the 100, however, despite a very impressive time, Purdue wasn’t even in the same stratosphere as V-P, who touched in 47.44. This time was not only easily the best college time in the country, but it even was well clear of post-grad Jessica Hardy’s 47.81 that won at Short Course Nationals.
Mark Dylla Rounds into Form in 200 Fly
Georgia’s senior butterflier Mark Dylla has flirted with several national titles in the 200 fly: including last year when he touched first but was subsequently DQ’ed for a one-handed touch on a turn. This season, he is rounding into great mid-season form with a 1:43.88—5th best in the country. Could this be his year? Time will tell…
UVA’s Matt McLean Rocks the Middle Distances
Last season, Virginia’s Matt McLean looked like a very good college swimmer: nothing that would blow your socks off, but a solid collegian, and a big piece of the Virginia puzzle. Over the summer, he surprised a lot of people with how well he placed at Long Course Nationals, including A-finals in the 200 and 400 frees. McLean has carried that pace into the college season, and is lining himself up for a solid post-graduate career and a potential relay spot in London. He won the yards equivalents of those same events at Georgia, the 200 and 500 frees, including a nation-leading time in the 500 (4:17.44). It seems like McLean has set a nation-best time in some event at every meet he’s swum this year, which gives an indication that he’s not slowing down in the run towards NCAA’s.
Adam Brown, Auburn Sprinters Back on Top
The Auburn men looked shaky at the start of the season, including a loss to rival Alabama in their first dual meet. The difference between that meet and this meet? Adam Brown, who has really lifted Auburn of late. He pulled off the sprint double in the 50 free (19.56) and 100 free (42.56), both of which are great times for him.
Brett Hawke is employing a new weight-lifting routine this season, and it seems to be paying off big-time for the Auburn sprinters. The Tiger free relays are back to their more familiar national positions, with top-3 times in both the 200 and 400. This includes a split of 19.07 from Kohlton Norys, which is a very pleasant surprise.
Minnesota Sprinters Bang Out Top-8 Relay Times Too
The Minnesota men, which have been one of the better top-15 surprises early on this season, also put up great sprint relay times. Their 400 quartet of Curt Carlson (44.58), Zach Bolin (44.14), Michael Richards (43.70), and Kyler Van Swol (44.88) swam the 8th best time in the nation of 2:57.30. The shorter relay did them one bette, with a 1:19.12 that ranks 7th in the country. There, they were led by 3 sub-20 splits, including a 19.60 from Carlson.
Kansas’ Kuzhil Make Her Name
In general, When you hear about the Kansas Jayhawks, it’s about their basketball team. Rarely does their swim team factor in to national-level conversations. Kansas backstroker Iullia Kuzhill is rewiring the brains of swim fans everywhere, however, partially in thanks to her performances at this invite. The senior, who hails from Ukraine, won the 200 backstroke (1:54.43), and was second in the 100 backstroke (53.05). Besides earning her our Co-Big 12 Swimmer of the Week Award earlier this week, it also scored her two top-8 times and likely NCAA invites early this season.