GEORGIA V. TEXAS A&M
- January 11, 2019
- Athens, Georgia
- Georgia (W) 169, Texas A&M (W) 131
- Georgia (M) 157, Texas A&M (M) 143
The Georgia women held strong against the visiting Aggies, getting a triple-win performance from Courtney Harnish and impressive meets from sprinter Veronica Burchill and breaststroker/IMer Danielle Dellatorre.
Harnish tackled a tough triple, first going 9:59.12 in the 1000 free before hopping up after the men’s 1000 to take on the 200 free. There, she put together a 1:47.49 for the win. Later on, in the 500 free, she was 4:49.62 to dominate the 500 free. In the sprints, Burchill posted a 23.08 to take the 50 and then a 49.11 to crush the field in the 100.
Dellatorre led an exciting battle in the 100 breast. Clocking a 1:00.31, less than a second off of her best of 59.28, Dellatorre touched out teammate Zoie Hartman (1:00.83) and A&M’s Anna Belousova (1:00.95). That was the second-best performance of Dellatorre’s life behind her 59.28 best from November’s UT Invite, quicker than she went at the 2019 SEC and NCAA Champs. In the 200 breast, she’d get touched out by Belousova, 2:12.05 to 2:12.21, while she’d get back on top in the 200 IM (2:00.08).
Another impact player for Georgia was Dakota Luther, clocking a 54.23 in the 100 fly and a 1:57.50 in the 200 fly. A&M’s Emma Carlton was right behind in the 100 (54.26) and Aggies Taylor Pike (1:57.80) and Jing Quah (1:57.90) were just back in the 200.
The Aggie women won the opening 200 medley relay (1:40.08), then got a 1-2 finish in the 100 back thanks to Carlton (54.53) and Sara Metzsch (55.68). In the 400 free relay, tight through the first three legs, Georgia’s Burchill unloaded a 48.80 anchor as they clocked a 3:21.22 to close this one out.
The men’s meet was very close throughout, with a few lead changes happening. Ultimately, Georgia defended their home pool, keying on their strong distance group and a butterfly sweep courtesy of Camden Murphy.
Murphy split a field-best 20.95 fly leg on Georgia’s A 200 medley relay, though the Aggies dominated that one with a 1:26.89 win as UGA touched in 1:28.39. Murphy would go on to lead a Georgia 1-2-3 sweep in the 200 fly with a 1:45.54 alongside freshman Harry Homans (1:46.06) and Clayton Forde (1:47.89). In the 100 fly, he was 47.27 to deny Shaine Casas (47.73).
Meanwhile, the distance group put together big swims for the Bulldogs. Greg Reed (9:05.11) led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1000, while Walker Higgins won the 500 (4:25.16) in a Georgia 1-2-3-4. Higgins was also 1:36.54 in the 200 free as he and Grant Norgan (1:37.98) went 1-2 there.
A&M’s Casas took control of the backstrokes, going 47.21 in the 100 and 1:43.86, though the Aggies didn’t have the depth to put up any 1-2 or 1-2-3 sweeps there. They did have a nice showing in the breaststrokes, going 1-2 in both with Benjamin Walker (54.08/1:57.26) and freshman Andres Puente (54.71/1:58.00).
After the 200 breast, with only a few events left, the Aggies were up. Casas couldn’t out-last Murphy in the 100 fly, though, which sunk the Aggies going into diving. Walker’s win in the 200 IM was followed by four Bulldogs, making it a smaller victory, and then the Bulldogs wound up winning the 400 free relay.
Georgia went 2:58.56 to A&M’s 2:58.67, not an electrifying time, but the first sub-3:00 performance from the Bulldogs in any dual meet this year. And, they beat A&M, who by mid-season had six men in the top 20 in the SEC this year in the 100 free, including conference leader Koster. Georgia had a swimmer a couple of tenths quicker than one of their A legs on their B, and A&M would’ve won handily with Thiberton the A (he was 44.9 leading off the B while Alberto Gomez was 46.1 on the A with a flying start), but Georgia sealed the win and took the meet ultimately.