Georgia Shows Incoming Talent Against Developing Vanderbilt Squad In Season Opener
The Georgia women’s swimming team hosted Vanderbilt at Gabrielsen Natatorium this afternoon for both team’s regular season debuts, sans diving. Georgia women swam away with the meet, defeating Vanderbilt 153-94. This victory extends the Lady Bulldogs Georgia all-sports record home win streak, with 90 consecutive dual/tri meets and 91-1 in Gabrielsen.
Georgia, the defending SEC and NCAA champions, who returned 11 All-Americans from the 2013-2014 season, showed their experience and depth, as well as a talented incoming class. Vanderbilt demonstrated they have developed new talent as well, with a solid swims from their freshmen.
Getting after it right away, Georgia’s A and B teams battled in the 200 Medley Relay, with the A team taking the win in 1:43.58 and B in 1:43.77.
Georgia Senior Jordan Mattern continued the Lady Bulldogs quick start, winning the 1000 Free in 9:59.71.
Top 10 recruit, Kylie Stewart started her Georgia career in great form with a win in the 200 Free, posting an impressive 1:49.90. Georgia went 1-3 in that event, with Rachel Zilinskas touching 2nd in 1:51.32 and Maddie Locus placing 3rd in 1:52.18.
Junior Hali Flickinger posted the only NCAA B Standard of the day, winning the 100 Back in 54.73. The biggest surprise of the meet was Lauren Harrington, defeating the NCAA defending champion and teammate Olivia Smoliga, 23.58 to 23.85 in the 50 Free.
Georgia took these individual wins as well:
- 100 Breast-Emily Cameron-1:03.91,
- 200 Fly-Megan Kingsley-2:01.47,
- 100 Free-Chantell Van Landeghem-50.12,
- 200 Back-Amber McDermott-2:00.45,
- 200 Breast-Meghan Raab-2:19.14.
The versatile Raab focused on the breaststroke races in her first meet as a Bulldog, which is the weakest part of Georgia’s medley relays this year after Melanie Margalis’ graduation. Raab also split 25.98 leading off Georgia’s A medley relay (.01 slower than fellow freshman Stewart) and a 24.01 leading off a 200 free relay. Though it’s just one meet, the conversation will begin as to what exactly Raab will specialize in college, or if she’ll be a Margalis-like polymath.
After the 200 Breast, Georgia decided to exhibition the rest of their events. Notable Georgia exhibition swims that were fastest in their events were:
- 4:51.38 500 Free from Hali Flickinger,
- 55.85 100 Fly from Maddie Locus,
- 2:02.77 in the 200 I.M. from Amber McDermott.
The Vanderbilt Commodores had solid performances from their freshmen class, which includes Breanna Sapienza, who took 2nd in the 100 fly in 56.21. The 100 fly is Vanderbilt’s deepest event, but for Sapienza, this time was faster than anybody on the team went in any dual meet last year – a very positive sign.