Georgia Tech Holds 1st Meet Of The Season; White vs. Gold Intrasquad Meet Recap

by Ben Dornan 6

September 19th, 2020 ACC, College, News

2020 Georgia Tech White vs. Gold Intrasquad Meet

While we still don’t know exactly how the 2020-2021 NCAA swimming & diving season will turn out, there’s one thing we can tell you for sure: college swimming is back! Georgia Tech held their first meet of the season today, Saturday, September 19th, racing at the 2020 White vs. Gold Intrasquad meet. The spectator-free meet was held under strict COVID-19 standards at their home pool, the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Tech welcomed some students back on August 17th is currently offering a blended model of learning, offering some courses in-person and some online held their intrasquad meet on Saturday. This tech vs tech meet is a traditional season opener for most college teams, and while not quite the excitement of a true dual meet or a big invite, is still a big moment for the sport.

Men’s Meet

Senior Christian Ferraro, one of three of Georgia Tech’s men to qualify for last year’s NCAA Championships, raced to victory in both the 100 and 200 butterfly at the intrasquad, hitting a 48.98 and 1:48.34, respectively. Caio Pumutis, who also qualified last year’s NCAAs was right behind Ferraro in both of those events, swimming a 49.12 in the 100 and a 1:50.35 in the 200. Rounding out the top 3 in the 100 butterfly was Jonathan Vater with a 52.13 and Dylan Scott came third in the 200 butterfly with a 1:58.95. Ferraro qualified for last year for NCAAs with a 1:41.70 and placed 6th at the 2020 ACC Championships with a 1:42.93. Ferraro placed 2nd in the B-final of the 100 at ACCs with a 46.07.

Along with his two second-place finishes in the butterflies, Pumputis came out on top in the 200 breaststroke with a 2:01.19 followed by Daniel Kertesz (2:10.36) and Tanner Doan (2:11.12). At last year’s ACC Championships, Pumputis won the 200 breaststroke B-final, swimming a 1:55.32. That swim was just a bit off his season-best 200 breast of 1:53.88 with which he secured an invite to NCAAs. Pumputis also qualified for last year’s NCAAs in the 200 IM with a silver medal-winning 1:43.13 at 2020 ACC Championships.

Georgia Tech’s third 2020 NCAA qualifier, Kyle Barone won the 100 and 200 backstroke at this morning’s intrasquad, swimming a 50.04 in the former and a 1:53.05 in the latter. Barone secured his NCAA invite last year in the 100 backstroke with a 45.77 in a fourth-place finish at ACCs. Barone’s ACC Champs 200 backstroke was a 1:46.41, for 26th place. Barone was followed by Nathan Hayes (51.95 / 1:53.19) and Leon Warnakulasuriya (53.25 / 1:59.15) for second and third, respectively in both the 100 and 200.

Freshmen Highlights

Grant Allison

  • 50 Freestyle, First Place (21.37)
  • 100 Freestyle, Second Place (46.78)

Batur Unlu

  • 200 Freestyle, First Place (1:40.44)
  • 500 Freestyle, First Place (4:35.56)

Nathan Hayes

  • 200 Backstroke, Second Place (1:53.19)
  • 100 Backstroke – Second Place (51.95)

Wiggo Frohde

  • 100 Freestyle, Third Place (1:46.25)

Women’s Meet

With no NCAA qualifiers from the 2019/2020 season, the Georgia Tech women finished 7th at last year’s ACC Championships. Last season, the Yellow Jackets graduated two of the year’s top scorers form the school, Caroline Lee and Kristen Helper. Taking over for Lee and Helper, McKenzie Campbell and Allie Paschal both swam to two first-place finishes at this morning’s intrasquad.

Sophomore McKenzie Campbell was victorious in both the 100 butterfly and 200 IM, swimming a 56.52 in the fly and a 2:06.66 in the IM. In the 100, Rei Kuramoto finished second in a 52.23  and Lindsey Merk was third with a 59.07. The 200 IM was rounded out by Claudia Butterfield (2:12.02) in second and Nicole Williams (2:12.57) in third. Last year, as a freshman, Campbell swam to an 8th place finish in the ACC Championships 400 IM C-final with a 4:20.29.

Allie Paschal, who finished sixth in last year’s 100 backstroke C-final at ACC Championships, won the 100 and 200 backstroke this morning, swimming a 56.49 and 2:02.67, respectively. Paschal won by quite a margin in the 100, nearly four seconds ahead of second and third-place finishers Grace Mauldin (1:00.07) and Jami Williams (1:00.08). In the 200, Astrid Dirkzwager was second in a 2:05.33, and Grace Mauldin was third with a 2:05.33.

Also notching two first-place finishes was Emily Graham, winning the 50 and 100 freestyles in a 24.37 and 53.50. In the 50, Jami Williams (24.90) was second and Grace Mauldin (25.08) was third and it was Kyrsten Davis (55.03) and Lindsey Merk (55.47) rounding out the top three in the 100.

Freshmen Highlights

Rei Kuramoto

  • 200 Freestyle, First Place (1:53.78)
  • 100 Butterfly, Second Place (57.23)

Claudia Butterfield

  • 200 IM, Second Place (2:12.02)
  • 200 Breast, Second Place (2:24.57)
  • 100 Breast, Second Place (1:06.21)

Astrid Dirkzwager

  • 200 Backstroke, Second Place (2:05.33)
  • 200 freestyle, Second Place (1:55.63)

Lindsey Merk

  • 100 Butterfly, Third Place (59.07)

Of the meet, Yellow Jackets head coach Courtney Shealy Hart said “We are excited to compete for the first time since February,” “We have been working hard under the current COVID-19 protocols. We look forward to being able to race and dive this weekend.” With their first meet out the way, we now know one thing: there is potential for college swimming this season. Still with no clear blueprint for how a swim season will work amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, this weekend Georgia Tech White vs. Gold Intrasquad could set a precedent for the spectator free model that we may see pop up throughout the NCAA this year. Stay tuned here at SwimSwam for more info regarding college meets for the 2020/2021 season!

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Colson Zucker
1 month ago

Good lord! I wish I knew who was in that picture he looks good as heck!

swimfan210_
Reply to  Colson Zucker
1 month ago

Kyle Barone

Buzz
Reply to  swimfan210_
1 month ago

Is he single??

Big Brains
1 month ago

“How about a GT ACC picture for the article”
“Nah dude, I got something wayy better”

Last edited 1 month ago by Big Brains
Guy
1 month ago

How did so many of the kids swim so poorly?