Georgia Tech Invite Day 3 Finals Live Recap


The 2021 Georgia Tech Invite wraps up today with the 1650 free, the 200 fly, the 100 free, the 200 breast, the 200 fly, and the 400 free relay.

There’s plenty of stars at this meet, but one of the biggest, Kieran Smith, did not swim this morning, but watch for his Gator teammates, especially Bobby Finke, in the 1650. Host Georgia Tech got a big swim this morning from Christian Ferraro, who set a school record in the 200 fly with a time of 1:40.33 that looks to be the fastest in the nation so far this season.


19.46 50 free 22.32
42.88 100 free 48.76
1:34.04 200 free 1:46.25
4:16.75 500 free 4:44.77
15:01.33 1650 free 16:25.47
46.29 100 fly 52.7
1:43.47 200 fly 1:57.42
46.37 100 back 53.01
1:41.81 200 back 1:55.05
52.4 100 breast 1:00.12
1:54.28 200 breast 2:10.37
1:44.15 200 IM 1:57.62
3:45.67 400 IM 4:13.19

Women’s 1650 – Timed Finals

  1. Abigail McCulloh (Georgia) – 15:57.23
  2. Elise Bauer (Florida) – 16:14.91
  3. Leah DeGeorge (Florida) – 16:15.48

Georgia freshman Abigail McCulloh won this race going away, clocking a 15:57.23 that was over 17 seconds faster than her closest competitor. Her time was less than five seconds away from a NCAA ‘A’ cut, and it was some 28 seconds faster than last year’s qualifying time.

The Florida trio of Elise Bauer (16:14.91), Leah DeGeorge (16:15.48), and Tylor Mathieu (16:15.76) took the next three spots. Auburn’s Emily Hetzer (16:17.76) was also under last year’s NCAA invite time of 16:25.47.

Men’s 1650 – Timed Finals

  1. Bobby Finke (Florida) – 14:27.70
  2. Mert Kilavuz (Georgia Tech) – 14:42.62
  3. Trey Freeman (Florida) – 14:50.11

Bobby Finke, the fastest man ever in this event, dropped a 14:27.70, a time that would’ve finished 2nd at NCAAs (behind Finke himself) at last season’s NCAAs.

Georgia Tech freshman Mert Kilavuz took 2nd in 14:42.62, setting a Georgia Tech team record, and Florida’s Trey Freeman took 3rd in 14:48.69, less than two seconds off of his lifetime best. All told, the top 9 men in this event were under last year’s NCAA invite time.

Women’s 200 Back – Finals

  1. Meghan Lee (Auburn) – 1:54.99
  2. Millie Sansome (Georgia) – 1:55.60
  3. Pia Murray (Florida State) – 1:55.73

The Auburn women earned the backstroke sweep, as Meghan Lee won the 200 in 1:54.99 after Ellie Waldrep won the 100 yesterday. Lee was the only woman this evening under last year’s NCAA qualifying time.

UGA’s Millie Sansome took 2nd in 1:55.60, after also finishing 2nd in the 100 yesterday. FSU’s Pia Murray touched just behind Sansome, with a 1:55.73.

Men’s 200 Back – Finals

  1. Berke Saka (Georgia Tech) – 1:40.89
  2. Lleyton Smith (Auburn) – 1:41.73
  3. Ian Grum (Georgia) – 1:42.38

The Georgia Tech men are rewriting the school record book today, as freshman Berke Saka kept that trend rolling with a 1:40.89 victory in the 200 back. No one had been faster than that time heading into this week’s invites.

Auburn’s Lleyton Smith was just a bit off of his time from this morning, taking 2nd in 1:41.73, while Georgia Ian Grum finished 3rd in 1:42.38. It took a 1:41.81 to qualify for this event for the 2021 NCAA Championships.

Women’s 100 Free – Finals

  1. Talia Bates (Florida) – 48.60
  2. Gabi Fa’Amausili (Georgia) – 48.88
  3. Rebekah Hamilton (Auburn) – 49.04

This event featured the 50 free champion (Gabi Fa’Amausili) and the 200 free champion (Talia Bates) going head-to-head in the event that bridges those two distances. Bates finished 2nd to Fa’Amausili in the 50 free, but tonight the Gator got her hand on the wall first, beating Fa’Amausili 48.60 to 48.88. Bates was under last year’s NCAA invite time of 48.76.

Auburn freshman Rebekah Hamilton took 3rd in 49.04.

Men’s 100 Free – Finals

  1. Eric Friese (Florida) – 42.55
  2. Peter Varjasi (Florida State) – 42.80
  3. Luca Urlando (Georgia) – 42.88

The top three men all equaled, or bettered, last year’s NCAA invite time of 42.88, with Florida’s Eric Friese leading the way with a 42.55. Florida State’s Peter Varjasi took 2nd in 42.80, while Georgia’s Luca Urlando, who we normally see swimming the 200 fly at big meets, but who has sprint chops, took 3rd in 42.88.

Women’s 200 Breast – Finals

  1. Zoie Hartman (Georgia) – 2:08.11
  2. Nina Kucheran (Florida State) – 2:08.57
  3. Danielle Dellatorre (Georgia) – 2:09.36

Zoie Hartman competed the break stroke sweep with a 2:08.11, while FSU’s Nina Kucheran (2:08.57) once again finished 2nd behind the Georgia Bulldog.

Hartman’s teammate Danielle Dellatorre took 3rd in 2:09.36, while FGCU’s Petra Halmai (2:09.78) also dipped under the 2021 invite time of 2:10.37.

Mens’ 200 Breast – Finals

  1. Reid Mikuta (Auburn) – 1:53.69
  2. Dillon Hillis (Florida) – 1:55.34
  3. Kevin Vargas (Florida) – 1:55.46

Another sweep here, as Auburn’s Reid Mikuta won the 200 in 1:53.69 after winning the 100 last night, under last year’s NCAA qualifying time. Florida’s Dillon Hillis, who took 3rd in the 100, finished 2nd here with a 1:54.34.

Hillis’ Gator teammate Kevin Vargas finished 3rd in 1:55.46 after winning the 400 IM last night.

Women’s 200 Fly – Finals

  1. Dakota Luther (Georgia) – 1:54.16
  2. Amanda Ray (Florida) – 1:56.19
  3. McKenzie Campbell (Georgia Tech) – 1:56.90

Hopefully there’s plenty of brooms on deck, as Dakota Luther got in on the sweeping action. The Georgia senior went 1:54.16 to win the 200 fly after winning the 100 fly yesterday. Florida’s Amanda Ray finished 2nd in 1:56.19, followed by Georgia Tech’s McKenzie Campbell (1:56.90). All were under last year’s incite time of 1:57.42.

Men’s 200 Fly – Finals

  1. Christian Ferraro (Georgia Tech) – 1:40.97
  2. Jace Crawford (Florida) – 1:43.69
  3. Antonio Romero (Georgia Tech) – 1:45.63

Christian Ferraro couldn’t quite match his time from prelims, but the Georgia Tech senior still easily won this event with his time of 1:40.97. No one else was within 2.7s of Ferraro, and he’s the only man who cleared last year’s NCAA invite time of 1:43.47.

Florida’s Jace Crawford took 2nd in 1:43.69, while Antonio Romero made it a 1-3 finish for the Yellow Jackets with his time of 1:45.64.

Women’s 400 Free Relay – Timed Finals

  1. Georgia – 3:14.77
  2. Florida – 3:15.03
  3. Auburn – 3:15.29

Gabi Fa’Amausili led off in 49.34, then Maxine Parker (48.88) and Callie Dickinson (48.87) had a pair of nearly-identical splits, before breaststroker Zoie Hartman anchored in 47.68 to secure the win for the Bulldogs.

Florida (3:15.03) and Auburn (3:15.29) were also under the NCAA ‘B’ cut.

Men’s 400 Free Relay – Timed Finals

  1. Florida – 2:49.82
  2. Georgia – 2:50.89
  3. Auburn – 2:51.39

No Kieran Smith, but Florida still won by over a second and got under the NCAA ‘A’ cut. Macguire McDuff led off in 43.49, followed by Eric Friese (41.76), Adam Chaney (42.02), and Gerry Quinn (42.55), to combine for a 2:49.82.

Georgia came in 2nd in 2:50.89, also under the NCAA ‘A’ cut, while Auburn came in under the ‘B’ cut with a 2:51.89.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

According to the announcer at the pool, Finke’s swim set new pool records for the 1000 (8:44.44) as well as the 1650.

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Man, what is going on with Luca and the 200 fly? Pre-Covid and shoulder injury, he was the darling of the event in LCM before Milak started cooking. Have a feeling the shoulder remains a problem. U.S. could use a dominant 2 flyer again.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

He was recovering from the flu. He didn’t swim the first day until docs gave him the green light. Jake Magahey and Andrew Abruzzo never raced because of the flu. I think coming into this week, Luca had one of the top times in nation in 2fly and the coaches wisely didn’t want him to swim 2fly due to recent illness. He will be fine this year….he was on fire this fall before the flu.

2 years ago

GT looked good tonight. Question: Caio Pumpitis is on their roster but didn’t swim this weekend. Is he swimming for GT this year? Is he sick like the UGA men? Just curious.

About Robert Gibbs