The last two times Penn State and Georgia Tech faced off, the Nittany Lions were able to get the best of the Ramblin’ Wreck on both the men’s and women’s sides of the meet. This time in Atlanta, dressed in pink for breast cancer awareness, event sweeps and double event winners were the norm as the Yellowjacket men were able to hold off the Nittany Lions 184 to 111, while Penn State downed Tech 173 to 119 and the Liberty Flames 197 to 96. Georgia Tech’s women also bested Liberty 178 to 120.
Tech’s men got off to a great start, with the 400 Medley Relay winning team of Brian Woodbury, Moises Loschi, Ben Southern and Noah Harasz touching at 3:18.11 that ranks them 2nd in the country based on times coming into Friday. Georgia Tech didn’t swim the 400 medley relay a lot last year (their only officially-submitted times were at their mid-season invite and the ACC Championships).
The Yellow-Jackets’ B-squad came from behind to out-touch the PSU A on a 45.18 anchor from sophomore Dan Cohen Solal, making a 1-2 finish for an early edge to the home team.
From there Georgia Tech was able to turn in the top time in nearly every event, starting with a 14 second win by Yuval Safra in the 1000 free at 9:19.71. That event was their first 1-2-3 sweep of the night, with GT teammates Edwin Zhao and Michael Kenny taking the points behind the leader to widen the scoring gap. Safra also won the 500 free later in the meet with 4:31.85.
Other event sweeps for the Yellowjacket men were in the 100 free and 200 breast, with Tech senior Youssef Hammoud taking a close race in the free with 45.37 ahead of teammate Noah Harasz at 45.46 in the free. The breast was a sweep, but not as close though, with Moises Loschi touching at 2:02.47, over four seconds ahead of the nearest competitor. Loschi was also a double-winner as he also took the 100 breast in 56.29.
In the same fashion, Georgia Tech’s Brian Woodbury took both backstrokes (50.10 and 1:50.71) along with wins in both butterfly events by teammate Ben Southern who finished at 49.31 and 1:49.27.
The lone men’s swimming event winner from Penn State on this night was Senior Matt Grillo, who turned in a 21.20 in the 50 free. PSU also picked up the 1-meter diving win with Hector Garcia’s 348.80 point performance.
The Nittany Lions dominated the women’s meet over Georgia Tech and Liberty, with DQ’s from the A squads of both teams opening the door for an early lead in the 400 Medley Relay. After that, it was a show of upper-class strength as event winners for the rest of the night were juniors and seniors, with PSU taking the majority of the events.
PSU junior Casey Francis won both the 1000 and 500 yard freestyles, contrasting her 27 second domination of the 1000 at 10:03.17 with a very close victory over teammate Katelyn Sowinski, 4:57.21 to 4:57.53.
Other double event winners in the women’s meet were PSU’s Katelyn Saloky in the sprints with 23.32 and 56.33 for the 50 and 100 freestyle, and Georgia Tech’s Shannon Lumbra taking the 1-meter (293.95) and 3-meter (281.55) diving.
The PSU women managed to sweep first through third in both the 200 free and 200 fly. Megan Wujciak, Alyson Ackerman and Hermosillo Gonzales touched at 1:50.27, 1:51.67 and 1:52.15 securing dominance in the free, and Katie Rowe, Katelyn Sowinski and Francis doing the same in the fly with 2:00.60, 2:01.70 and 2:05.67 respectively.