The cross-state Emory vs. Georgia meet on Friday evening carried with it a surprising number of good story lines, given that it pitted a very good Division I team in Georgia against a Division III team in Emory.
For starters, both women’s teams are defending NCAA Champions. The Georgia women won the Division I title in March in Indianapolis while the Emory women were simultaneously winning the Division III title in Houston.
There’s also a lot of strong connections between the two teams from their prep days, being located geographically so close together. That includes siblings Courtney and Amber McDermott, who swim for Emory and Georgia, respectively, though the two did not match up head-to-head in this meet.
Ultimately, the Bulldog women won 130-97, and the men took the meet 137-73. Both Georgia teams had a few exhibitions at the end of the session.
Georgia swam largely off-events at this meet, but still put up some pretty impressive times.
On the women’s side of the meet, Melanie Margalis, who has been on-fire this season, won the 50 free in 23.24 and the 200 fly in 1:58.84.
In the women’s 100 free, Brittany MacLean, typically a distance swimmer, won in 51.43, while her teammate Olivia Boggs was 2nd in 51.48. Emory’s Nancy Larson swam a season-best of 52.30 for 3rd-place in that event.
Boggs also added a win in the 200 breaststroke in 2:18.63.
Olivia Smoliga, who is typically a sprint backstroker, was a 1:58.75 to win the women’s 200 back. That’s her best swim since 2010.
One of the few swimmers in a primary event, U.S. World Championship team member Jordan Mattern won the women’s 200 free in 1:49.57. Mattern has had a relatively light season so far (shes only swum 7 individual events altogether this season).
The swimmers weren’t the only ones racing off events. Georgia Diver Laura Ryan anchored Georgia’s top relay in 25.23, as they won in 1:34.11. For a diver, that’s a fantastic time. The Bulldogs’ best split was Shannon Vreeland, who was a 22.62.
In the men’s meet, Chase Kalisz showed that his improvements this season aren’t limited to just the butterfly events. First, he led off Georgia’s winning 400 medley relay with a 48.74, and then was a 1:45.61 to win the 200 backstroke. That’s a second-and-a-half better than his career best. With huge lifetime bests already this season in the 200 fly and the 200 back, which are his two weakest races, expect him to have a huge pop in the IM races when the Bulldogs arrive at the Auburn Fall Invitational next weekend.
Matias Koski swam at least one primary event at this meet. The defending NCAA 500 free champion won that same event in 4:26.65.
Butterflier Doug Reynolds swept the 100 and 200 freestyles in 45.51 and 1:39.30.
The 200 IM went to Alex Cohen in 1:52.98 and Derek Onken took 2nd in 1:54.52. Emory’s Jake Stephens was 4th in 1:55.43, which is his season-best.
Georgia is back in action next weekend in Auburn, as mentioned, and Emory will race at the Miami Invitational (Ohio, not Florida) Invitational from December 5th-7th.
Full meet results available here.