Georgia Women Break NCAA, American Records in 800 Free Relay (Splits Included)

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 15

February 19th, 2013 News

The Georgia women were the undeniable favorites in the 800 free relay at this week’s SEC Championship meet, but I don’t think what they did in this final was really fathomable at this stage of the season. The Bulldog quartet of Shannon VreelandMegan RomanoJordan Mattern, and Allison Schmitt swam a 6:52.64 for a new SEC American, U.S. Open, and NCAA Record in the 800 free relay; in a word, the fastest 800 yard free relay ever swum.

The old records belonged to:

NCAA/U.S. Open: Cal, 6:52.69, 2009
American: Georgia, 6:53.58, 2011

That Cal relay was made up of Sara Isakovic, Hannah Wilson, Liv Jensen, and Dana Vollmer, and it was done in polyurethane. That’s an unbelievable foursome to take down the record of, and Georgia did it with flare. They averaged a 1:43.16 – that’s an NCAA A-cut and #2 time in the country, on average. This relay is stacked, and nobody will touch them at NCAA’s – even if they are a bit slower, like they were in 2011 when they last set the American Record.

That relay has two U.S. Olympians on either end, plus Romano (the fastest 200 yard freestyler in history) in the middle. I don’t know that anybody in college history has ever amassed a group of women’s freestyle talent like this Georgia foursome has. What’s even scarier is that there’s still a lot of meat on the bone here. We know for a fact that Romano and Schmitt can be faster than their splits, as they’ve both done so; one would guess that Vreeland and Mattern could be too.


Shannon Vreeland 1:43.38
Megan Romano 1:42.43
Jordan Mattern 1:44.32
Allison Schmitt 1:42.51

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10 years ago

I used the time conversion tool on your home page to convert the 1:43.16 average, and it came out to 1:57.70.

That means the Georgia relay was not the fastest 800 free relay ever swum.

It was the fastest in yards, but not the fastest over all.

China’s polyurethane-(and-who-knows-what-else)-tainted long course meters 800 free relay world record is 7:42.08. The slowest split was 1:56.09. The U.S. relay from London, which broke the Olympic record, posted a time of 7:42.92. The slowest split was 1:56.85, which incidentally was Vreeland. Each of these relays had all four swimmers faster than the average converted time, presuming the conversion tool is working properly.

Georgia might’ve laid claim to the third fastest 800… Read more »

Reply to  Bill Volckening
10 years ago

I’m sure the writer of this article meant “yards”

Reply to  Bill Volckening
10 years ago

I hate that I read all six “paragraphs” of your comment.

Reply to  gosharks
10 years ago

Unless we’re trying to be novelists rather than journalists, this type of distinction is a lot more important than it may seem. One word can be the difference between truth and fiction.

Reply to  Bill Volckening
10 years ago

Sorry, the author of this article didn’t say it was the fastest relay in history. He said it was the fastest 800 YARD free relay in history. There is no fiction in this article.

Bill Volckening
Reply to  TJ
10 years ago

It was revised after I commented.

10 years ago

Wow- incredible splits by Romano and Schmitt

Ratchet A&M live results
10 years ago

Where can results with splits be found?

Reply to  Braden Keith
10 years ago

Tennessee men and women are really outperforming themselves. Looks like their recent dual meet success was more than early in-season speed. For example, their breastroker outsplitting Breeja Larson, Gendron anchoring in 1:42 high, etc. If they don’t blow their load at SEC’s, the women might have a chance of knocking down one of the big teams a place.

John Sampson
10 years ago

I think what’s scary is that they have at least 3 other girls who could be on that relay and have vitually little effect on the end result. The depth is outrageous.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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