Auburn’s Gonzalez Blasts Nation-Leading 3:39 400 IM at Georgia Invite


The 2017 Georgia Invitational continued on Saturday with day 2 finals. Swimmers gathered to compete in the finals of the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back,200 medley relay, and 800 free relay.


Cal (1:35.04) and Georgia (1:36.73) each opened the session with an NCAA ‘A’ cut in the 200 medley relay. The Golden Bears took the win with the team of Amy Bilquist (back- 24.14), Abbey Weitzeil (breast- 26.82), Noemie Thomas (fly- 22.45), and Katie McLaughlin (free- 21.63) swimming to victory. Notably, Virginia’s Caitlin Cooper had a blistering anchor split, helping her team to 4th place with a 21.12 split.

There were 3 automatic NCAA qualifying teams in the 800 free relay between Michigan (6:55.43), Cal (6:59.38), and Georgia (7:00.93). The Wolverines took over the lead after Siobhan Haughey‘s 1:42.50 split on the 2nd leg. Sisters Catie Deloof (1:43.49) and Gabby Deloof (1:43.62) secured a dominant victory for their team with their 1:43-mid splits on the back half.

There were 2 individual ‘A’ cute on the women’s side tonight. The first came from Cal’s Thomas in the 100 fly. Thomas had already achieved the standard with her 51.00 in prelims, but she lowered her time further tonight as she dominated in 50.77. Teammate McLaughlin battled closely with Georgia’s Veronica Burchill (51.80) and Chelsea Britt (51.85) for 2nd place, coming from behind to out-touch them in 51.78. All 3, in addition to Cal’s Maddie Murphy (52.03), are likely NCAA qualifiers with their times from the final.

Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey continued her impressive showing this season with a dominant victory in the 200 free. Haughey was just tenths shy of her best in 1:41.83. Teammate Gabby Deloof (1:43.66) and Georgia’s Meaghan Raab (1:43.85) were nearly 2 seconds below the 2017 NCAA invite time to round out the top 3. Raab was just hundredths shy of her best.

All 8 swimmers in the 200 free final were faster than the 2017 invite time, as Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil (1:44.41), held off a late charge from Georgia’s Courtney Harnish (1:44.47) for the 4th place spot. That chopped 3 tenths off Harnish’s former best. Virginia’s Jenn Marrkand (1:44.92) joined them under 1:45, while Michigan’s Catie Deloof (1:45.26) and Cal’s Robin Neumann (1:45.33) closed out the top 8.

Additional NCAA Qualifiers:

  • Women’s 400 IM– Cal’s Sarah Darcel, who is swimming her first ever short course season, had a big swim to secure an NCAA spot in 4:06.58. Also under the 2017 invite time were Michigan’s Rose Bi (4:10.58) and Georgia’s Samantha Burchill (4:10.81).
  • Women’s 100 Breast– Michigan’s Miranda Tucker cleared the 2017 invite time with her winning time of 59.98. Cal’s Ali Harrison was close to the mark in 1:00.54.
  • Women’s 100 Back– Georgia’s Kylie Stewart came from behind to out-touch Cal’s Bilquist by a hundredth, 51.61 to 51.62, as they both earned a spot for NCAAs. Michigan’s Clara Smiddy was just a tenth shy of the 2017 invite time in 52.79.


The Bears once again bookeneded the session with NCAA relay ‘A’ cuts. The freshmen impressed in the 200 medley relay, as Daniel Carr led off in a 21.25 back split and Ryan Hoffer anchored in 18.51 en route to their 1:23.44. The Bears then secured an NCAA slot with their 6:16.08 in the 800 free relay. Michael Jensen was the fastest man of the squad, anchoring in 1:33.78.

Auburn’s Hugo Gonzalez completed his IM sweep with an NCAA ‘A’ cut in the 400 IM. Gonzalez, the 2017 Junior World Champion in the long course version of the event, used his breaststroke speed to pull away from Georgia’s Jay Litherland, posting a 3:39.28 to Litherland’s 3:39.96. Gonzalez’s time was not only the fastest time in the NCAA thus far by 2 seconds, but also the fastest time done by any swimmer this year, topping Chase Kalisz’s 3:39.45 from Winter Nationals.

Several swimmers were well under the 2017 invite time to secure a likely spot at NCAAs, including Michigan’s Charlie Swanson (3:41.53) and the Cal trio of Michael Thomas (3:42.71), Andrew Seliskar (3:43.15), and Sean Grieshop (3:43.30). That time for Grieshop was a lifetime best by a second and his first best time in the event since 2015. Thomas also had a big swim, knocking over 4 seconds off his former best. Also clipping the 2017 invite mark were Michigan’s Tommy Cope with a 3:44.48 for 7th and Georgia’s James Guest (3:44.47) from the B final.

In the 100 fly, Cal standout Matt Josa secured an NCAA ‘A’ cut. Josa jumped out to the early lead in 20.85 and held off teammate Justin Lynch through the back half to win in 45.28 to Lynch’s 45.51. Michigan’s Evan White (46.03) came from behind to out-touch Georgia’s Camden Murphy (46.10) for 3rd place as both snuck under the 2017 NCAA invite time by a few hundredths.

Additional NCAA Qualifiers:

  • Men’s 200 Free– Michigan’s Felix Auboeck was the only man to swim below the 2017 NCAA invite time. He was over a half second below it with a 1:33.69 ahead of Auburn standout Zach Apple (1:35.23).
  • Men’s 100 Breast– Michigan’s Jacob Montague outswam Cal’s Connor Hoppe, 52.43 to 52.84, but neither was able to match their prelims time. Both should qualify for NCAAs with their morning times. On the back end of his double, Georgia’s Guest was a fingernail behind for 3rd in 52.87.
  • Men’s 100 Back– Cal’s Carr put up his first sub-46 swim to win the race in 45.96. If he continues to improve at this rate, he could give the Bears a big boost come NCAAs. Georgia’s Javier Acevedo nearly ran him down on the back half to take 2nd in 46.08. Both Acevedo and Virginia’s Joe Clark (46.25) cleared the 2017 invite time, though both were slightly faster in prelims.

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4 years ago

Overall, a big takeaway from this meet is a nice showing by the Michigan men, with depth from underclass (. Besides Felix)

Reply to  Gator
4 years ago

Felix is a sophomore (underclass)

4 years ago

will there be an end-of-the-weekend wrap up comparing times from across all the invitationals?

samuel huntington
4 years ago

the big story is Carr from Cal, wow, where did that speed come from?

Reply to  samuel huntington
4 years ago

He was a 54.80 in long course

Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

And a 25.2!!! Trust me, these guys are not rested at all besides whatever rest thanksgiving break and the 3 days after will give you. Dave knows they have a chance, but wanted to wait until Pac 12 to lock down qualifying times for the fringers, but most of these guys still showed up big.

I really just wish we could see a dual meet tomorrow between Texas and Cal. They look like they are at a very similar place in training and rest right now.

Reply to  samuel huntington
4 years ago

Dave Durden

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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