Jake Magahey, Jordan Crooks, and the Georgia Backstrokers Star at Bulldog Summer Invite

2023 Athens Bulldog Summer Invite

  • June 1-3, 2023
  • Gabrielsen Natatorium, Athens, Georgia
  • Long Course Meters (50m)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2023 Bulldog Summer Invite”

The Athens Bulldog Swim Club held a small invite where swimmers from about 20 programs, including SEC rival Georgia, Auburn, and Tennessee, raced.

Among the swimmers competing was rising Georgia senior and 2022 US National Champion Jake Magahey. Among his results were wins in both the 200 free (1:47.81) and 400 free (3:50.94), with the latter being the race where he was his national title at the end of last summer.

That 1:47.81 in the 200 free is about 1.2 seconds shy of what he went at Nationals, where his 1:46.62 put him into the conversation for a spot on Team USA for the World Championships. It took 1:46.93 to make the Worlds team in that event last year, though Magahey didn’t swim at that meet. With him, and a bunch of other young candidates in that event, it will probably be a higher bar for placement in this year’s top 6, but Magahey’s tuneup time last weekend puts him in position for a spot.

Another expected World Championship contender Jordan Crooks from Tennessee swam at the meet, winning both the 50 and 100 frees. The sprint specialist, who is both an NCAA and World Champion in short course pools, showed long course progress on the weekend.

He won both the 50 free (22.38) and 100 free (49.32) at the meet in his only two entries. Those times are not far off the 22.20 and 48.79 that he swam at last year’s World Championships to place 19th and 21st in the 50 and 100 free, respectively.

That appears to be Crooks’ first racing since the NCAA Championships.

Another big swim for the Georgia men came from Reese Branzell, who had a breakthrough 49.71 in the 100 free at the Atlanta Classic in May. He followed that last weekend with times of 22.60 in the 50 free and 49.93 in the 100 free. That swim in the 50 was his best time by half-a-second. He placed 2nd behind Crooks in both events.

Among the other noteworthy results were big performances in the backstroke races – both for the Georgia men and women.

In the men’s race, best times were swum by:

  • Ian Grum Georgia, 100 back, 54.55 (previous PB 55.30)
  • Ian Grum, Georgia, 200 back, 1:57.14 (previous PB 1:57.59)
  • Zach Franklin, Georiga, 100 back, 56.04 (previous PB 56.64)
  • Sam Parker, Georgia, 100 back, 56.31 (previous PB 56.37)
  • Bradley Dunham, Georgia,  100 back, 55.50 (previous PB 56.11)

The standout there is Ian Grum. His time in the 200 back would have placed him 5th at last year’s International Team Trials, while his time in the 100 would have missed the final by just a couple-of-tenths.

With Ryan Murphy and Shaine Casas at the top of the heap, it will be hard to break through for a spot on the Worlds team in that race, but these performances put a spot on the Pan American Games team well within reach.

In the women’s races, Eboni McCarty from Georgia won the 100 in 1:01.73, which shaved .15 seconds off her previous best time in the event.

Other Notable Results:

  • Penn undergrad Matt Fallon, who is training with Georgia for the second-straight summer, swam 1:01.88 and 2:11.34 in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. That time in the 200, his best event, is a full second better than what he did in May at the Speedo Atlanta Classic.
  • Georgia’s Abby McCulloh, who was 12th in the 1650 free at the NCAA Championships, recorded a huge drop in the 1500 last weekend. She swam 16:31.48, which knocked 12 seconds off her previous best time of 16:43.40 that was done at Junior Nationals in 2018. She hadn’t really done much long course racing, especially in the 1500, since then, but after her first season of training under Stefanie Williams Moreno, it seems that she’s on track in a big way. That time easily cruised her under the Olympic Trials standard in the event and now ranks her 11th among Americans in the event this season. She also swam best times in the 400 free (4:12.59 – 1.2 second drop) and 100 fly (1:03.83 – .26 second drop).
  • 15-year-old Baylor Stanton from Gwinnett Aquatics, who just wrapped up his freshman year of high school, got a front-row seat to Georgia’s backstroke success. One of the top recruits in the high school class of 2026, where Georgia will surely be fighting hard to keep him in state, he swam 57.12 in the 100 back and 2:04.67 in the 200 back. That time in the 100 is a new personal best for him by half-a- and ranks him 2nd nationally this season among American 15-year-olds in the event (Kenneth Barnicle, Greater Somerset Y, 56.75).

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Former Big10
3 months ago

Good confidence build for the Dawgs. They’ve had an awesome national team presence the last… 15 years or so. Curious to see how trials goes for them.

Lap Counter
3 months ago

Personally I thought the standout swim of the weekend was Grum’s 2back!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
3 months ago

Since this was college related I thought Jake went a 1:47 2free in yards and I was so concerned for a couple seconds 💀

3 months ago

Baylor Stanton is not going to UGA😂

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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