Josh Liendo Completes 100 Fly/200 Free Double At Day 2 Prelims of UGA Fall Invite

2022 UGA FALL INVITATIONAL

After a string of impressive sprinting performances on Thursday night, Florida freshman Josh Liendo took on a difficult double during the second preliminary session of the UGA Fall Invite Friday morning.

Liendo qualified first into the final of the men’s 100 butterfly, knocking more than a second off his personal best time in 46.01, and then followed up with a strong showing in the 200 free in what was his first time ever racing in the yards version of the event.

The 20-year-old Canadian clocked 1:34.24, qualifying sixth in an ultra-competitive field that saw the top four men go 1:33.

Although Liendo is known as a pure 50/100 sprinter by virtue of his performances on the international stage, he does own solid best times of 1:46.3 (SCM) and 1:50.6 (LCM) in the 200 free.

In the 100 fly, Auburn’s Nate Stoffle set a new lifetime best to qualify second overall in 46.18, while three others also went sub-47.

The 200 free was led by Florida sophomore Macguire McDuff, who was one tenth shy of his personal best in 1:33.68 to lead Georgia Tech’s Batur Unlu (1:33.72), Auburn’s Mikkel Gadgaard (1:33.84) and Georgia’s Jake Magahey (1:33.88).

The swim for Gadgaard marked his first time cracking the 1:34 barrier, having previously been 1:34.08 at the Bulldog Invitational this past February.

Both the men’s and women’s 100 back produced several notable times in the prelims, including a pair of sub-52s for the women from Georgia’s Eboni McCarty (51.63) and Auburn’s Ellie Waldrep (51.97).

McCarty, who won last night’s 50 free in a new best time, crushed her previous best time of 52.92 by more than a second, while Waldrep neared her PB of 51.75.

In the men’s 100 back, Auburn’s Aidan Stoffle led a group of six swimmers who went under 46 seconds, touching in 45.62 to near his best time of 45.36 from the 2022 NCAAs. At this point last season, Stoffle went 46.80.

Also cracking 46 was Georgia’s Wesley Ng (45.63), Auburn’s Lleyton Smith (45.74), FSU’s Mason Herbet (45.81), Georgia’s Bradley Dunham (45.81) and a third UGA swimmer, Ian Grum (45.82).

The performance for Grum, which was a new lifetime best (previously 46.00), came after making the final in the 400 IM, having qualified fourth overall in 3:45.68.

Leading the pack there was Florida’s Kevin Vargas, coming off a breakout summer, who clocked 3:44.54. Vargas set a PB of 3:40.31 at the 2022 NCAAs after going 3:42.81 at the Georgia Tech Invite during midseason.

Another highlight for the Gator men came in the 100 breast, as sophomore Julian Smith ripped a new lifetime best of 51.60, crushing his old PB of 52.49. Smith didn’t swim at NCAAs in his freshman year, but this morning’s performance puts him well under what it took to qualify last season (52.20), and he’s within two-tenths of an ‘A’ cut (51.40).

His Florida teammate, Lithuanian freshman Aleksas Savickas, also broke 52 seconds in 51.97 for a new best time.

OTHER TOP QUALIFIERS

  • After dominating the 200 IM last night, Georgia’s Zoie Hartman put together an impressive showing in the women’s 100 breast prelims, clocking 59.19 to mark the only swimmer sub-1:00.
  • In the women’s 200 free, Florida’s Micayla Cronk (1:45.22) and Ekaterina Nikonova (1:45.28) both went under last season’s cutline to qualify 1-2, with Cronk’s swim marking her fastest since entering college. Her PB, set in high school, is 1:44.39.
  • Auburn’s Hannah Ownbey paced the women’s 400 IM in 4:11.21, followed by Georgia Tech’s Deniz Ertan (4:11.76) and FSU’s Anna Metzler (4:12.42). Ownbey owns a best time of 4:08.81 from the 2021 SECs.
  • Florida sophomore Olivia Peoples qualified first out of the women’s 100 fly heats in 52.73, just short of her personal best (52.49) set at last year’s SECs.

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Megan
2 months ago

No Evans for UGA in the breast? Not entered in meet either

Andrew
2 months ago

Maybe this is a hot take, but Honestly could see him swimming 2 free at NCs over 1 fly. Especially cause florida is devoid of 2 freers since Kieran didn’t take a 5th year

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

He’s a 50 LCM flyer. More than likely he’ll be swimming the 100 fly at the end of the year. Scoring the most points is what matters, not because your team is weaker in a specific event.

Andrew
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
2 months ago

he would need to go under 44.3 to have a shot at top 5 in 1 fly. 2 free is much more open this year since Kibler, Smith, Julian, Sates (to name a few) are gone. 1:31 mid should get top 5 and both seem equally plausible for him.

Reminder that Kibler swam the 50 instead of the 500 last year despite him being “better” at the 500… so it’s not unlike swimmers to swim a weaker event in favor of their team.

chazoozle
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

he did not go to florida to swim the 200 free

Sunday Morning Grind
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

In favor of the field** not necessarily the team. Sometimes teams end up stacking events because they are strong and the field is weak. Swimming (individual and team based) is just a math problem.

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

Eddie is known to let his 1650 and 500 guys swim a shorter event when they become seniors – Townley is a recent example. The 500 was stacked last year so Kibler probably would have scored the same amount of points in the 50 vs 500. Also, swimming the 500 twice fatigues your body more than 2 50s does. Kibler probably felt a lot better the day after as a result. Lastly, by training a little more sprint, he was able to make a larger impact on the 200 FRR. Overall, by chosing to swim the 50 over the 500, I’d say he scored more points for his team.

I can only imagine how Liendo would feel on the… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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