Luca Urlando Swims 46.1 Back, 46.3 Fly, 43.2 Free to Help Georgia Down Auburn

by Spencer Penland 8

November 08th, 2021 College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC


  • Friday, November 5th, 2021
  • Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn, AL
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results



  1. Georgia – 159
  2. Auburn – 141


  1. Georgia – 178
  2. Auburn – 122

Auburn hosted SEC opponent Georgia for a men’s and women’s dual meet this past Friday, dropping both meets to the Bulldogs. The men’s meet saw a tight 159-141 finish, while the Georgia women handled Auburn by 56 points.


Junior Zoie Hartman was on fire for the Georgia Bulldogs, winning all 3 of her individual events, and helping the 200 medley relay to victory. Hartman kicked things off in the relay, posting a field-leading 27.65 breast split to help Georgia expand the lead Eboni McCarty gave them on backstroke (25.13). Dakota Luther provided a 24.42 fly split, and Maxine Parker anchored in 22.33, resulting in a 1:39.53 final time. Auburn (1:39.89) got back into the race thanks to a speedy 23.85 fly split from Claudia Thamm.

Hartman would then go on to clock a 1:01.50 in the 100 breast, posting the fastest split in the field on both 50s. She went on to win the 200 breast in 2:12.69, touching first by over a second. Impressively, she swam the fastest split in the field on all 4 50s in that race as well. Hartman concluded her meet with her most decisive win of the day, tearing to a 1:59.93 in the 200 IM.

Dakota Luther picked up a pair of wins for Georgia, sweeping the fly events. She kicked things off in the 200 fly, dominating the race with a gutsy 1:56.65 dual meet performance, touching as the only swimmer in the field under 2:00. Luther put up a great back half split of 59.53 (29.77/29.76) after taking the race out in 57.12. She went on to swim a 53.89 in the 100 fly, pulling away from a pair of Auburn freshmen on the 2nd 50.

Auburn freshman Ellie Waldrep swept the backstroke events. Waldrep won handily in the 100 back, clocking a 53.30 to win by over a second, after getting out to a speedy 25.67 on the first 50. Auburn teammate Meghan Lee came in 2nd, swimming a 54.43. The pair also went 1-2 in the 200 back, with Waldrep swimming 1:56.63, and Lee swimming a 1:56.93.

Georgia freshman Abby McCulloh put up a very fast dual meet 1000 free of 9:45.83, winning the race by 10 seconds. Adding to that, she also posted a massive negative split, swimming a 4:55.11 on the first 500, then coming home in 4:50.72. McCulloh didn’t swim the 500 free, which is a shame in some ways, because we probably would have seen a fun race between her and Auburn senior Emily Hetzer, who won the event in 4:48.88.

Georgia’s Gabi Fa’Amausili and Maxine Parker went 1-2 in both the 50 free and 100 free. Fa’Amausili won the 50 in 22.68, with Parker in tow in 22.99. She then went on to win the 100 free in 49.50, while Parker swam a 49.95.


Luca Urlando was in excellent form this weekend, winning every event he swam, and putting up fast times as well. Urlando first won the 100 back, clocking a 46.13 to win by nearly 2 seconds. He showed off some impressive front end speed in the race, splitting 22.01 on the first 50. Urlando went on to win the 100 fly in 46.32, winning that race by 1.4 seconds. He led a 1-2-3 charge by the Bulldogs in the event, with Wesley Ng taking 2nd in 47.72, and Ananda Lim swimming a 48.79 for 3rd.

Urlando was also a member of both winning Georgia relays. In the 400 free relay, he led off in 43.22, marking the 2nd-fastest split of anyone in the entire field, despite coming on a flat-start. He was followed by Lim (43.92), Bradley Dunham (44.90), and Dillon Downing (42.23) for a 2:55.27 final time. In the 200 medley relay, Urlando posted a speedy 20.30 fly split, which brought Georgia even with Auburn heading into the final 50. Downing would anchor for the Bulldogs in 19.56, getting Georgia into the wall first. Wesley Ng led off in 22.15, while Harrison Wayner swam a 24.62 on the breast leg.

Georgia’s Jake Magahey swept the men’s distance events, getting things started with a swift 8:57.69 in the 1000. Just as teammate Abby McCulloh did in the women’s 1000, Magahey clocked a big negative split, getting out to a 4:32.04 on the first 500, then coming home in 4:25.65. For context, that means Magahey was swimming approximately 14:26 1650 pace during his last 500 on Friday, which is a positive sign as we head towards mid-season invites, where he’ll likely race a mile.

Magahey would go on to win the 500 free in 4:20.45. He swam a very consistent race, keeping each of 50s #3-7 between 26.43 and 26.63. He then sped up coming home, splitting 26.01, 26.01, and 25.33 on the final 3 50s. Georgia’s Andrew Abruzzo came in 2nd with a 4:23.24. Abruzzo also came in 2nd in the 200 IM, swimming a 1:47.52. Teammate Zach Hils won the event in 1:47.36. Abruzzo won the 200 fly in 1:46.12.

Auburn was great in the breast events on friday, winning both the 100 and 200. Sophomore Reid Mikuta was dominant in the 100 breast, swimming a 53.53 to touch first by nearly 2 full seconds. It was teammate Adriel Sanes who came in 2nd, swimming a 55.44. Mikuta then went on to win the 200 breast in 1:59.54, with Sanes again coming in 2nd in 2:01.59. Auburn also picked up a 3rd place finish with Alejandro Flores touching in 2:02.19.



AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn men took No. 8 Georgia down to the wire in Friday’s dual meet but ultimately came up short, falling 159-141. It was a similar result for the Auburn women who dropped their meet against No. 8 Georgia with a score of 178-122.

“I thought we competed well,” Auburn head coach Ryan Wochomurka said. “We came up short on too many close races today. That’s something we’ve had conversations about leading into this week. So if there’s one area we could’ve been better, we just came up on the wrong end of every close race. That’s something we have to get better at culturally as a team and as a program.

“But outside of that, we competed extremely well. To be in the hunt on the men’s side and for it to come down to the last relay – we had to make them work for it today, and that’s exciting to see for where we’re going to be in February and March.”


Two of Auburn’s three individual wins in the pool Friday came from freshman Ellie Waldrep who swept the 100 and 200 backstroke events. Waldrep touched the wall first in the 100 back at 53.30 and then swam her fastest time at Auburn (1:56.63) to win the 200 back.

Senior Emily Hetzer earned the other win for the Tigers, finishing first in the 500 freestyle with a season-best time of 4:48.88. Hetzer took second in the 1,000 free.

Fellow senior Mykenzie Leehy, a graduate transfer from Houston, had her best meet as an Auburn Tiger with season-best times in the 100 freestyle (50.30) and 200 freestyle (1:48.97). Leehy finished second in the 200 free and was fourth in the 100 free.

Other season-fast times set on the women’s included Averee Preble (1,000 free), Carly Cummings (200 breast, 200 IM) and Lexie Mulvihill (100 fly).


Through 14 of 16 events, the Auburn men held a slight lead over Georgia thanks in large part to the efforts of senior Christian Sztolcman and sophomore Reid Mikuta.

It was easily the best meet of the season for Sztolcman who picked up the first win of the meet for Auburn in the 200 freestyle (1:36.78) and then came back to win the 100 freestyle, finishing in 44.12. Both were season-best times. Sztolcman also anchored the men’s 400 freestyle relay with a split of 43.01 to take second place.

Mikuta once again swept the breaststroke events for Auburn, winning the 100 breast in 53.53 and then touching the wall first at 1:59.54 to win the 200 breast. Mikuta, who also took third in the 200 IM, has won the 100 breast in all three meets this season.

In the 200 breaststroke, it was a 1-2-3 sweep for the Tigers with Mikuta, Adriel Sanes and Alejandro Flores. It was a season-best time (2:02.19) for Flores.

Freshman Andrew Simmons set new top times at Auburn in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. He finished second in the 200 back with a time of 1:45.42.


For the second straight meet, Conner Pruitt won both springboard events on the men’s side. The senior scored 388.58 on 3-meter and 359.93 on 1-meter. Freshman Whit Andrus also had a strong day, finishing second on 3-meter and third on 1-meter.

On the women’s side, junior Ashlynn Sullivan led the way with a score of 313.88 to win the 3-meter competition. She also placed second overall on 1-meter.

“Overall, a really strong day,” head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. “I’m excited with the direction we’re headed. Obviously, Conner showed his athleticism in taking both springboards. And then Whit and Hunter getting a second and third on 3-meter and third and fourth on 1-meter – both had some strong dives, which is encouraging.

“It was good to see Ashlynn get a little bit back to what I know she’s capable of doing.”


Friday marked the final dual meet of the fall season, but Auburn will now begin preparing the Georgia Tech Fall Invite later this month. The event, which features an NCAA-style format with prelims and finals, will take place over the course of three days, Nov. 18-20.



AUBURN, Ala. – Highlighted by a late comeback by the men’s team, the eighth-ranked University of Georgia swimming and diving team swept rival Auburn Friday afternoon at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center. The men’s team (3-1, 2-1 SEC) used strong performances in the 200 IM and 400 freestyle relay to overtake the Tigers, 159-141, while the women’s team (3-1, 2-1 SEC) bested the 23rd-ranked Auburn women, 178-122.

Sophomore Luca Urlando continued his dominant start with four victories, including a season-best time of 46.13 in the 100 backstroke that ranks second nationally. Urlando also led the clinching 400 freestyle relay with an opening split of 43.22, earning a B-cut via Georgia’s top 100 freestyle this season. Fellow SEC Swimmer of the Week Zoie Hartman also earned four wins, remaining unbeaten in the breaststroke events this season.

After sweeping the opening 200 medley relays, freshman Abby McCulloh and sophomore Jake Magahey remained dominant in the distance events. McCulloh set a new season-best time of 9:45.83 in the 1,000 freestyle, the third-fastest time in the nation this season. Magahey then prevailed in both the 500 (4:20.45) and 1,000 (8:57.69). In the sprints, senior Gabi Fa’amausili took first in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, earning B-cuts in both events, while Dillon Downing took the 50.

Along with Urlando, the Bulldogs were outstanding in the butterfly as senior Dakota Luther remained unbeaten this season with a pair of wins, including a season-best 1:56.65 in the 200. Luther’s commanding 200 win was followed by senior Andrew Abruzzo’s equally dominant 1:46.12 in the men’s event, with both swimmers winning by four seconds. Abruzzo also finished second in the 500 freestyle and 200 butterfly, with junior Zach Hils taking the 200 IM. In other wins, junior Ian Grum was victorious in the 200 backstroke and sophomore Sloane Reinstein won the 200 freestyle.

At the diving well, Georgia posted its strongest performance of the season, with sophomore Meghan Wenzel earning the Bulldogs’ first win with a Zone-qualifying score of 273.30. Wenzel also earned a Zone cut with a second-place mark of 301.20 in the 3-meter. On the men’s side, freshman Nolan Lewis qualified for Zones on the 1-meter with a second-place score of 310.35.

Georgia now turns its attention to the upcoming Georgia Tech Invitational, running Wednesday, Nov. 18 through Friday, Nov. 20 at the McCauley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, the site of this season’s NCAA Championships.

For all news and updates about Georgia swimming and diving, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@UGASwimDive), Instagram (@ugaswimdive), and Facebook (UGA Swimming and Diving).

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Konner Scott
2 years ago

Luca came to play this year.

2 years ago

Auburn men legit tho😳

Reply to  swimdaag
2 years ago

This is truly only the beginning!

Rowdy Marsh
Reply to  WEA
2 years ago

Wocho madness is for real!

Also, Gadgaard is in Kazan.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rowdy Marsh
Reply to  swimdaag
2 years ago

Maybe they’ll qualify a relay for NCAAs this year

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Really curious to see how Luca pans out over the long-run. Hopefully great.

2 years ago

Although more and more swimmers are swimming fast in not championship type meets, Georgia swimmers typically don’t swim extremely in season. I’m very interested to see what Luca will do at his mid season meet when suited and a little rest. He could be on track to have a phenomenal year.

Swim Mom
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
2 years ago

We will see next week.