MacNeil’s Double, Whitley’s ‘A’ Cut Highlight UGA Invite Day 2 Prelims


Day 2 prelims from the 2018 Georgia Fall Invitational in Athens saw many impressive performances go down, including a 100 fly/back double from Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil and an NCAA ‘A’ cut from Cal’s Reece Whitley in the men’s 100 breast. Check out a full recap of the session below.

Women’s Events

400 IM

Cal sophomore Sarah Darcel topped the women’s 400 IM prelims by nearly three seconds in 4:11.05, with her opening fly leg of 55.30 being almost two seconds faster than the next best in the field.

Georgia sophomore Sammie Burchill (4:13.90) qualified 2nd and her freshman teammate Maddie Homovich (4:14.92) took 3rd.

100 Fly

MacNeil, a freshman, continued her incredible showing this season with another 50-point swim in the 100 fly, clocking 50.88 to qualify 1st for the final ahead of Bulldog Veronica Burchill (51.88). MacNeil came into this weekend with the top time in the nation at 50.09, done at the ACC/B1G Challenge, but that time was equalled by USC’s Louise Hansson this morning at the Texas Invite. Erika Brown of Tennessee was also a 50.46 this morning at the their invite, so the race to break 50 is on for tonight’s finals.

Katie McLaughlin of Cal swam her first individual event of the meet here, qualifying for the final 3rd overall in 52.13.

200 Free

Cal’s Robin Neumann led a group of three swimmers who were sub-1:44 in this morning’s 200 free, as she touched in 1:43.77 to come just four-tenths off her lifetime best and much faster than she was here last year (1:45.33).

Catie Deloof of Michigan was also only half a second off her best to qualify 2nd in 1:43.84, and Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil had her 2nd fastest swim ever for 3rd in 1:43.85. Those three move to 3rd, 4th and 5th in the country trailing only Siobhan Haughey (1:42.63) and Mallory Comerford (1:42.79).

Haughey, who went that nation-leading time at the ACC/B1G Challenge, qualified 4th in 1:44.12, and McLaughlin was also sub-1:45 in 5th (1:44.98). It took an elite 1:45.48 to make it back in the ‘A’ final.

100 Breast

Wolverine teammates Miranda Tucker (59.72) and Jamie Yeung (59.95) both cracked a minute in the 100 breast prelims, and Tucker will be hunting down Sophie Hansson‘s #2 time in the NCAA (58.44) in tonight’s final after splitting 58.24 on last night’s medley relay.

Virginia freshman Kaki Christensen swam a lifetime best of 1:00.00 to place 3rd, and UCLA first year Claire Grover was just tenths off her PB for 5th in 1:00.77. Weitzeil also made the ‘A’ final here, taking 8th in 1:01.23.

100 Back

MacNeil then swam her first ever yards 100 back with an eye-popping time of 51.71, ranking her 9th nationally (coming into today).

Cal’s Keaton Blovad (52.45) and Amy Bilquist (52.53) were the only others under 53 for 2nd and 3rd.

Men’s Events

400 IM

Michigan’s Tommy Cope came just over a tenth off his lifetime best in the 400 IM to qualify 1st into the final, posting a time of 3:42.65. He went a best of 3:42.51 at the NCAA Championships in March.

His teammate Charlie Swanson took 2nd in 3:43.80, getting well under his previous season-best from the College Challenge (3:46.17), and Cal’s Sean Grieshop (3:44.02) and Trenton Julian (3:45.49) were 3rd and 4th. The swim for Julian lowered his previous best time (3:49.83) by over four seconds.

100 Fly

Zheng Quah of Cal and Camden Murphy both scorched sub-46 second swims in the men’s 100 fly, with Quah’s 45.38 the new fastest time in the nation. Murphy was 45.47 for a new best time and the #3 time in the NCAA. These swims came as no surprise after both men split 44.9 on the medley relay last night, and both have a good shot at the ‘A’ cut of 45.24 tonight.

It took a sub-47 to make it into the ‘A’ final, with the very competitive field also including Miles Smachlo (46.05), Ryan Hoffer (46.30) and Andrew Seliskar (46.32) in 3rd, 4th and 5th. Smachlo’s swim was a best time by a tenth, while Seliskar was just off his 2015 mark of 46.13.

200 Free

Patrick Callan cleared the men’s 200 free field by almost a full second with the top seed in 1:34.05, finishing just half a second outside of his best time set in March (1:33.52). The Michigan men took the top-3 spots overall with Mokhtar Al-Yamani (1:34.96) 2nd and Gus Borges (1:35.70) 3rd. Their teammate Felix Auboeck (1:37.70) notably missed the final in 10th.

100 Breast

Whitley went 51.49 in the 100 breast to get under the ‘A’ cut of 51.73, and is now the fourth to do so after Charlie Scheinfeld (51.61) also hit the mark this morning at the Texas Invite. Whitley now ranks 2nd in the country behind reigning national champ Ian Finnerty (51.22), and this also stands up as his 2nd fastest swim ever trailing only his 51.16 from February.

His teammate Carson Sand was the only other swimmer to break 53 seconds in 52.79 for 2nd, while Jacob Montague (53.15) of Michigan and Keefer Barnum (53.19) of Virginia were next up in 3rd and 4th. Seliskar, who out-split Whitley on the medley relay last night in 51.32, qualified 5th for the final in 53.22.

100 Back

The Cal trio of Daniel Carr (46.43), Quah (46.47) and Bryce Mefford (46.78) were the only ones to break 47 seconds in the 100 back heats, and should have a great battle in the final tonight. Mefford led off the ‘B’ relay last night in 45.78, which was a new best time by well over a second (47.38). Carr was 46.34 on the ‘A’ relay.

Cooper Wozencraft of Virginia qualified 4th in 47.25, less than a tenth off his best time from last season’s ACCs (47.17).

It’s also worth pointing out that Georgia’s Javier Acevedo was initially entered to swim this event but scratched out. This is his first competition since breaking his foot, and he did have five swims on day 1.

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2 years ago

Javier was out due to the meet being at UGA he had to take tests today. Remember they are student athletes

Reply to  Frank
2 years ago

Good for him. Hope he got an A! I love that our swimmers and divers are such scholars. Keep up the great work!!!

George P Burdell
Reply to  Frank
2 years ago

Being a student athlete at UGA is an oxymoron

2 years ago

Results link is old, to UGA vs South Carolina.

#M Fan
2 years ago

re: Felix Auboeck finishing 10th in the 200 Free. Michigan has 7 of the Top 10 qualified for the evening… and perhaps their dominance in this event is why Felix swam the 400 IM before the 200 Free.

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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