Robert Howard Posts NCAA Leading 41.99 100 Free To Close GT Invite


The 2017 Georgia Tech Invitational wrapped up tonight, with the Auburn women and Florida State men walking away with team wins. The Tigers put up 1140.5 points to beat out Alabama (1054), while the Seminole men ran away with the win with 1569.5 points. Alabama placed 2nd with 1174.5.


Alabama’s Mia Nonnenberg got the finals session started with a win in the 1650, touching in 16:23.62 to top teammate Alexis Preski (16:27.89). The other win for the Crimson Tide came in the 200 breast, where Justine Macfarlane went 2:09.58 to beat out Florida State’s Natalie Pierce (2:10.31). Pierce lowered the FSU record of 2:10.55 from last season.

The Auburn women had a successful night with three wins over six events, claiming the 100 free, 200 fly and 400 free relay. Alyssa Tetzloff finally got her hand on the wall first after runner-up finishes on days 1 and 2, taking the 100 free in 48.01. Fellow Tiger Julie Meynen was a close 2nd in 48.04, and Georgia Tech’s Iris Wang broke yet another school record for 3rd in 48.23.

Bailey Nero won the 200 fly for the Tigers in 1:57.92, and they finished the meet off in the 400 free relay with a blazing 3:13.88. That time briefly stood as the top time in the country until Stanford went 3:11.59 at the Art Adamson Invite. Meynen led off in a new personal best of 47.61, and Tetzloff had a strong anchor in 48.25. Alabama placed 2nd in 3:15.39, and Florida State took 3rd in 3:17.67.

In the other event of the night, the 200 back, Florida State’s Madeline Cohen won in a time of 1:53.51 to break the 7-year-old school record by over half a second. Auburn’s Erin Falconer (1:54.44) took 2nd, and Georgia Tech’s Caroline Lee (1:56.42) also broke her school record en route to 3rd.

Women’s Final Scores

  1. Auburn, 1140.5
  2. Alabama, 1054
  3. Florida State, 958.5
  4. Georgia Tech, 923
  5. South Carolina, 622
  6. East Carolina, 452.5
  7. Campbell, 203.5
  8. Georgia Southern, 56


Alabama and South Carolina both had strong showings on the final night for the men, with the Crimson Tide taking three wins and the Gamecocks two.

Akaram Mahmoud and Cody Bekemeyer of South Carolina, 3rd and 13th at the 2017 NCAAs respectively, dominated the field for a 1-2 finish in the 1650 in times of 14:57.88 and 15:03.82. Fynn Minuth picked up their other win in the 200 fly, hitting the wall in 1:43.56 to beat out Georgia Tech’s Christian Ferraro (1:44.48).

Christopher Reid got Alabama’s first male win of the night in the 200 back, holding off FSU’s Connor Kalisz in 1:41.74 to Kalisz’s 1:42.15.

Then came the 100 free, where Alabama junior Robert Howard threw down a sizzling time of 41.99, the fastest in the NCAA so far this season. It was a personal best, and also gets him under the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 42.11, automatically qualifying him for the championships. His teammate Zane Waddell placed 2nd in 42.68, while FSU managed to pile on the points with their swimmers placing 3rd through 8th.

Caio Pumputis got Georgia Tech their lone win of the night in the 200 breast, clocking 1:53.80 to top teammate Moises Loschi (1:54.48).

In the closing 400 free relay, both Alabama and Florida State registered ‘A’ cuts of 2:50.46 and 2:51.27 respectively. Laurent Bams (43.24), Waddell (42.20), Reid (42.96) and Howard (42.06) all had solid splits for the Crimson Tide, while Will Pisani‘s 42.79 lead-off and Amir Muratovic‘s 42.59 anchor buoyed the Seminoles to their ‘A’ cut, which was also a new school record.

Final Men’s Scores

  1. Florida State, 1569.5
  2. Alabama, 1174.5
  3. Georgia Tech, 890
  4. South Carolina, 846
  5. East Carolina, 327
  6. Auburn, 204

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5 years ago

Let’s not forget about Lenzmeier’s 18s time drop in the 200br with a 2:02s. If he keeps this up, I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll drop another 18 and hit 1:44 come NCAAs

Chunky Ragú
5 years ago

Robert Howard’s freestyle swims this past weekend were quick, I’ll give him that. There’s now doubt he’s trying to live up to the legacy set by his former teammate and Alabama bad boy/heart-throb, Chunky Ragú. From the looks of it, he’s on the right track, but still has a long way to go.

Rick Allred
5 years ago

Justine MacFarlane lowered her in the 100 breaststroke to 59.82. She is now the third swimmer to break one minute. True Freshman, Leonie Kullman broke school records in the 200 and 500 freestyle. We can expect amazing times from her within the next four years. The women’s team has shown amazing progress in such a short time.

crooked donald
5 years ago

Dang, the guy who won the 200 breast must be the “Pumpitus of Love” Steve Miller sang about.

European Swim Fan
5 years ago

South Carolina distance boys once again had a fantastic meet. Won the 500, the 200 fly, the 200 IM, got first and second in the 1650 as well as the 400 IM. Really impressive display of versatility

5 years ago

If Gkoleemov was here and still eligible, oh what could have been

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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