Thursday’s prelim action for the Georgia Tech Fall Invitational was highlighted by sub-20-second performances in the 50-yard free by Georgia Tech’s Andrew Kosic and the Gators Caeleb Dressel, who headline tonight’s finals, which start at 6 p.m. EST at the GT Aquatic Center in Atlanta and will also feature the diving events and the 200-yard free and 400-yard medley relays.
Visiting the host Yellow Jackets at the three-day meet are Florida State University, University of Arkansas, Bowling Green State University, Campbell University, Colorado State University, Indian River State College, University of Florida, Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Miami University, and Vanderbilt University.
Competing only in diving are Auburn University, Colorado State University, Clemson University, College of Charleston, University of South Carolina, Tulane University and University of Utah.
Thursday Prelim Recap
The Razorbacks touch the wall first with junior Anna Mayfield going into the women’s 500-yard final with the top time (4:39.67), followed by Florida’s Taylor Katz (4:44.88) and nearly a second back teammate Jessica Thielmann (4:45.91). Mayfield led from start to finish and was the first of five women to make NCAA ‘B’ cuts
On the men’s side, Florida sophomore Mitch D’Arrigo qualified first in the men’s 500-yard free (4:24.66) with the only NCAA ‘B’ cut. He led the Gators to eight of the top nine positions. Georgia Tech’s Yuval Safral (4:25.94) was the second man in to prevent a Florida sweep of the top eight spots. D’Arrigo was 6th at NCAA’s last year in the 500 free.
Arkansas does it again with freshman Chelsea Tatlow qualifying first in the 200-yard individual medley (1:58.32), ahead of Florida states Chelsea Britt (1:59.50) and the Gator’s Lindsey McKnight (2:01.45). All three posted NCAA ‘B’ cuts.
It was similar result on the men’s side with the top making NCAA ‘B’ cuts, as senior Gator Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez put up the fastest qualifying time (1:47.19), ahead of freshman teammate Mark Szaranek (1:48.45) and Florida State’s Jason Coombs (1:48.94).
Six NCAA “B” cuts characterize the women’s 50-yard free A Final tonight, as FGCU’s senior Emma Svensson qualified first (22.21), ahead of Razorback Susanna White (22.59). Forida’s Natalie Hinds qualified third by 0.01 ahead of teammate Sinead Russell and 0.03 ahead of Florida State’s Kaitlyn Dressel. The little daylight between these times sets up a nice contest for tonight. For Svensson, who is a three-year NCAA qualifier, this is the first time where she’s put in a probable NCAA qualifying time mid-season, which should relieve the pressure when the CSCAA Championships roll around and allow her to focus more of her effort on NCAA’s.
And tonight there is a Senior vs. Freshman battle in the 50-yard free as Georgia Tech veteran Kosic goes into the final with a top qualifying time of 19.70, which is a season best, against Florida’s freshman sensation, Caeleb Dressel, who bested his season best by 0.01 with a 19.93.
Juniors Matthieu Burtez of FAU and Corey Main of Florida tied for the third fastest time (20.19), which is close to the sub-20 mark. The boosterish atmosphere of the A Finals tonight might be the added push to make this final one where we see four men under 20 seconds.
Schedule, Results and Video
Prelim sessions for all three days start at 10 a.m. EST and all finals start at 6 p.m. EST.
Live Video Links (scroll down to see schedule of available videos)