UGA Invitational Day 1 Prelims, Weitzeil Hits ‘A’ Cut 50 Free


Women’s 500 Free

  1. Rose Bi, Michigan (4:36.76)
  2. Sierra Schmidt, Michigan (4:38.54)
  3. Jenn Marrkand, UVA (4:39.52)

The surge of Michigan’s women’s program is undeniable as demonstrated by the first event of the UGA Invite. Michigan notched 3 of the top 5 swims against powerhouses Cal, Georgia, and UVA. Rose Bi was just a few tenths shy of the NCAA ‘A’ Cut (4:36.30). Georgia freshman and #1 recruit Courtney Harnish finished 4th in (4:39.83), just a few tenths off her personal best from age 14, and Wolverine Becca Postoll was 5th (4:41.90).

Men’s 500 Free

  1. Felix Auboeck, Michigan (4:14.58)
  2. Sean Grieshop, Cal (4:17.90)
  3. Ricardo Vargas Jacobo, Michigan (4:18.42)

The men’s 500 free looks to be a clash of young guns, as the top three prelim times were registered by teenagers. Michigan’s middle distance program continued to impress, also claiming the #4 spot with PJ Ransford (4:18.80). UGA, while currently off the podium, does have considerable depth demonstrated by 7 of the top 12 prelim swims. Georgia’s top qualifier was Walker Higgins in 5th (4:18.97).

Women’s 200 IM

  1. Meaghan Raab, UGA (1:56.10)
  2. Clara Smiddy, Michigan (1:56.30)
  3. Sarah Darcel, Cal (1:56.70)

Reigning U.S. Open Champ in the 200-meter IM Raab claimed the top spot, but was closely followed by Smiddy and Darcel. Notably, Cal’s Darcel is only 17 years old with little experience swimming yards. Michigan took 4 of the 8 top spots, while Georgia placed 5 swimmers in the B Final in addition to Raab’s A Final performance.

Men’s 200 IM

  1. Andrew Seliskar, Cal (1:42.46)
  2. Michael Thomas, Cal (1:42.83)
  3. Hugo Gonzalez, Auburn (1:43.67)

Cal dropped the hammer in the men’s 200 IM, registering 4 of the top 5 swims. Zheng Quah was 4th (1:44.13) and Matthew Josa was 5th (1:44.34). Overall, the event was fast, with Olympian Jay Litherland being the only swimmer to qualify for the A Final over 1:45. He touched in 1:45.15. It took a sub-1:47 just to make it into the B Final.

Women’s 50 Free

  1. Abbey Weitzeil, Cal (21.44, ‘A’ Cut)
  2. Amy Bilquist, Cal (21.99)
  3. Caitlin Cooper, UVA (22.00)

Cal’s 200 free relay looks to be stacked with at least 6 different swimmers who can flat-start under 23 seconds. In addition to 1st and 2nd, Cal also claimed 5th and 7th place finishes behind sophomore Maddie Murphy (22.47) and senior Valerie Hull (22.59). Georgia looks to be hurting from the losses of Olympians Olivia Smoliga and Chantal Van Landeghem. Their only swimmer in the top 16 is Veronica Burchill who touched 4th (22.42).

Men’s 50 Free

  1. Ryan Hoffer, Cal (19.18)
  2. Paul Powers, Michigan (19.26)
  3. James Peek, Michigan (19.30)

It’s hard to pick the better storyline in this event out of prelims: Cal or Michigan. Michigan claimed 3 of the top 4 spots with the addition of 17-year-old Gus Borges’ 4th place finish (19.43). Cal, meanwhile, placed 4 into the A Final, 3 of whom are teenagers. It took a 19.64 to make it into the A Final, which was secured by Auburn’s Zach Apple.

Women’s 1-Meter

  1. Eloise Belanger, UCLA (310.90)
  2. Ciara Monahan, UCLA (277.60)
  3. McKensi Austin, UGA (257.25)

Men’s 3-Meter

  1. Ross Todd, Michigan (377.40)
  2. Scott Lazeroff, Auburn (368.30)
  3. Jacob Herremans, Michigan (332.20)

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4 years ago

Michigan is looking rather good.

Reply to  Eggnog
4 years ago

They are. If they could increase the number of their sprint group, they will be strong contenders for top 5.

Reply to  AvidSwimFan
4 years ago

And a solid backstroker for their medley relays.

4 years ago

Cal will win NCAA’s I guarantee it. Dominate the IM. Have a very strong presence in the 50 free. Strong 100 fly. Great breaststrokers. And aside from Schooling and Haas, and Katz who does Texas have to compete with them Shebat isn’t performing very well at all. Their relay from this years invite is way slower than last years as are most of their times. Though that seems to be the case for some other swimmers too such as Dylan Carter.

crooked donald
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

Agree. At this point, Texas needs to worry about having enough of a team making A cuts or close to it to. Katz the only breakthrough at the Texas Invite.

Reply to  crooked donald
4 years ago

Texas is really lucky that NCAAs aren’t this weekend. Luckily they have a coach that has a history of getting his team to perform well at the only meet that matters for the college season.

Crooked Donald, since you seem to have a lot of inside knowledge, care to predict how fast the top Texas veteran swimmers will go at NCAAs (assuming they make it), and what place they will finish as a team?

Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

I think it will be awfully close… and doesn’t Texas have a lot more diving points? If I’m right about that I think they will squeak it out.Shebat is swimming fine, Roberts made 3 A-finals last year, their sprinters are just as good as Cal (maybe one short), and they’ve got plenty of depth. Meanwhile Cal’s roster looks great but also leans on untested freshmen. We’ll have to see. I think both teams are a cut above Florida or NC State.

Silent Observer
Reply to  Caleb
4 years ago

Having followed NC State’s progress over the past 5-6 years, I really want them to crack into the top 3 at NCAAs…but unless all their key players have perfect tapers, I can’t see them overcoming Cal, Florida or Texas. They could definitely keep up the momentum and maybe win 2-3 relays instead of just the odd one on the first or final day of competition. Those three possibly being 200 Free and Medley & 400 free. I think Texas will take the 800 free, there is no replacing Dahl’s 200 splits, at least as far as recent results have shown.

Reply to  Caleb
4 years ago

I always forget about Roberts which is a shame cause he is really good. Leans on freshmen? Connor Hoppe, Matthew Josa, Carson Sand, Seliskar, Justin Lynch, Mike Thomas, Sendyk are all not freshmen and all will likely make NCAA’s. Cal can have 3 people in the 100 breastroke final.

Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

of course they have great upperclassmen, too… but Texas is returning more points, so if Cal catches them, it’ll be because guys like Hoffer and Grieshop and Mefford swim well enough to big point-scorers right off the bat.

Bay City Tex
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

We will write this down. Uberfan says, “Cal will win NCAA’s, I guarantee it.”

4 years ago

Why no mention of the strong Virginia swims in the article?

Reply to  Leto
4 years ago

Because they weren’t as strong…