Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Swimmers Set Record


The women’s 800 freestyle relay set the American record to highlight Georgia’s efforts at the Southeastern Conference Championships on Wednesday at the O’Connell Center.

The Lady Dawgs’ quartet of Morgan Scroggy, Chelsea Nauta, Melanie Margalis and Allison Schmitt stopped the clock in 6:53.58. That eclipsed the American record, as well as the conference meet record, of 6:54.02 set by Auburn in 2009. The time also qualified the Lady Dawgs for next month’s NCAA Championships. Scroggy’s 200 freestyle leadoff split of 1:42.60 topped the SEC meet record of 1:43.17 set by Auburn’s Caitlin Geary in 2009.

“Love those American records,” Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. “That’s four special ladies. American records are not a dime a dozen, so we hold those close to our hearts. The big thing is they all swam well and they swam together, so that gives our team some juice. That is our best relay. We knew that coming in – and we knew they could go pretty fast.”

After one day of swimming and including the diving points accumulated last week, the Lady Dawgs stand fourth with 106 points. Auburn is first with 166, followed by Florida with 153 and South Carolina with 108. On the men’s side, the Dawgs are seventh with 73 points. Auburn (201), Tennessee (199.5) and Florida (129) hold the top three spots.

The Lady Dawgs came in fifth in the 200 medley relay as Kristen Shickora, Michelle McKeehan, Lauren English and Megan Romano had a time of 1:37.67. After the race, Georgia was disqualified for an early takeoff and losing those 28 points would have severely handicapped the Lady Dawgs’ chances at repeating. But the officials determined the disqualification was due to a faulty pad, and the Lady Dawgs were reinstated.

“That meant a heck of a lot,” Bauerle said. “Thank goodness they saw it and rectified it. A DQ in a meet like this is hard to make up.”

The Dawgs’ group of Jameson Hill, Matt Bartlett, Mark Dylla and Bill Cregar went 6:22.13 to take fourth in the 800 freestyle relay. That time qualified the Dawgs for the NCAAs. Hill had a leadoff split of 1:35.18 for Georgia’s fastest 200 freestyle time of the year.

In the 200 medley relay, the team of Bartlett, Martin Kata, Doug Reynolds and Michael Arnold placed fifth in 1:27.60.

The SECs will continue on Thursday with competition in the 500 freestyle, the 200 individual medley, the 50 freestyle and the 200 freestyle relay.

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