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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming teams conclude the fall portion of the schedule this weekend at the Georgia Invitational in Athens, Ga.

The Georgia Invitational will take place Friday through Sunday at Gabrielsen Natatorium inside the Ramsey Center. Prelims will begin at 9:30 a.m. each day, with finals set for 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and for 3 p.m. Sunday. The Cavaliers will join Cal, Auburn, Indiana, UNC-Wilmington, the host Bulldogs and Harvard’s women for the three-day, NCAA Championships-style format. Live results for all sessions will be linked on

“We very much look forward to competing in Athens with some of the best teams in the country,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “Great programs will be there and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were two or three finalists at the Georgia Invite who are also finalists at the NCAA Championships. There is a large accumulation of talent and it should be a very fast meet. We are excited to compete and I think it’s going to be a wonderful experience for our first and second year athletes.”

In the latest women’s rankings, Georgia and Cal are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, followed by No. 4 Florida, No. 6 Auburn, No. 14 Indiana and No. 18 Virginia. On the men’s side, Auburn is the highest ranked team at No. 5, ahead of No. 6 Cal, No. 7 Florida, No. 9 Georgia, No. 14 Indiana and No. 21 Virginia. The Golden Bears claimed both the men’s and women’s national titles a year ago.

The Cavalier women are coming off double dual meet victories over Big Ten foes Penn State and Indiana two weekends ago in University Park, Pa. Sophomore Rachel Naurath won four individual events over the two-day meet, including the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 1000 freestyle and 200 butterfly. Junior Lauren Perdue claimed both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle events.

The Virginia men earned a split in the event, defeating the host Nittany Lions but falling to the Hoosiers. Sophomore Bradley Phillips was victorious in the 1000 freestyle while classmate Taylor Grey picked up a win in the 200 breaststroke.

“Our goals are very simple,” Bernardino continued. “We want each and every athlete on this team to step up and swim their fastest times of the season to date at this meet. We have put a little more speedwork in their training over the last several days. It’s important that our kids focus on excelling on the preliminaries each morning and get off to a good start and then see if we can improve on our morning performance each night.”

The Virginia divers will also compete this weekend at the Big Al Open at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. All three events will be contested including the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform events. Among the schools competing with the Cavaliers are Army, Villanova, Brown, Rider, Columbia, Fordham, Rutgers and James Madison.

“This will be a great way to wrap up the first semester as it will be a very competitive meet,” Virginia diving coach Rich MacDonald said. “It will give the divers a chance to compete against some of the teams that will be at the NCAA Zone meet in March. It’s always good to get the extra experience with the three-day championship meet format. I believe we can have a good showing up there.”

2011 Georgia Invitational | Athens, Ga.
Schedule of Events

Friday, Dec. 2
200 Freestyle Relay
500 Freestyle
200 Individual Medley
50 Freestyle
400 Medley Relay

Saturday, Dec. 3
200 Medley Relay
400 Individual Medley
100 Butterfly
200 Freestyle
100 Breaststroke
100 Backstroke
800 Freestyle Relay

Sunday, Dec. 4
200 Backstroke
100 Freestyle
200 Breaststroke
200 Butterfly
400 Freestyle Relay
1650 Freestyle

2011 Big Al Open | Princeton, N.J.
Schedule of Events
Friday, Dec. 2

10 a.m. Men’s 1-meter preliminary
2:30 p.m. Women’s 3-meter preliminary
6:15 p.m. Men’s 1-meter final
7:15 p.m. Women’s 3-meter final

Saturday, Dec. 3
11:30 a.m. Women’s 1-meter preliminary
4 p.m. Men’s 3-meter preliminary
6:30 p.m. Women’s 1-meter final
7:45 p.m. Men’s 3-meter final

Sunday, Dec. 4
12 p.m. Combined platform

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