Prelims: Day One at the Georgia Invite
ATHENS, Ga. – The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming teams combined to place nine athletes in the finals on day one of the Georgia Invitational held Friday at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga.
“Our first session was very positive,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “There was not a single athlete that did not swim a season’s best time this morning. Our theme coming in here was that we really wanted to get after it and show that we can fight and be aggressive. I am very pleased with how we performed.”
Sophomore Rachel Naurath will swim in the 500 freestyle final tonight after posting a NCAA ‘B’ cut of 4:40.91, good enough for sixth place out of the prelims. Teammates Caroline Kenney (4:44.88, ‘B’) and Alison Haulsee (4:45.67, ‘B’) also made it back in the consolation final, while Kelly Offutt (4:50.55) and Hillary Petersen (4:50.85) will compete in the ‘C’ final.
Sophomore Jan Daniec also earned a spot in the 500 freestyle final with a sixth-place finish in the prelims with a NCAA ‘B’ mark of 4:21.96. A trio of Cavaliers – Parker Camp (4:26.16), Bradley Phillips (4:26.67) and Nathan Vredeveld (4:28.17) will participate tonight in the consolation final, and Jonathan Buerger will swim in the ‘C’ final (4:35.32). Senior David Karasek posted a time of 4:26.64 in the event, which would have put him in the consolation final, but he will scratch to focus on his 200 individual medley race.
A pair of Cavalier freshmen swam their way into the finals of the 200 individual medley as Ellen Williamson (1:59.18, ‘B’) and Sarah White (2:00.33, ‘B’) placed third and sixth, respectively, in the preliminaries. Seniors Erika Stewart (2:00.99) and Kelly Flynn (2:01.74) also clocked NCAA ‘B’ times to earn spots in the consolation final, along with sophomore Charlotte Clarke, who snuck in with a time of 2:02.13. Megan Fox (2:02.56) and Emily Dicus (2:02.74) will compete in the ‘C’ final.
In the men’s 200 individual medley, Karasek finished third in the morning, posting a NCAA ‘B’ time of 1:48.58. He will be joined in the final of the event by sophomore Taylor Grey, who was seventh in 1:49.48. Three more Cavaliers – Nick Montes de Oca (1:49.64), Tom Casey (1:49.73) and David Ingraham (1:50.65) – earned spots in the consolation final, while Matt Houser (1:52.35) will compete in the ‘C’ final.
Classmates Lauren Perdue and Meredith Cavalier tied for seventh place in the preliminaries of the 50 freestyle with a mark of 22.81 to both earn spots in the final of the event this evening. Kelly Flynn (23.06) will be the lone Virginia swimmer in the consolation final while Emily Lloyd (23.26) and Dana Nessler (23.48) will represent UVa in the ‘C’ final. Nessler won a swim-off in 23.05 to claim the last spot in the heat.
Junior Tom Barrett also tied for seventh in the 50 freestyle, clocking a time of 20.20, and earned a berth in the final. Peter Geissinger (20.46) will participate in the consolation final while Jake Pearce (21.08) will swim in the ‘C’ final.
The 200 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay will also be contested tonight in Athens. Finals begin at 5 p.m.