Dec. 3, 2017

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ATHENS, Ga.- The Virginia men’s and women’s swim teams concluded the final day of the Georgia Fall Invitational on Sunday (Dec. 3) in Athens, Ga. at the Gabrielsen Natatorium.

The No. 16 Virginia women finished fourth with 633.5 points, while the No. 23 men’s team finished fifth with 378 points. No. 4 Michigan paced the women’s competition with 991.5 points, followed by No. 5 Georgia in second place with 833.5 points. On the men’s side, No. 2 California finished first with 1,014 points. No. 4 Michigan finished second with 915 points.

“We followed up the first day of competition with two great days, yesterday and today,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “We have had 65 total swims that were lifetime bests over the course of the meet. The teams raced well. You have some of the best programs in the country here and our teams battled really well with them.

“I believe, the last day of a championship format meet is our best day as a team. We had some great swims in the mile today by our distance guys. Five of them recorded lifetime best swims and Brendan Casey dipped under 15 minutes for the first time in his career. Jenn Marrkand won the 200-yard butterfly. She was a little bit quicker this morning than this afternoon, but tied for the win. Zach Fong followed that up with a school record in the 200-yard butterfly, and he also went a time that was under what it took to qualify for NCAAs last year. We had a couple of women in the 100 freestyle go under 49 seconds and two of them were under what it took to qualify for NCAAs last year, Caitlin Cooper and Morgan Hill. We ended on a really solid note with the women’s 400 free relay smashing our school record, going 3:12. That was close to a second and a half under the school record set a couple of years ago. We also had a couple of first-years, Paige Madden and Emma Seiberlich, go under what it took to qualify for NCAAs last year. The future is bright for our program. We are excited about the meet, but also excited to be getting back to Charlottesville and continuing to get better. We will get back to work after finals end and will make a big push towards the ACC and NCAA Championships.”

Virginia set two school records during the day’s competition, with new standards from junior Zach Fong (Moorestown, N.J.) in the 200-yard butterfly and the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay. Fong recorded a time of 1:42.67, finishing fourth in the meet. The women’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of sophomore Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.), senior Caitlin Cooper (Atlanta, Ga.), freshman Anna Pang (SINGAPORE) and senior Laine Reed (Austin, Texas), respectively, finished second overall with a time of 3:12.06.

Senior Jennifer Marrkand (Westford, Mass.) tied for first in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:54.12. She earned an NCAA “A” standard for her performance in the preliminary races, recording a time of 1:53.55.

The women’s team advanced four swimmers into the finals of the 200-yard backstroke. Freshman Emma Seiberlich (Audubon, Pa.) finished fourth with a time of 1:53.45, while freshmen Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.) placed fifth with a time of 1:54.22, Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) placed sixth with a time of 1:54.99 and Erin Earley (Orange, Conn.) placed seventh with a time of 1:55.14.

In the women’s 100-yard freestyle, Cooper recorded a time of 48.26 for fourth place. Hill finished seventh in the event with a time of 48.74 as Pang finished eighth with a time of 48.81.

Additionally, Earley paced the team in the 1650-yard freestyle, finishing sixth with a time of 16:31.89. Sophomore Mary Claire Tansill (Bristow, Va.) recorded a time of 2:13.28 in the 200-yard breaststroke for eighth place.

On the men’s side, redshirt junior Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif.) paced the team, placing fourth in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 14:58.25 and eighth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:45.50. Sophomore Ted Schubert (Ashland, Va.) finished fifth in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:44.02.

The Cavaliers concluded the night with the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay team finishing fifth. Sophomore Ryan Baker (Arlington, Va.), sophomore Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain), junior Bryce Keblish (Fairfield, Conn.) and senior Luke Georgiadis (Jacksonville, Fla.), respectively, recorded a time of 2:53.89.

The Cavaliers will compete against Tennessee on January 5 at the Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.