Penn State Has Strong Showing at Georgia Invitational
ATHENS, Ga. ¡ª The Lady Bulldogs won their sixth straight home invitational and the Bulldogs finished in first-place for the first time since 1999 at the 2002 Georgia Fall Invitational at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens. The women posted 1166.5 total points, while the men finished with 1026 points, just 14.5 points ahead of second-place Florida State.
¡°This was our best night and our best day,¡± said Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle. ¡°It took us about a day and a half or two to wake up. We had some terrific swims tonight. I think the biggest plus from today was some of our second-line people came through with some swims that will help us at the conference and maybe the NCAA level.
¡°Having a meet that was not real big and having the opportunity to swim twice (prelims and finals), has definitely helped our team,¡± offered Bauerle. ¡°Those kids were the stars.¡±
Laura Conway stamped her ticket to the 2003 NCAA Championship as she won the 1,650-yard freestyle with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 16:24.39. She led a 1-2-3 finish as Ali Williams took second in a time of 16:49.80 and Rebecca Rose finished third in 16:55.52 ¡ª both were NCAA B cut times.
¡°We were not expecting Laura to go that fast at this meet, and she made the NCAA Championships,¡± said Bauerle. ¡°That was our biggest surprise of the meet.¡±
Although she already posted an NCAA automatic qualifying time earlier in the season, Maritza Correia lowered her season best by winning the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 48.48, which was nearly two seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Paige Kearns finished third and five other Lady Bulldogs scored points in the consolation final.
Jordan Wallace added another Lady Bulldog victory as she won the 200-yard backstroke with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 2:00.23. Stephanie Buck took third and Katie Yevak was 10th in the event.
Freshman Mary DeScenza blistered the competition to cruise to victory in the 200-yard butterfly. She stopped the clock in 1:57.13, which was more than four seconds faster than Georgia¡¯s Julie Hardt, who finished second in 2:01.93. The Lady Bulldogs also claimed places four through seven.
Virginia Pate and Lindsey Ertter finished 2-3 in the women¡¯s 200-yard breaststroke ¡ª both recording NCAA B cut times.
Peter Osborn led a 1-2-3 punch in the first event of the finals session, as the sophomore stopped the clock in 1:47.46 in the 200-yard backstoke. Colin Underhill and Scott Lenyk finished second and third, respectively. Cole Taylor finished fifth.
Robert Margalis won his first event of the night with a time of 15:25.04 in the 1,650-yard freestyle, followed by fellow Bulldogs Taylor in third (15:36.89) and Matthew Owen in fifth (15:53.21).
Georgia swept the top four places in the men¡¯s 200-yard butterfly with Randy Lam leading the way with a season-best time of 1:46.05. Robert Margalis was right behind as he posted an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:46.39 to finish second. Andrew Mahaney and Adam Vicarro finished third and fourth, respectively.
Kyle Salyards stopped the clock in 1:59.84 to finish third in the 200-yard breaststroke. Josh Laban was Georgia¡¯s top finisher in the 100-yard freestyle with a 10th-place finish. Damian Alleyne and Scott Gardner finished 11th and 16th, respectively.
¡°Margalis and Lam were two of our stars tonight, along with Mary DeScenza and Maritza.¡± added Bauerle.
The diving well saw the platform competition take place, and Bulldog Todd Avery finished second with 448.85 points. No Lady Bulldogs were in the event.
The invitational marked the conclusion of competition for Georgia for the calendar year. The team will take a break for final exams before heading south for winter training. The new year kicks off with the 2003 Georgia Diving Invitational which will take place in Gabrielsen Natatorium Jan. 3-5.
Final Team Scores:
Final Team Scores:
For the box score, click here.