BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — With four final trips to the podium, including a third conference title of the week, the University of Georgia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams went out on a high note on the final day of the 2023 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships Saturday at the Texas A&M Campus Recreation Center Natatorium.
In the final standings, the Georgia men finished fifth with 828.5 points, while the women’s team placed sixth overall with 756 points. Florida swept the team championships, with Auburn placing second in the men’s meet and Tennessee being runner-up on the women’s side.
Senior Bradley Dunham, a Dacula grad, provided the night’s highlight as he earned his first career SEC title, winning the men’s 200 backstroke with a time of 1:39.27. Dunham, who had finished fourth in the event each of the past two seasons, also finished first in prelims with an A-cut time of 1:38.90, the second-fastest time in school history. Dunham finished the week with personal-best times in four events and top-five program times in two. Fellow senior Ian Grum joined Dunham in the 200 back final, placing eighth with a B-cut of 1:40.96.
Dunham closed out the meet for the Bulldogs with a bang, joining teammates Reese Branzell, Zach Hils, and Dillon Downing to finish third in the 400 freestyle relay with an A-cut time of 2:49.06, the second-fastest in school history. Branzell led the relay off with a 100 freestyle split of 42.65, the sixth-fastest in school history.
Earlier in the evening, junior Jake Magahey, a Mill Creek grad, fought back to earn the silver medal in the men’s 1,650 freestyle, posting a season-best time of 14:38.45 in the race and reaching the podium in the event for the third-consecutive year. Fellow junior Tommy-Lee Camblong finished 15th in the mile with a season-best B-cut of 14:55.10.
In the women’s 200 breaststroke, senior Zoie Hartman closed out an outstanding week with a second-place finish, turning in a season-best A-cut of 2:05.48 for her fourth medal of the week and 19th of her storied career. Hartman has finished top-two in each of her 12 SEC individual events during her career. Hartman finished the evening swimming the anchor leg of the 400 freestyle relay, joining sophomore Eboni McCarty, junior Sloane Reinstein, and graduate Callie Dickinson for a season-best time of 6:14.19, placing sixth overall.
Sophomore Abby McCulloh, a Parkview grad, led a strong pack of Bulldogs in the mile, finishing fourth with a B-cut of 15:58.45. Fellow sophomore Rachel Stege placed sixth with a PB of 16:00.96, while also entering the program top-10 with her 1,000 freestyle time of 9:39.72. Sophomore Duné Coetzee placed 10th with a B-cut of 16:06.32, while senior Jillian Barczyk completed a career week with a 12th-place personal-best time of 16:09.34, dropping 21 seconds from her seed time. During the week, Barczyk notched a PB in all five of her individual races.
The Georgia men prevailed in both 100 freestyle consolation races as senior Dillon Downing won the B final with a time of 42.40, while Branzell took the C final with a then-PB of 42.68, the seventh-fastest time in school history. Hils finished 12th with a B-cut of 42.89. In the women’s 100 freestyle, McCarty also placed 12th with a time of 48.68.
In other events, junior Connor Haigh became the eighth-fastest 200 breaststroker in school history with a 12th-place time of 1:55.17, followed by teammate Arie Voloschin in 21st place at 1:56.92. Senior Millie Sansome finished 22nd in the 200 backstroke at 1:55.69, while graduate Marie Schobel followed right behind with a time of 1:55.95. Finally, in the men’s platform final, sophomore Nolan Lewis finished 16th with a score of 295.80, with fellow sophomore Rhett Hopkins taking 18th place at 180.45.
Georgia now turns its attention to next weekend’s Bulldog Invitational Last Chance Meet. The event will run Saturday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, Feb. 26.
On Sunday, it was time for our clocks to "spring forward," lessening the night's sleep by one hour. While it may not seem too significant, Daylight Saving Time can definitely throw everyone for a loop. How do you handle it?
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