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Beyond the Hedges 2/21/2013

It is a little-known fact that on 22 February 1744, a dramatic, at-sea representation of the start of the 2013 UGA baseball season was performed off the southern coast of France. The part of the Diamond Dogs was stunningly brought to life by the British Navy, while the Spanish and French navies portrayed Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State, respectively. If you squint, you may be able to see David Perno, lovingly and faithfully portrayed by Admiral Thomas Mathews.

2013 UGA Baseball, pictured in background
2013 UGA Baseball, pictured in background

The Southeastern Conference men's and women's swimming and diving championships are under way at Texas A&M, and the Dawgs are doing very, very well. Tuesday evening, Junior diver Laura Ryan captured the top spot in the women's 3m springboard, the first Georgia woman to win an individual diving title at the SECs. Junior Shannon Vreeland, senior Megan Romano, sophomore Jordan Mattern, and senior Allison Schmitt turned in a sterling performance to win the 800-yard freestyle relay. Their time of 6:52.64 sets new UGA, SEC, NCAA, and American records, breaking the previous conference record set by Georgia at the 2011 conference championship. Wednesday saw more wins for Bulldogs. Junior Melanie Margalis set UGA and SEC records with her 1:54.55 time in the 200-yard individual medley. Freshman Chantal Van Landeghem tied for first in the 50-yard freestyle. The Georgia women's 200-yard freestyle relay team of sophomore Maddie Locus, Van Landeghem, Schmitt, and Romano set a new school record of 1:27.51 on their way to a win. On the men's side, freshmen Matias Koski and Chase Kalisz notched two more gold medals for Georgia. Koski took the 500-yard freestyle in 4:14.28, and Kalisz set a new UGA record in the 200-yard individual medley at 1:43.04. Current team standings have the UGA women in first place and the men in third. The meet continues through Saturday.


Probably not a strong swimmer ("Repose" by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot) via

The men's golf team got off to a rough start at the Puerto Rico Classic Sunday but rallied in rounds two and three to wrap up action Tuesday in fourth place (behind first-place Alabama, but ahead of fifth-place Georgia Tech). Georgia will return to tournament play 8-10 March in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas.

Yesterday in baseball news, the Kennesaw State Owls visited Foley Field for the Diamond Dogs' home opener and headed back home to their campus in Cobb County (named in honor of Senator Thomas W. Cobb, whose cousin, Thomas Reade Roote Cobb (an alumnus of the University of Georgia where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Literary Society), was married to the former Marion Lumpkin, daughter of Joseph Henry Lumpkin (with whom Thomas R. R. Cobb co-founded the University of Georgia's law school)) with a 2-1 win. Georgia pitching allowed four hits, and both runs were earned. The Dawgs' lone score came in the bottom of the sixth and tied the game when J.T. Phillips got a lead-off hit, and scored off a two-out double by Kyle Farmer. The KSU's go-ahead run was in the top of the ninth: with two Owls on and two outs, Kal Simmons hit a grounder to Farmer, who couldn't beat the baserunner to second, allowing Andy Almonte to score. Coach Perno had nice things to say about giving the team a couple of weeks to get it together. Georgia (1-3), next plays a weekend series at home against Belmont. The first game was moved from Friday due to expected bad weather, so there will be a doubleheader on Saturday (first game at 1:00 p.m.) and the series final on Sunday (2:00 p.m.).

The men's tennis team is hard at work putting the lessons learned from the ITA National Indoor Championship tournament to good use in practice. Next up are home dates against Furman, Sunday at 1:00 p.m., and against ETSU, Monday at 2:30 p.m.

When we last checked in with men's basketball, our hearts were broken in the 84-74 loss to Ole Miss. Georgia is in Arkansas for a 7:00 p.m. Athens Standard Time tip-off against Arkansas, televised on ESPN2. Join us here at Dawg Sports for the game thread, where we'll also keep an eye on the women's basketball team, who returns to Athens after its defeat of the Gators in Gainesville for a game against the Sows of Fayetteville in Stegeman, also at 7 p.m. (ESPN3).

The men's and women's track and field teams also head to Fayetteville for the SEC Indoor Championships, tomorrow through Sunday. The gymnastics squad heads to Columbia West to take on Mizzou tomorrow night, while the equestrian team, which held onto its No. 1 ranking in the most recent coaches' poll, will be in Auburn Saturday to take on the No. 2 Tigers. We'll wrap up all this action on Sunday night.

And finally, a couple of quick thoughts on T. Kyle King's imminent departure from his managerial duties at Dawg Sports. I'll have more to say later, but for now, first, I hope he knows that, while we'll miss him dearly, we do not disapprove of his determination to retire. And second, just because: