The University of Georgia Bulldogs have clinched the 2013 national championship. This is the program's fifth NCAA championship: UGA won in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2005, all under Head Coach Jack Bauerle (UGA '75), now in his 34th year leading the women's swimming team, and 26-year head diving coach, Dan Laak.
Several fine performances prepared the team to the championship. Georgia won titles in the 200 medley (Allison Schmitt), the 800 freestyle relay (Schmitt, Shannon Vreeland, Megan Romano, Brittany MacLean), and (literally as I'm typing this) the 400 freestyle relay (Vreeland, Schmitt, Romano, and Chantal Van Landeghem). Georgia's swimmers set a new NCAA record in the 400 freestyle, according to the announcers, but I'm going to have to get back to you on the time once the results are posted at the NCAA site. UPDATE: The new NCAA and U.S. Open record time in the 400 freestyle, held by this UGA team, is 3:09.40, nearly a half-second faster than the previous records set by Cal in 2009.
We will update with complete results when the meet is over.
The above three events were the only ones UGA won, but the Dawgs
ran swam away with the title with a total of 477 points thanks to a strong showing from the entire team. Second-place Cal finished with 393. Points are awarded for each event. For individual races and dives, the winner's team is awarded 20 points and second through sixteenth place get 17, 16, 15, etc. Relays are worth twice the points. So in addition to the 100 points from the above-mentioned wins, UGA racked up points with the following performances.
- 200 freestyle relay: Maddie Locus, Van Landeghem, Jessica Graber, Romano (2nd)
- 500 freestyle: Amber McDermott (2nd), Vreeland (3rd)), Schmitt (6th), MacLean (11th), Jordan Mattern (13th)
- 200 individual medley: Melanie Margalis (6th), Annie Zhu (6th)
- 50 freestyle: Romano (2nd), Van Landeghem (8th)
- 400 medley relay: Romano, Margalis, Lauren Harrington, Schmitt (6th)
- 200 medley relay: Kelsey Gaid, Shannon O'Malley, Harrington, Van Landeghem (14th)
- 400 individual medley: Margalis (7th), McDermott (11th), Zhu (12th), Hali Flickinger (14th)
- 200 freestyle: Schmitt (1st), Romano (3rd), Vreeland (4th), MacLean (12th), Mattern (13th), Gaid (16th)
- 3 m diving: Lauren Ryan (13th)
- 1650 freestyle: McDermott (4th), MacLean (7th)
- 200 backstroke: Gaid (15th)
- 100 freestyle: Romano (2nd), Schmitt (5th), Vreeland (7th), Van Landeghem (9th)
- 200 breastroke: Zhu (4th), Margalis (11th)
- 200 butterfly: Harrington (2nd), Flickinger (13th)
- Platform diving: Ryan (14th)
Coach Bauerle was named National Coach of the Year for the sixth time and already was named SEC Coach of the Year for the 14th time. Reader hbtd asked if Vreeland and Schmitt were the only Olympians on the team. In answering in the comments, below, I regret that I had forgotten that Brittany MacLean swam for Canada in the 2012 Olympics. Coach Bauerle coached the U.S. women's team for the 2008 Olympics, and Coach Laak was an assistant coach of the U.S. diving team for the 2012 Olympics.
Georgia's five NCAA championships brings them to a tie with Auburn for the most won by an SEC school. From 1999 through 2007, every NCAA championship was won by either UGA or AU. Florida won in 2010. It's good to get the trophy back to the SEC and, especially, to Athens.