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Javier Acevedo, a junior from Scarborough, Ontario, leads off for the men’s A team 400-yard freestyle relay during a dual meet against the University of Texas Austin at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on Jan. 12, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. This was the last event of competition. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

The Georgia men’s swimming and diving team came out to a slow start in night one of the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, finishing 18th in the 800-yard freestyle relay Wednesday in Austin, Texas.

Georgia’s 6:19.09 swim at NCAAs came in slower than its effort at the SEC championship last month, where a 6:18.75 time in the relay earned the Bulldogs fifth in conference.

“We left some points on the board,” head coach Jack Bauerle said. “I thought we could have done a little bit better.”

Juniors Javier Acevedo and Walker Higgins, freshman Andrew Abruzzo and senior Aidan Burns contributed to the night's only event at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

Texas, this year’s NCAA championship hosts, earned top honors in the first night. The Longhorns hit the wall in 6:05.08, setting new bests in the American, U.S. Open and NCAA record books. Rounding out the top three was North Carolina State at 6:06.63 and California at 6:07.31.

Competition resumes Thursday with finals in the 200-yard freestyle relay, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, 1-meter diving and 400 medley relay. Only one Georgia swimmer enters Thursday’s events in a top-10 spot, as Higgins stands at sixth place nationally in the 500 freestyle.

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