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Sammie Burchill, a sophomore individual medley swimmer from Carmel, Indiana, swims in the the 400 yard individual medley during finals on the evening of Feb. 21, 2019 in the Gabirelson Natatorium in Athens, Georgia. Burchill placed seventeenth overall. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

Veronica Burchill almost shed a tear when her sister, Sammie Burchill, finished in first place after clocking in a time of 4:10.40 on the C-final 400-yard individual medley.

“I have to shout out my sister,” Veronica Burchill said. "She had the best time today in the 400-IM, and she hasn’t done that in a little while. I was so proud of her.”

On day three of the SEC championships, the Georgia women’s swimming team had to find positives in the individual battles, as it missed out on finishing in the top three of the A-cut in all but one event.

Sophomore Courtney Harnish finished in third place on the A-final of the 200-yard freestyle after posting a time of 1:43.53. While she had a top three finish, head coach Jack Bauerle thought it was a solid day for the whole team.

Bauerle mentioned that he was not paying attention to the overall score just yet, which has the men’s team in sixth place with 436 points. The men are around 30 points away from third-place Texas A&M. The women’s team is in fourth place at 471.5 points, and it has some ground to make up to reach third place Tennessee at 557.5 points.

On the A-final of the women’s 100-yard Butterfly, Veronica Burchill and Olivia Carter both swam in the event. Burchill finished in fourth place, and she said this was her first time qualifying for the A-final in the SEC championships.

“Last year, I got ninth in the 100 fly, so I was happy to just get my hand on the wall a little quicker than normal,” Burchill said. “This season, I’ve specifically been working on fly a little bit more, so I think it’s paying off a little bit more this season. I think it’s setting me up for NCAA’s a lot better than year’s past.”

In a span of a year, she went from a time of 52.06 in last year’s SEC championships to 52.03 during this year’s meet. Burchill said the improvement came from working on her underwaters, hitting the walls faster and making shorter turns. She said her underwaters during the last 25 yards still need some work.

“We were 2-for-3 today, so that was good,” Burchill said.

The men had four swimmers in the 400-yard individual medley with senior James Guest finishing in fourth place with a time of 3:43.61. Guest said this was his first time being in the A-final for the SEC championships.

Sophomore Camden Murphy broke the school record for the 100-yard butterfly after posting a time of 45.26.

The Bulldogs have to make a strong push on Friday if they want to have a chance of earning medals as a team in the SEC championships.

“I was just so overwhelmed for pride in this team,” Burchill said. “I just love it so much, so I just think we are just going to keep on chucking and keep on getting better throughout the meet.”

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