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Freshman Mia Abruzzo swims the butterfly. On Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Georgia, the University of Georgia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams defeated the University of North Carolina. (Photo: Conor Dillon; dillon.conor11@gmail.com)

The Georgia swimming and diving team continued to make strides on the season, as it put a strong outing together at the Georgia Tech invitational at the McAuley Aquatic Center.

It was a great weekend for the women’s team, who finished first in the competition with 1,254 points. The men’s team finished in fifth place with 713 points, while the Florida men’s team won the competition with 1,557 points.

As a team, the Bulldogs recorded 13 first-place finishes over the three-day competition. Five of them came on the first night of competition.

Finals competition started off well for Georgia, as Abby Mcullogh set another top time in the 500 freestyle. Her 4:39.17 was not only two seconds faster than her prelims time, but it is also the top time in the nation in the event. Duné Coetzee, Mia Abruzzo and Jillian Barczyk all recorded B-cut times in the event as well.

Zoie Hartman won the 200 IM and set a season best time. Her 1:55.20 is a top-five time in the nation in that event. Danielle Della Torre and Callie Dickinson also finished in the top five in the event with B-cut times of 1:57.64 and 1:58.09.

Georgia got wins in both the women’s and men’s 50 freestyle. Gabi Fa’amausili won for the women, and DIllon Downing tied for first place with Florida’s Adam Chaney in the men’s race.

The women’s team also took home first place in the 400 medley relay. The team of Fa’amausili, Hartman, Dakota Luther and Maxine Parker earned a B-cut time of 3:33.23.

In Thursday’s diving action, Meghan Wentzel earned a second-place finish in the women’s one-meter final with a score of 285.75, as she bested her fifth place finish in prelims. Zach Allen was the Bulldog leader in the men’s three-meter. He posted a season best 316.30 at prelims, but finished in eighth place at the finals with a 310 flat.

Friday saw four more Georgia victories. It was Hartman again who won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 59.32. Angharad Evans didn’t finish too far behind her, with a third place time of 1:00.22.

Hartman then joined Parker, Coetzee and Barczy with a first place 800 freestyle relay time of 7:06.44.

Georgia’s best event of the invitational was the women’s 100 butterfly. Luther and Dickinson finished first and second with B-cut times of 52.58 and 52.93 respectively.

Fa’amausili, Hartman, Luther and Parker teamed up to grab first in the women’s 200 medley relay with a B-cut time of 1:23.97, a top-10 time in the event in Georgia history.

Wenzel grabbed a Bulldog best fifth place score of 284.80 in the women’s three-meter dive that night. Rhett Hopkins led the way for Georgia in the men’s 1 meter with a score of 296.15.

History was made Saturday morning as Downing broke Michael Trice’s record for the fastest 100 freestyle time in school history. His 42.19 prelims time was 0.16 seconds faster than the time Trice set at the 2016 NCAA championships.

Downing then swam a 42.33 in the finals, good enough for seventh place.

Hartman picked up two more wins Saturday. She followed up her top 100 breaststroke time with a first place 200 breaststroke time of 2:08.11. She then joined Fa’amausili, Dickinson and Parker for a first place 400 freestyle relay time of 3:14.77.

Luther won the 200 butterfly race with a B-cut time of 1:54.16. McCullogh posted the seventh fastest 1,650 time in program history, with a first place time of 15:57.23.

Wenzel and Timothy Fagan both competed in their first platform diving event of the season. Both finished in ninth with scores of 2:11.35 and 2:46 flat.

This was Georgia’s final competition of 2021. It will resume Jan. 3, at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center, to compete in the four-day Tennessee Diving Invitational and last until Jan. 6.