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Courtney Harnish, a sophomore freestyle and butterfly swimmer from York, Pennsylvania, swims the 1650 yard freestyle during finals on Feb. 23, 2019 at the Gabirelson Natatorium in Athens, Georgia. The University of Georgia hosted the 2019 SEC Swim and Dive Championship over five days. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

The Georgia women's swimming and diving team completed its first day at the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Wednesday evening in Austin, Texas.

Hosted at the Lee and Joe Jamil Texas Swimming Center, the championship meet will take place over four days. Georgia sent ten Lady Bulldog swimmers, two divers and three relay alternates to the meet.

Wednesday provided a slow start to the national meet for Georgia’s swimmers, where they only competed in one event, the 800-yard freestyle relay. The relay team consisting of Courtney Harnish, Veronica Burchill, Dakota Luther and Olivia Carter posted a time of 6:58.52 to earn 11th place overall in the finals. This single event also earns them the 11th spot in the standings for the first day of the competition.

“The kids did a good job,” said head coach Jack Bauerle. “It was very, very close. We needed about one more second on four legs but they swam very well. The meet begins in earnest tomorrow but it’s good to get points on the board right away. We’re going to have a good meet.”

Thursday’s events include the 200 freestyle relay, the 500 freestyle, the 200 individual medley, the 50 freestyle, the 400 medley relay and 1-meter diving.

Three California schools took the first leg of the championships as Stanford, California and USC claimed the fastest three times of the 800 freestyle relay to open the meet.

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