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Walker Higgins, a junior freestyle swimmer from Knoxville, Tennessee, views results during finals on the evening of Feb. 21, 2019 in the Gabirelson Natatorium in Athens, Georgia. The Georgia men currently rank 6th overall. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

The Georgia men’s swimming and diving team is looking onward and upward after its performance on the second day of the NCAA championships.

Junior Walker Higgins earned his second All-American time with a fifth place finish in the 500-yard freestyle final Thursday night with a time of 4:12.65.

“I thought my swim went really well,” Higgins said. “I was confident going into this final tonight. I had a really great swim this morning and was excited about how that went. When I got up on the block I knew what I had to do. I went through my race strategy that I established with my coach and I just grounded it out.”

In the 200 individual medley consolation finals, Javier Acevedo claimed 12th place overall, procuring a new career-best time and moving up to No. 3 on Georgia’s all-time list.

In the final event of the night, Georgia’s 400 medley relay team consisting of Acevedo, James Guest, Camden Murphy, and Alex BeMiller placed 16th.

Championship competition will continue Friday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas with the 400 individual medley, the 100 butterfly, the 200 freestyle, the 100 breaststroke, the 100 backstroke, the 200 medley relay, and 3-meter diving.

The Bulldogs are currently placed 20th overall with 21 points after two days. The top three teams are California with 212 points, Texas with 188, and Indiana with 155.

“It was a good day and a good night,” head coach Jack Bauerle said. “It gave us a chance at top-20 today. Walker was spectacular and Javier was a warrior as always. We’re ahead of where we thought we would be points wise. Tomorrow is a big day and tonight we did a great job.”

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