CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Georgia's No. 1 Lady Bulldogs and the No. 8 Bulldogs opened the 2000 swimming and diving season with a pair of resounding victories over North Carolina at the Maurice J. Koury Natatorium on Thursday afternoon. Georgia secured 23-of-28 first place results to kick off the meet before exhibitioning the last four races, finishing with final scores of 177-98 for the women and 174.5-117.5 for the men.
"We swam really well today," said Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle. "We're raw in some areas, but we have the makings of a pretty good team. Both our men's and women's squads should be formidable as the season goes along. This was a great way to get things started -- we're proud of our team and are looking forward to meeting Florida next week."
Georgia opened competition with a victory in the women's 200-yard medley relay, thanks to Christine Keller, Kristy Kowal, Stephanie Buck and Stefanie Williams. Bauerle saw promising action from his newcomers on the women's side as Becky Wilson clocked a first-place 9:47.57 in the 1,000y free, Maritza Correia won the 200-yard free in 1:48.21, and Stephanie Buck doubled in the 100y fly (56.34) and 200y fly (1:59.68). Lady Bulldog senior co-captain Kristy Kowal, the American record-holder in the breaststroke events, captured victories in both the 100y (1:01.39) and 200y (2:12.19) breast. Defending national champion Keegan Walkley won the 200y back with a 1:59.65 and sophomore Stefanie Williams won the 50y free in 23.40.
For the Bulldogs, the meet began with four consecutive first-place finishes from the 200y medley relay team of Yoav Gath, Jim Sellers, Richie Armond and Chris Murray (1:32.79); senior co-captain Beau Wiebel in the 1,000y free (9:08.09), sophomore Derek Gelber in the 200y free (1:40.56) and sophomore Marc Lindsay in the 100y back (49.90). Jud Campbell doubled his earnings in diving, capturing firsts in both 1- and 3-meter events; Gelber was also a two-event winner, taking first in the 500y free as well. Georgia captured a second four-event win streak thanks to Parker Shade in the 200y fly (1:49.53), Chris Murray in the 50y free (20.57), John Stratman in the 100y free (45.39) and Yoav Gath in the 200y back (1:46.17).
"Every time we go into a meet, we have something to defend -- this group of seniors has only lost one meet on the women's side and two on the men's through their four years here. That puts us among the top in the nation in dual meet competition."
Georgia swimming and diving action resumes on Friday, Oct. 29, as Georgia hosts the Florida Gators in Gabrielsen Natatorium. The meet will begin at 2 p.m. and admission is free.