Georgia swimming and the Olympics are back in Athens!
Well, at least, there will be Olympians back in Athens next week. Current and former Georgia Bulldog swimmers Allison Schmitt, Chase Kalisz, Megan Romano, as well as former Olympians Michael Phelps, and Ryan “Gator Grill” Lochte will be in Athens for the Bulldog Grand Slam July 10-13.
Are we supposed to allow athletes with a nickname containing the word “gator” on to campus?
Phelps belongs to North Baltimore Aquatic Club, as do Bulldogs Schmitt, Kalisz and Romano.
Schmitt was part of the 2008 bronze medal 4×200 freestyle relay team at the Beijing Olympic games, and won three gold, one silver, and one bronze at the 2012 Olympics in London. While at the University of Georgia, she won NCAA individual championships in the 500-yard freestyle in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the 200-yard freestyle in 2010, as well as the Women’s NCAA team championship in 2013.
Romano was also part of the Bulldogs’ 2013 NCAA championship team. As a Bulldog, she won NCAA championships in the 200 and 800-yard freestyle in 2012.
Kalisz just completed his sophomore year at UGA, and helped the men’s team to its highest finish at 5th since 1997 when it placed 3rd. He won individual NCAA championships in the 400-yard IM in both 2013 and 2014, and in 2014, set the American, U.S. Open, NCAA, NCAA Championships and UGA school records in that event.
Lochte won 11 Olympic medals (five gold, three silver, three bronze) in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic games, and currently holds 4 world records. He swam for the University of Florida from 2003-2006, was twice named NCAA Swimmer of the Year, and won 7 individual NCAA championships.
The most famous of the swimmers at next week’s meet is, of course, Michael Phelps. Phelps recently announced that he would be returning to the Olympics in 2016 when they are held in Brazil.
On an interesting side note, the UGA Swimming & Diving page does not have a position listed for Jack Bauerle, long-time head coach of the program. Bauerle has been under investigation by the NCAA for academic improprieties since December 2013, and was suspended by UGA in April. Harvey Humphries has been acting as head coach at meets and during the SEC and NCAA championships, and is listed as acting head coach on the GeorgiaDogs.com web site.
The meet was originally planned for The Athens Bulldog Swim Club, North Baltimore Aquatic Club, SwimMAC and SwimAtlanta, but now includes more than a dozen clubs with world championship quality caliber swimmers. Click here for more information.
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