The annual Georgia Fall Invitational returns this weekend with several of the country’s top teams looking for strong mid-season performances.
In addition to the host Georgia Bulldogs, ranked No. 14 for the women and No. 15 for the men, there is plenty of talent from around the country heading south for the weekend from the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12.
The meet runs Thursday to Saturday. Every year, this meet seems to have an elite performance — or elite performances — that rival what happens at the NCAA championships. The mid-season taper can provide performances like that. A few years ago, Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew swam the nation’s fastest time in the 100 back and it ended up faster than anyone went at the NCAA championships. You never know at a mid-season taper meet.
The top-ranked Cal men will be there, looking to defend their Georgia Fall Invitational title, along with the No. 5 Cal women.
The No. 2-ranked Michigan women will look to defend their Georgia Fall Invitational title. The No. 4 Wolverine men will be there as well.
Representing the ACC, the No. 4 Virginia women will look to make a splash along with the No. 15 Cavalier men.
No. 26 UCLA women are also slated to compete.
With several of the top teams from four of the power conferences, there should be some pretty good midseason races.
Last year, one of the best races at the meet was Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil edging Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey in the 100 free. That event could also see Michigan’s Catie DeLoof and Georgia’s Veronica Burchill.
Amy Bilquist will lead the backstroke contenders, while Michigan freshman Maggie MacNeil could be put in a lot of places, but should be one of the top butterfly contenders.
Andrew Seliskar, Michael Jensen, Pawel Sendyk and Ryan Hoffer lead the Cal men, along with freshman Reece Whitley. That group will make the Golden Bears tough to stop at this meet — and the rest of the season.