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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Hate Week Done Right

Also featuring the birth of the Deadly Medley.

Up with the white and gold!
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Welcome to Yellow Jacket Roundup. Georgia Tech represents the heartbeat of the New South industrial movement following the Civil War. The ethos that soaks through the Institute is derived from that spirit. This week, not only does our football team face off against the Athenians on Saturday, but the divide between the engineering paragon in Atlanta and the place that exists in Athens comes into sharper focus on Hate Week than any other. This year, we kick things off with a women’s basketball matinee Sunday on the Flats, among other things on a busy weekend for the Yellow Jackets.

Women’s Basketball

Usually, I put the teams roughly in the poll order that each team is in, or the relative RPI rank of each team. This week, we’re changing it up a little bit. The ladies deserve a nice round of congratulations for their excellent performance this week, going 2-0, with that all-so-important double digit win against the no. 14-ranked school out East.

Wednesday, November 14th: Georgia Tech (2 - 1) whacks Western Carolina (1 - 3), 84-49.

Sunday, November 18th: Georgia Tech (3 - 1) defeats the Athenians (2 - 2) in a nice chapter one of Hate Week, 63 - 53.

Tech started slow against the school perhaps most famous to Tech fans as the alma mater of one of our football coaches, a Paul Johnson fellow. That slow start, though, was nothing the Jackets couldn’t overcome, as they were able to pour in points to easily coast to a victory against their weekday night visitors.

The real ticket of the week for women’s basketball was the Sunday afternoon tipoff at the Thrillerdome. With one section stocked with red, Tech and the school in Athens, ranked as high as 14th in the country, went at it in the prelude to the football game this coming weekend. The Jackets took their first lead at 7-5 and never looked back. Elizabeth Dixon played a lot of minutes yet again, and Lorela Cubaj was able to find a higher gear in the second half, making two straight three point plays to give the Jackets a healthy margin down the stretch and put the game out of reach. Tech led 31-23 at halftime, but saw their lead shrink to as few as two points in the third quarter. Tech’s shooting was weak, but their free throws have improved drastically from the past. It was the first time this intrepid non-revenue reporter has seen the Jackets live this year, and it is extremely satisfying to see they play with the intensity on defense and in transition that have been the hallmark of some excellent MaChelle Joseph teams in the past. This win marks Tech’s first over a ranked opponent since January 2017 and is indeed off to a nice start this season.

This week: The Jackets head to sunny Cancun for a two game set against George Washington and Idaho State.

No. 28 Women’s Cross Country

The Jackets finished 28th in the NCAA Championship this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. Tech’s best-ever finish was 26th in 2001. This is their first trip to the Big Dance since that watershed year, and they were able to move up two places from their ranking despite extremely suboptimal course conditions. Though this was a team that we here at From the Rumble Seat didn’t really know what to expect of to start the season, the Jackets defied all expectations and turned in their best performance in quite some time. Three of Tech’s five top finishers are underclassmen, and both of the next two finishers will have eligibility next year. This is an excellent sign for the future of what started this year as a team that didn’t really have many set expectations. However, with this success, it is a great leap for a team that is high on young athletes. Once again, a hearty congratulations to the cross country program for this well-deserved finish.

This week: Cross country is off until next year, but indoor track is looming around the corner.

No. 20/NR Swimming and Diving

Regular readers should know by now this will be a long one, with my penchant for swimming and three dense days this weekend’s Georgia Tech Invitational.

The meet, run as a prelims/finals-style, suited invitational - meaning swimmers must qualify for evening events to score points during the morning swims and are all wearing fancy tech suits instead of speedos and whatnot - was marked by a number of NCAA-qualifier times and school records.

After cruising to a victory in the 200 IM, Caio Pumputis took another second off what was already a personal best to secure the blue ribbon. He, Rodrigo Correia, Christian Ferraro, and Darren Lim started Thursday evening’s events by demolishing the field in the 400 Medley Relay, finishing clear of second place by a full three seconds and barely missing the A cut in the event. After ending last year with an unfortunate injury, it was excellent to see diver Camryn Hidalgo rally to take first place in the 3 meter diving on Thursday, and follow it up with second in the 1 meter. The rest of Tech had excellent swims on Friday as well, pulling themselves up the team rankings by the end of the second day of competition. After just missing the automatic qualifier the night before, the men’s 200 medley relay locked down Tech’s first A cut in a relay since 2015. Relays are particularly lucrative, as they are worth more points in scoring. Pumputis also managed another win in the 100 Breaststroke, shattering the almost-decade old school record in the process.

On the final day of competition, the Jackets once again turned in times worthy of national consideration at the end of the year. Unsurprisingly, Correia and Pumputis led the way, both breaking school records in the 200 backstroke and breaststroke on their way to a B cut and an another automatic qualifying A cut, respectively. All in all, it was an excellent weekend for the men, who upset no. 12 Alabama and no. 16 VPISU on their way to third place. The women finished eighth, which isn’t terrible, but there were no noteworthy upsets. Though it seems the men are dominated by the incredible swims of a few athletes, that is the nature of the sport. To use an example of a team I covered in a past life, the 2016 Oak Park women’s swim team finished third in their conference, second in their sectional, and fourth in the state, beating the three teams that previously edged them in the run up to the state meet on the backs of four excellent swimmers. It is no surprise, then, that a team with enough elite talent to build great relays sets themselves up for success at the end of the year. For the first time in a few years, the Tech men have that. They have a transcendent star in Caio Pumputis. They may not have enough depth to win it all just yet, but they’ll be a legitimate force at the end of March, and, really, that’s as good of a finish as any. Pumputis, Correia, and the rest of the Deadly Medley will be alive and kicking when the national slate wraps up in Austin.

2018 Georgia Tech Invitational Notable Swims

Event Athlete(s) Time NCAA A Qualifying Standard NCAA B Qualifying Standard School Record First Place Finish
Event Athlete(s) Time NCAA A Qualifying Standard NCAA B Qualifying Standard School Record First Place Finish
M 400 Medley Relay Correia, Pumputis, Ferraro, Lim 3:06.87 YES YES
M 100 Backstroke (Relay Split) Correia 45.53 YES
M 200 Individual Medley Pumputis 1:42.89 YES YES
W 500 Freestyle Ilgenfritz 4:45.18 YES
M 500 Freestyle Williamson 4:21.38 YES
M 50 Freestyle Miles 19.73 YES
M 50 Freestyle Correia 19.96 YES
W 3 Meter Diving Hidalgo 335.75 YES
M 200 Medley Relay Correia, Pumpitis, Ferraro, Miles 1:24.23 YES N/A YES YES
M 100 Breaststroke Pumputis 52.53 YES YES YES
M 400 Individual Medley Pumputis 3:43.00 YES YES
W 200 Freestyle Wang 1:45.87 YES YES
M 200 Freestyle Correia 1:34.59 YES
M 100 Butterfly Ferraro 46.65 YES
M 200 Backstroke Correia 1:40.94 YES YES YES
M 200 Backstroke Williamson 1:42.42 YES
M 200 Breaststroke Pumputis 1:52.38 YES N/A YES YES
M 200 Butterfly Ferraro 1:41.56 YES YES
M 200 Butterfly Slanschek 1:44.84 YES
W 100 Freestyle Wang 49.03 YES
This is good. Very good.

This week: The Jackets are at rest until Winter Nationals in two weekends.


Sunday, November 11th: Georgia Tech (17 - 12) knocks off Virginia (8 - 19), 25-17, 19-25, 25-20, 27-25 (3 - 1).

The Jackets took care of business this week in their one game, going up to Charlottesville to take on the lowly Hoos once more. They returned to Midtown with just their second road win of the season, after knocking off the Cavaliers in four sets. Mikaila Dowd, for her part, recorded her tenth double-double of the season. It’s been a mixed bag for the Jackets this year, though decidedly a step in the right direction for this young team. Tech was just 13-18 last year and it is excellent to be able to show demonstrable proof of improvement with the talented class they brought in last year. Though two games remain to be played, they are indeed against two of the toughest teams in the conference, so the Jackets will have to be in rare form to come out victorious in either. That said, stranger things have happened, and it will interesting to see how it all shakes out when all is said and done.

This week: The Jackets get the two toughest teams in the conference on the road in Pittsburgh and Louisville to close out the ACC slate.

For NR/RV/no. 36 Football Coverage:

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For Men’s Basketball Coverage:

Click Here

This Week on the Flats:

BOLD for home, REGULAR for away, ITALIC for time and location

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Volleyball @ Pittsburgh
7:00 PM, Pittsburgh, PA, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1

Men’s Basketball vs. UT - Rio Grande Valley
7:30 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network Extra and the Georgia Tech IMG Basketball Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

Women’s Basketball vs. George Washington (Cancun Challenge)
4:00 PM, Cancun, Mexico, WREK 91.1

Men’s Basketball vs. Prairie View A&M
4:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network Extra and the Georgia Tech IMG Basketball Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

Women’s Basketball vs. Idaho State (Cancun Challenge)
6:30 PM, Cancun, Mexico, WREK 91.1

Football @ that school in Athens
12:00 PM, Athens, GA, SEC Network and the Georgia Tech IMG Football Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

Sunday: OFF