MINNEAPOLIS -- Olympians Brittany MacLean and Shannon Vreeland helped defending champion Georgia take the lead Thursday in the first day of the NCAA women's swimming and diving championships.
The Bulldogs lead second-place Stanford 189 to 136 in the three-day event. California, who finished atop the standings in 2011 and 2012 and was runner-up to Georgia in last year, is in third place with 126.
The Bulldogs had finished second seven times since winning three straight national championships from 1999-2001 before claiming another crown last year.
The Bulldogs mimicked their start to 2013's championship run, finishing with three of the top six spots in the 500 freestyle again. MacLean flexed her star power, finishing the event by setting the NCAA record with a time of 4 minutes, 32.53 seconds. MacLean just edged California's Olympian Missy Franklin, who also broke the NCAA record, but fell short of MacLean (4:32.66).