Auburn, AL - Despite two dozen NCAA provisional marks and
season-best times in eight different events, the University of Florida
men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams each fell at Auburn in
dual-meet competition Friday evening at the James E. Martin Aquatics
Center in Auburn, Ala. The No. 5 men’s team (4-3, 2-1 SEC) fell to the
No. 6 Tigers, 167-133, while the No. 6 women’s squad (4-4, 0-2 SEC)
suffered a 165-135 defeat to No. 12 Auburn. The loss for the men is the
first in SEC competition since losing at Auburn on Jan. 24, 2009, while
the women’s team lost to the Tigers for the first time since Jan. 19,
All-American Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) continued her tremendous
junior campaign, leading the UF women with NCAA “B” cuts in all four
of her races. Bateman continued her dominance in the 50-yard freestyle,
winning the event in a time of 22.63. After finishing third in the 100
free (49.93), the Floridian swam a season-best 53.98 to finish second in
the 100-yard butterfly. In the dual meet’s first swimming event of the
evening, Bateman teamed up with fellow junior Lily Ramirez (Gainesville,
Fla.), along with freshmen Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland)
and Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia), to finish second in the
200-yard medley relay (1:40.65).
Also having success for the women wearing Orange and Blue were junior
Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) and freshman Elizabeth Beisel (North
Kingstown, R.I.), who on Thursday were both named to the USA
Swimming’s roster for the 2011 FINA World Championships. Crippen
touched the wall first in the 200 fly with a NCAA qualifying mark of
1:59.35, while finishing second in the 200-yard backstroke with a
season-best NCAA “B” cut mark of 1:56.43. Beisel won Florida’s
first event of the night with a UF season best and collegiate-best time
of 9:50.00 in the 1,000 free, the fourth-fastest time in the country
this season. After taking second in the 200 fly (2:00.95), the 2008
Olympian won the 200-yard individual medley with a NCAA qualifying time
of 1:59.92. Crippen and Beisel finished the night joining freshman Alana
Pazevic (Mill Creek, Wash.) and sophomore Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville,
Fla.) on UF’s third-place 400-yard freestyle relay squad, which
clocked in at a NCAA “B” cut time of 3:23.75.
Before swimming her best 100 free of the season with a 50.28 split on
the 400 free relay team, Bohunicky had her best individual meet of the
season. The Gainesville native won the 200 free with a season-best time
of 1:47.10, which also counted as a NCAA provisional mark. Bohunicky won
again in freestyle competition with a season best and NCAA qualifying
time of 4:46.89 in the 500 free.
On the men’s side, seniors Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands)
and Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) guided the Gators to fast times. Fraser
recorded three season-best times by swimming three NCAA “B” cuts,
finishing first in the 200 free (1:36.85), second in the 100 free
(44.31) and fourth in the 50 free (UF season-best 20.29). Dwyer, who
swam season-best times in the breaststroke events last weekend at the
SMU Classic in Dallas, tallied Florida season-best times in both the 100
and 200-yard breaststroke yet again at Auburn. The senior captain’s
times of 54.68 in the 100 breast and 1:59.50 in the 200 breast were
UF’s first NCAA provisional marks in the male events this year. In
Dwyer’s only victory of the evening, the 2010-11 U.S. National Team
member won the 200 IM with a NCAA “B” cut time of 1:47.00. In the
last event of the evening, the two paired up on the front end of
Florida’s second-place 400-yard freestyle relay squad, which swam a
NCAA qualifying mark of 2:58.01.
Other Gator men picking up victories included senior Balazs Gercsak
(Budapest, Hungary), sophomores Jason Taylor (Plant City, Fla.) and
Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) and freshman Marcin Cieslak
(Warsaw, Poland). Gercsak placed first in the 500 free with a NCAA
“B” cut time of 4:27.15, with Taylor coming in second with a
qualifying time of his own (4:28.13). Taylor previously won the 1,000
free with a personal-best (9:08.58), while Rousseau swam a Florida
season-best 1:46.04 in the 200 fly. Cieslak came in second in the 200
fly with a NCAA “B” cut mark of 1:46.22, only to win the 100 fly
later with a UF season-best time of 48.44.
Cieslak joined redshirt sophomore Marco Loughran (London, England),
sophomore Rodion Davelaar (Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles) and
freshman Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) on Florida’s 200 medley relay
team, which finished third with a NCAA qualifying time of 1:29.78.
Individually, Loughran would swim two more NCAA “B” cuts on the
night, taking second in both the 100 back (48.58) and 200 back (UF
In diving competition, senior Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) led the
way for the UF women with a second-place finish on the three-meter
boards (315.00) and a third-place finish in one-meter competition. For
the men, freshman Michael Lewark (Davie, Fla.) collected UF’s highest
finishes with a third-place effort in one-meter competition (319.20) and
a fourth-place effort on the three-meter boards (337.88).
The UF swimming and diving team returns home to the Stephen C.
O’Connell Center Saturday, Jan. 29, as the Gators take on Tennessee
as a part of Florida’s Senior Day. Meet time is scheduled for 12 p.m.
ET and admission is free. The first 250 fans will receive a “Beat
Tennessee” shirt, Stache Squad members will receive free pizza and
Florida vs. Vanderbilt men’s basketball tickets will be given away.