Gainesville, FL - Led by multiple NCAA qualifying times, the
University of Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams began the 2011 spring dual-meet schedule by sweeping Georgia Tech Friday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium. The Gator women (3-3, 0-1 SEC) defeated Georgia Tech, 169-106, while the Gator men (3-2, 2-0 SEC) defeated the Yellow Jackets, 164.5-128.5.
The Gators won 27 of the 28 swimming events, including the first 17
races. The Florida men improved to 26-10 all-time against Georgia Tech,
while the UF women won their first-ever meet against the Yellow
“We swam well overall,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We maintained our focus during the winter break and trained tough for this meet. I was
pleased with how we competed today.”
The Gators opened and closed the swim meet with winning performance in all four relay races. In the first swimming event of the day, Florida’s foursome of junior Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.), freshman Hilda Luthersdottir (Reykjavik, Iceland), freshman Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) and sophomore Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) won the women’s 200-yard medley relay with a NCAA “B” cut time of 1:42.32. The Florida male quartet of junior Marco Loughran (London, England), senior Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.), freshman Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) and senior Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) recorded a NCAA qualifying time of their own by clocking 1:29.86 in the men’s 200 medley relay. For Luthersdottir and Cieslak, the medley relay marked their Gator swimming debuts.
The end of the meet saw the Gators sweep the 400-yard freestyle relay,
with the women’s group of Bohunicky, junior Lily Ramirez (Gainesville,
Fla.), and freshmen Alana Pazevic (Mill Creek, Wa.) and Kaitlin Frehling
(St. Petersburg, Fla.) recording a NCAA “B” cut of 3:23.96. Dwyer,
freshman Connor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.), sophomore Scott Sommer (Ocala, Fla.) and senior Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) capped off the night with a 3:02.05 victory in the men’s 400 free relay.
The Orange and Blue found success in the freestyle races, with Dwyer,
Fraser and Gercsak (4:27.81, 500 free) swimming NCAA “B” cuts. Winners in the women freestyle events for UF included Stafford (season-best 23.18, 50 free), Ramirez (personal-best 50.74, 100 free), Zalewski
(1:50.40, 200 free), junior Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.) (personal-best
4:55.27, 500 free) and freshman Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.)
(collegiate-best 9:56.04, 1,000 free). Winners in the men freestyle
events for the Gators included freshman Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.)
(45.87, 100 free), Fraser (season-best 1:37.88, 200 free), Dwyer
(season-best 4:22.67, 500 free), and sophomore Jason Taylor (Plant City, Fla.) (9:11.99, 1,000 free). The victory for deBorde was his first as a collegiate athlete.
Florida also swept the backstroke events. Loughran (49.18) and Signorin
(1:50.70) triumphed for the UF men in the 100 and 200 back,
respectively, while freshman Trish Regan (Carmel, Ind.) and sophomore
Corinne Showalter (Sarasota, Fla.) captured the women’s 100 (56.23) and 200 back (2:03.34), respectively.
During the breaststroke competition, Luthersdottir picked up her first
collegiate victory with a 1:04.15 finish in the women’s 100 breast,
while sophomore Rodion Davelaar (Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles) took first in the men’s 100 breast (56.32). Beisel continued her terrific
freshman campaign by winning the women’s 200 breast with a
collegiate-best time of 2:17.03, and junior Robby Kennedy placed first
in the men’s 200 breast by clocking a season-best 2:03.41.
The butterfly events saw junior All-American Sarah Bateman (Orlando,
Fla.) win the women’s 100 fly with a season-best time of 54.82, while
Fraser won his third event of the night by swimming 48.93 in the men’s
100 fly. In the 200 fly, All-American Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) placed first in the women’s race with a time of 2:03.99, while Dwyer
picked up his third NCAA “B” cut of the night with a personal-best
1:46.77 to finish first.
The last individual race of the night was the 400-yard individual
medley competition, which was won by Regan and sophomore Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), respectively. Regan’s
collegiate-best time of 4:19.34 and Rousseau’s season-best mark of
3:53.92 were both NCAA qualifying times.
In diving competition, senior Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) continued
her impressive start to the New Year, winning the women’s three-meter
competition with a score of 324.98. Finishing right behind her in second
with 286.88 points was junior Kaylee Doback (Brandon, Fla.). Freshman
Danielle Risley (Jacksonville, Fla.) was the Gators’ highest finisher on
the one-meter boards, taking second with a score of 280.72.
On the men’s side, junior Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.) captured the
one-meter competition with a Florida season high and career-high 364.35, less than five points away from the school record that Zach Wilcox set in 2003 (369.22). The junior also finished second on the three-meter boards (369.98) for Florida’s highest finish in the event.
The University of Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams return to the pool on Saturday, Jan. 15, as the Gators host Florida Atlantic for a 1 p.m. dual meet. Admission is free.