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1983 NCAA Champions

March 24-26, 1983 - Indiana University Natatorium - Indianapolis, Ind.

It came down to the final race - the 400-yard freestyle relay - and a group of underclassmen came through in true Gator style to capture the school's first men's NCAA Championship.

The Gators entered the meet as the crowd favorite, but powerhouses Texas, Southern Methodist and Stanford were thought to be the teams to beat. Although Florida won no individual event titles in the meet, they placed swimmers in the championship finals 13 times to claim the team victory.

The Gators did capture two relay events, as the 800 free relay consisting of Geoff Gaberino, Eric Boyer, Mike Heath and Albert Mestre set an American and NCAA record with the winning time of 6:25.29. Gaberino, Donald Gibb, Mestre and Heath combined to take the 400 free relay title (2:54.06). just edging SMU and their standout anchor Steve Lundquist, who Heath held off for the win.

The first day of action saw Florida in third place, trailing SMU and Texas, while the second day saw the Gators move to second place behind SMU.

Of the 15 Gator competitors at the meet, there were only two seniors and three juniors. Twelve of the athletes combined to earn 33 All-America honors. The win wrapped up a Southeastern Conference Championship and 5-2 dual meet record season for the Gator squad under Head Coach Randy Reese, who was named the 1983 NCAA Men's Coach of the Year.

Final Team Standings
1. Florida 238
2. Southern Methodist 227
3. Texas 225
4. Stanford 170
5. Alabama 157.5
6. UCLA 152
7. Arizona State 141.5
8. California 101.5
9. Auburn 78.5
10. Ohio State 57
UF Individual Finishes
Eric Boyer 500 Free, Fourth
Geoff Gaberino 200 Free, Fourth
Mike Heath 200 Free, Third
  500 Free, Fifth
Pat Kennedy 200 Back, Third
  400 IM, Third
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