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|
|2. Southern Methodist||227|
|7. Arizona State||141.5|
|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|