Men's Swimming & Diving Headline
AUBURN, Ala. – 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, 2007.
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 season-best 1:44.72).
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).
For complete meet results, click here. 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. For the latest in Florida swimming and diving, fans are encouraged to follow the program on Twitter and Facebook.