Thursday February 16, 2012Record-Breaking Morning for Gators as Beisel and deBorde Take Top Spots in UF Record Book
We’re halfway through Day two of the 2012 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships as morning prelims have come to a close at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn., and in normal Gator fashion, they did it quickly. So quickly that a pair of sophomores in Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) and Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) each broke school records and recorded automatic qualifying times to their respective NCAA meets in March.
Patiently waiting his time, deBorde accomplished a feat in which he has hoped to pass for over a year. At last year’s NCAA meet when the Longwood native tied teammate Brett Fraser for the second-quickest 50-free performance in Gator history (19.63) and quickest ever by a UF freshman, he knew he could crack the top-spot. Just a few weeks ago, coincidentally enough here at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center, it looked like deBorde could do it again when he touched in 19.57. It wasn’t enough to be No. 1, but he separated himself from Fraser for sole possession of the runner-up spot.
The time finally came this morning when he stopped the clock at 19.25, enough to pass Brett’s older brother – Shaune Fraser (19.30) and claim the fastest time ever swum by a Gator since the program began in 1930 in the 50 free. Not only did the sophomore sprinter swim the fastest time in UF history, it is also the fastest 50 free by a Division I male swimmer on the year.
“I can’t believe that it happened this morning – I just didn’t see it coming. It didn’t feel like I swam that fast,” said deBorde. “It’s a great feeling though, to pass your own best time – to break the school record. Fingers crossed that it all goes just as well tonight.”
Beisel’s 1:54.83 finish in the 200 IM was just three tenths of a second off the SEC record (Morgan Scroggy, Georgia, 1:54.58), is the fastest mark of her career in the event, breaks Gator great Gemma Spofforth’s now second-best record of 1:55.39 set in 2010 and is the third-fastest time in the country. Her performances is just one of two, alongside Spofforth’s, in the UF record books under 1:57.06.
“I didn’t expect to go that fast, or reach the qualifying time,” explained Beisel, “but it all is very nice. It’s even more comforting to know that I reached the automatic qualifying time for NCAAs – whether or not I’ll swim it in March, we’ll see.”
Throughout the race Beisel recorded both the fastest fly split (25.24) and mid-way split (54.05) of the morning throughout all eight women’s 200 IM preliminary heats
14 other Gator swimmers will join deBorde and Beisel in tonight’s finals session. Eight other members of the men’s team will swim tonight in Nicholas Caldwell (Sarasota, Fla.), Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland), Matt Curby (Oviedo, Fla.), Matt Norton (Port Orange, Fla.), Carlos Omana (Miami, Fla.), Connor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.), Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (Madrid, Spain), Jason Taylor (Plant City, Fla.) and Dan Wallace (North Berwick, Scotland).
The women bring with them five other swimmers: Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.), Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland), Corinne Showalter (Sarasota, Fla.) and Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.).
With 16 Orange and Blue caps in tonight’s individual events, the Gators will be the most represented team in the water. Georgia has 15 swimmers competing individually, Auburn will be represented with eight, host Tennessee with five and LSU with three.
For the men, redshirt senior Norton will join deBorde after he finished his preliminary heat in 19.74 – he enters the race with a seventh-place seed.
Four Gators will swim in both the 500 free and 200 IM. Taylor (4:19.11, personal best) and Caldwell (4:19.12, personal best) enter the 500 free finals with the second and third fastest qualifying times, respectively, and will be joined by Omana who touched in 4:21.82 (personal-best), and Signorin who stopped the clock at 4:23.87.
UF enters the 200 IM with four of the top-five times from this morning’s prelims from three freshmen and one sophomore. Wallace leads the group after dishing out a 1:45.67 (personal best) effort for the second quickest time, and is backed by Cieslak who clocked in at 1:45.68. A pair of freshmen in Solaeche-Gomez, and Curby, who recorded times of 1:45.93 and 1:46.37, respectively, both career-best turnouts, holds the top four and five spots.
Bateman enters the 50 free just behind reigning SEC and NCAA Champion Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (21.46) of Auburn, who holds the nations quickest time in the event. Bateman’s own time of 22.08, which seeds her second heading into the finals, is just eight hundredths of a second off of her own school record (22.00), which she hopes to break tonight.
Senior, K. Smith, and sophomore, Luthersdottir, will each join Beisel tonight in the 200 IM as the No. 5 (1:59.22) and No. 8 (1:59.35), respectively.
Although she will not swim in tonight’s finals, junior Sarra Lajnef (Tunis, Tunisia), put in a personal-best swim after she touched in 2:00.95. It was the first output of her career in which she has ever recorded at the 2:00 minute mark, surpassing her previous best of 2:01.11.
Juniors Bohunicky (4:42.49) and Showalter (4:42.59) will swim in the 500 free finals, as the No. 7 and No. 8 seed, respectively.
Check GatorZone.com this evening for a full recap of tonight’s finals from the Allan Jones Aquatic Center. Swimmers will take to the pool for final heats of all this morning’s events, as well as the 200 freestyle relays. For all the latest up-to-date information about the Florida swimming and diving team, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @GatorZoneSwimDv.
Other Gator finishers not advancing to finals
Scott Heil, 22nd, 4:32.58*
Jonathan Jordan, no place, 4:30.65
200-yard individual medley
Matt Elliott, 12th, 1:47.65*
Brian Howell, 16th, 1:48.39
James Turner, 11th, 19.92
Christian Homer, 24th, 20.58*
Alicia Mathieu, 10th, 4:43.77*
Angelina Ballatore, 12th, 4:45.92
Molly Dubrasky, 15th, 4:49.32*
Sharla Milne, no place, 4:47.02*
Lauren Neidigh, no place, 4:52.04*
200-yard individual medley
Sarra Lajnef, 15th, 2:00.95*
Natasha Fung, 19th, 2:01.41*
Trish Regan, 25th, 2:02.35
Kaitlin Frehling, t-11th, 22.80
Ellese Zalewski, 18th, 22.91
*indicates personal-best time