Saturday February 18, 2012Gators Send Twelve to Championship Finals on Last Night of SECs
The SEC swimming and diving championships are about to reach their end with the final round of events set to take place this evening at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn. The men’s squad will return six swimmers up and five down, while the women will feature eight up, and five down in tonight’s final races with the 1,650 free yet to finish.
Entering both the final champion and consolation sessions, the Florida men trail Auburn 20 points, 315-335, for second. The women are in third (361.5) behind Georgia (528) and Tennessee (436.5) with the number one and two spot, respectively, while Auburn is just three-and-a-half points behind Florida, in fourth.
The Tigers’ men’s squad will have eight swimmers in the championship finals tonight, with two taking to the pool for the consolation heat.
Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) is on the hunt for his third 2012 conference title after he touched first in the 200 fly morning prelims at 1:44,90 for the top seed in tonight’s final. Cieslak, who finished second in last year’s race at the conference meet, will be joined by junior Cameron Martin (Clearwater, Fla.) and freshman Dan Wallace (North Berwick, Scotland) who touched in 1:45.22 and 1:45.60 for the three and five seed, respectively.
While the Gators have the strongest presence in the 200 fly, it was an impressive performance by freshman Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (Madrid, Spain), last night’s 400 IM champion, who stopped the clock at 1:56.00 – the fourth fastest time in Florida history – that pinned him the fastest swimmer heading into tonight’s finals. He brings with him fellow freshman Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.), seeded third, after he stopped the clock at 1:56.94.
Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) will be the lone Gator cap in the water for tonight’s 100 free finals.
For the women, sophomore Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) and senior Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) look to defend their titles from last year’s conference meet in the 200 back and 200 fly, respectively.
Beisel recorded a NCAA automatic time in this morning’s preliminaries when she touched in 1:53.22 for a first-place seed. She will be joined by her teammate Crippen, last year’s runner-up, who enters the race with the third lowest time at 1:55.22.
Crippen who enters the 200 fly seeded fourth behind freshman teammate Molly Dubrasky (Estero, Fla.) who turned out a personal-best 1:57.48, will also be joined by junior Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) who touched in 1:58.45
Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) will swim alongside fellow Gator Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) in the 100 free finals after the pair clocked a 49.44 and 49.61, respectively, to enter as the sixth and eighth quickest swimmers. Sophomore Hilda Luthersottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland), last year’s consolation champion, will make her first championship appearance in the 200 breast during tonight’s finals after she touched in 2:11.50.
Swimming down for the women are sophomore Kaitlin Frehling (St. Petersburg, Fla.) in the 100 free; junior Sarra Lajnef (Tunis, Tunisia) in the 200 breast; senior Anna-Liisa Pold (Los Angeles, Ca.) in the 200 fly; freshman Rebecca Rainer (Richmond, Va.) in the 200 breast and sophomore Trish Regan (Carmel, Ind.) in the 200 back;
Swimming down for the men are freshman Matt Curby (Oviedo, Fla.) in the 100 free and a group of four Florida seniors. Brian Howell (Cincinnati, Ohio) will represent the Orange and Blue in the 200 back, Gabriel Huen (Caracas, Venezuela) in the 200 fly and a pair in the 100 free Matt Norton (Port Orange, Fla.) and James Turner (Ft. Pierce, Fla.).
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 400 free relays and women’s platform diving competition. For all the latest up-to-date information about the Florida swimming and diving team, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @GatorZoneSwimDv.
GATORS NOT ADVANCING TO CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
Brian Howell, 15th, 1:47.30
James Turner, 10th, 43.88
Matt Norton, 11th, 44.01
Matt Curby, 15th, 44.24*
Scott Heil, 27th, 45.60*
Ricky Munch, no place, 2:05.74
Gabriel Huen, 16th, 1:49.36
Trish Regan, 10th, 1:57.24*
Kaitlin Frehling, 12th, 49.71*
Natasha Fung, 20th, 50.27*
Rebecca Rainer, 14th, 2:14.02*
Sarra Lajnef, 15th, 2:14.06
Kirsten Smith, 19th, 2:15.36
Anna-Liisa Pold, 9th, 2:00.29
Lauren Neidigh, no place, 2:02.33*
*indicates personal-best time