Wednesday October 24, 2012Gators Open Dual Meet Season at Georgia and South Carolina
The University of Florida swimming and diving teams will begin their dual meet season with back-to-back road meets against SEC opponents Georgia and South Carolina.
The men and women will travel to Athens, Ga. on Thursday, October 25 to face Georgia at 3 p.m. at the Gabrielsen Natatorium. In a quick turnaround, the Gators will hit the road to Columbia S.C. where they will face South Carolina at 2 p.m. in Carolina Natatorium on Friday, October 26.
On the women’s side, the Gators took first in the All-Florida Invitational to start the season and then finished third at the SMU Classic. Junior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Week for her performance at the SMU Classic last weekend and holds three top times in the SEC, as well as leading the nation in the 200 back. Freshman Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) holds the SEC top time in the 100 free.
Defending SEC Champion, Georgia is already 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in the conference with a win over Arkansas. The Gators will go in looking to break the Lady Bulldog’s 78-straight home dual meet win streak (79-1) that extends back to 1995. The only home loss came against the Gators. Last season Georgia won 158.5-141.5 in Gainesville.
The Gators’ women will then face South Carolina, a team that they hold a 17-0 record over. The Gamecocks are 0-2 on the season and 0-1 in the SEC. The teams last met in the 2008-09 when the Gators won at home 197-98.
Florida’s Beisel, Hinds, freshman Ashlee Linn (Southfield, Mich.), junior Hilda Luthersdottir (Harfnarfjordur, Iceland), sophomore Rebecca Rainer (Richmond, Va.) and freshman Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario) have each recorded NCAA B-cut times this season.
The Gators’ men started off the season with a first place finish in the All-Florida Invitational. They are currently ranked No. 1 by the CSCAA in the first poll released this week. Florida has three swimmers who collectively account for four top times in the country. Junior Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) holds top times in the 200 fly (1:46.41) and the 400 IM (3:51.15), while fellow junior Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) is leading in the 100 fly (48.16) and sophomore Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez’s (Madrid, Spain) has the top 200 IM time (1:48.08).
The Bulldogs are ranked No. 9 and are 1-0 on the season with a win over Georgia Tech. It will be the 78th meeting between the two teams, with Florida leading the series 59-15-3. Last season the two teams faced off in Gainesville and finished in a tie.
Against No. 12 South Carolina, the Gators lead the series 24-4. The last meeting between the two teams came in the 2008-09 season, when Florida won 167-126 in Gainesville, Fla.
Some key matchups will be Sophomore Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.) and Georgia’s Nic Fink who hold the top two times in the 100 breast in the SEC, they are separated by just .11 seconds. In the 200 free, freshman Pawel Werner’s (Wroclaw, Poland) time of 1:38.61 is .05 seconds behind South Carolina’s Michael Flach, the two lead the SEC.