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Monday February 18, 2013Gators Set to Compete at 2013 SEC Championships

Gainesville, Fla.

The University of Florida swimming and diving team will travel to College Station, Texas to compete for a league title at the Southeastern Conference Championships that will begin Tuesday, Feb. 19 and run through Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Student Rec Center Natatorium. The prelims will begin at 10 a.m. each day and the finals will begin at 6 p.m. Diving prelims will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday and then 1 p.m. every other day.

 

Both the Florida menís and womenís swimming and diving programs have dominated the Southeastern Conference since league competition began, dating back to 1937 for the men, and 1981 for the women. The menís team has claimed 33 SEC Championships, 15 more than its closest competitor, Auburn (18). The women have taken 17 out of 32 possible league crowns, including 11 consecutive from 1986 through 1997, and their most recent title in 2009.

 

The Gators boast numerous SEC honors, as the menís history includes 21 SEC Male Swimmer of the Year awards and four SEC Male Diver of the Year selections, while the SEC Female Swimmer of the Year has been a Gator 19 times, and the SEC Female Diver of the Year has been a Gator five times. Most recently, juniors Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) and Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) were named SEC Male and Female Swimmers of the Year respectively.

 

Florida Coaches have also earned 21 SEC Swimming Coach of the Year Accolades with head coach Gregg Troy receiving the honor four times, and eight SEC Diving Coach of the Year awards, including seven by current diving coach Donnie Craine.

 

Coming into the meet, the No. 4 UF menís team did not drop a single dual meet for the second-straight season finishing 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the SEC. It was the eighth time in school history that they ended the season without a loss. The will enter as the top ranked team in the conference, while four other schools are also ranked in the top-25: No. 5 Auburn, No. 11 Tennessee, No. 12 Georgia and No. 18 Texas A&M.

 

The Gators are returning 10 men who earned All-SEC selections last season. Cieslak was the SEC Champion in three events as he took first in the 200 back, 200 fly and 200 IM. He has now the two-time reigning champion in the 200 fly and will look to defend his title once again this year. Also earning league titles were junior Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) who grabbed the 50 free SEC title and sophomore Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (Madrid, Spain) was SEC Champion in the 400 IM.

 

Senior Jason Taylor (Plant City, Fla.) earned a second place finish in the 500 free and sophomore Dan Wallace (North Berwick, Scotland) finished second in both the 200 fly and 400 IM. In addition to the returners, redshirt junior Sebastien Rousseau will compete for the Gators after his year off. He currently holds the top times in the SEC in the 200 free, 200 IM and 400 IM.

 

Floridaís No. 8 women finished 3-4 (2-3 SEC), capping the dual meet season off with a win over then No. 2 Tennessee. The womenís competition will be tough, as six of the teams are currently ranked in the top-25 with No. 4 Auburn, No. 4 Tennessee, No. 6 Georgia, No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 18 Arkansas.

 

The Orange and Blue will have five All-SEC selections return. Beisel will look to add to her long list of accolades as she is the two-time reigning SEC Champion in both the 200 back and 400 IM, while also winning an SEC title in the 200 IM last season. The Gators will also rely on senior Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) who earned All-SEC honors as part of the second place 800 free relay and junior Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) holds the third best time this season in the 100 fly.

 

Several freshmen will also look to contribute in their first conference meet as Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) currently has the third best time in the 50 free and fourth in the 100 free. Jessica Thielmann (Newcastle, England) is second in the conference in the 1,650 free and Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario) is third in the 200 back.

 

Coverage of the 2012 Menís and Womenís Swimming and Diving Championships will be available to view on ESPN3.com live on Friday and Saturday night. Then ESPNU will air two 90 minutes shows with the womenís airing on Monday, March 4 at 4 p.m. and the menís right after at 5:30 p.m.

 

 

SEC Menís †and Womenís Swimming and Diving Championship

Air Date

Time

Network

3/4/2013

4 / 5:30 p.m. ET

ESPNU

Live Stream

Air Date

Time

Network

2/22/2013

7 p.m. ET

ESPN3.com

2/23/2013

7 p.m. ET

ESPN3.com

 

 

For live stats, video, schedule of events for the 2013 SEC Championship please visit the SECís page, here.

 

Gator fans are encouraged to follow the swimming and diving program via Twitter or Facebook. A complete recap of each dayís events will be available on www.Gatorzone.com.

 

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