Saturday February 23, 2013SEC Championships: Saturday Prelim Results
The University of Florida swimming and diving teams qualified 19 in the finals tonight, not including the 1650 free. The men will have six in the A-Finals, along with three swimmers in the top-seeded heat of the 1650 free. On the women’s side, the Gators will have nine in the finals and six in the A-Finals. They will have two swimmers in the top heat of the 1650 free. Heading into tonight, Florida’s men are currently first with 1038 points and the women are third with 825.5 points.
Sophomore Matt Curby (Oviedo, Fla.) swam his way into the A-Final of the men’s 100 free. His time of 43.36 placed him eighth in prelims and is a personal-best. The Gators also qualified two in the B-Final, as freshman Pawel Werner (Wroclaw, Poland) also recorded a personal-best with his time of 43.42 to finish ninth and junior Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) qualified 10th with a time of 43.46.
With the second fastest time in school history, freshman Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) qualified as the second seed for the A-Final of the women’s 100 free. She swam a NCAA “B” time of 48.06. Also moving on to the A-Final was junior Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) who was the fourth place qualifier with a personal-best 48.17 that ranks third in school history.
A swim-off was required for junior Natasha Fung (Edmonton, Canada) as she tied for 25th. Fung was named the first alternate for tonight’s final. Fung swam a personal-best time of 49.56. Junior Kaitlin Frehling (St. Petersburg, Fla.) finished 33rd with a time of 50.25.
All three Gators that entered the men’s 200 back qualified for the A-Final tonight. Freshman Corey Main (Auckland, New Zealand) qualified fourth with his personal-best and NCAA “B” time of 1:43.07. Right behind him is junior Connor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.) who swam the fifth fastest time in prelims of 1:43.12. Then senior Cameron Martin (Clearwater, Fla.) qualified seventh in his personal-best time of 1:43.61.
The Gators had two Olympic finalists from London in the women’s 200 back. Freshman Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario) swam a strong prelim race, finishing in the second fastest time in the country and NCAA “A” time of 1:52.28. The time also ranks her fifth in school history.
It was a close race at the half-way point of heat 7, but junior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown R.I.) pulled away in the last 50 to swim a 1:52.37 and qualify third. Beisel is the two-time defending SEC champion in this event. Freshman Ashlee Linn (Southfield, Mich.) clocked in at 1:53.82 to qualify fifth. It was a personal-best time for her and ranks her sixth in UF history. Freshman Sierra Kuhn qualified for the C-Final of the women’s 200 back with her career-best time of 1:57.70.
Sophomore Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.) swam a 1:55.22 to qualify second for the men’s 200 breast A-Final. Just behind him in third is fellow sophomore Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (Madrid, Spain) who clocked in at 1:55.32. In the B-Final will be sophomore Ricky Munch (Clifton, Va.), who swam a personal-best and NCAA “B” time of 1:58.25 and freshman Luke Torres (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) touched in his career-best time of 2:00.92 to make the C-Final.
In the women’s 200 breast, junior Hilda Luthersdottir (Harfnarfjordur, Iceland) qualified for the A-Final with her time of 2:10.81. Senior Sarra Lajnef (Tunis, Tunisia) swam a 2:12.89 to qualify for the B-Final and sophomore Rebecca Rainer (Richmond, Va.) will swim in the C-Final, as she posted a time of 2:13.78.
The 1650 free will swim all but the highest seeded heat prior to the finals tonight. The top heat for both the men and women will swim during finals. Florida’s men have three in the top heat with senior Jason Taylor (Plant City, Fla.), sophomore Carlos Omana (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Arthur Frayler (Fort Washington, Pa.). On the women’s side, junior Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) and freshman Jessica Thielmann (Newcastle, England) are slated in the top heat.
Tonight’s finals will begin at 7 p.m. ET and will air live on ESPN3.com. Gator fans are encouraged to follow the swimming and diving program via Twitter or Facebook. A complete recap of each day’s events will be available on www.Gatorzone.com.