Friday March 22, 2013Zalewski Sets School Record, Gators Advance Four to Finals
Junior Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) had a stellar morning as she set a new school record in the 100 fly during the second day of the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. She advanced to the championship final as the top seed, along with her will be three other Gators moving on to tonight’s finals.
The Gators swam a great 200 medley relay to start the morning prelims. Freshman Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario) led off with the backstroke, junior Hilda Luthersdottir (Harfnarfjordur, Iceland) swam the breast, Zalewski gave the Gators the lead with a solid butterfly split (22.95) and then freshman Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) anchored with the free leg to hold off Auburn and win the heat in a time of 1:36.80.
Zalewski’s butterfly split time was the second fastest of the day and the top time of any time in the championship final. The Gators move on the swim in the championship final later tonight as the seventh seed.
Making her second championship final in two days was junior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) in the 400 IM. The field was close after the butterfly leg, but Beisel pulled away in the backstroke and held a solid lead on the field to win the heat. She finished in a time of 4:05.65 qualifying for the A-final with the fourth fastest time. She finished third in the event at last year’s championships and is the two-time defending SEC Champion.
Three other Gators competed in the 400 IM prelims this morning. Freshman Jessica Thielmann (Newcastle, England) finished 21st overall after recording a time of 4:11.45, fellow freshman Ashlee Linn (Southfield, Mich.) was 30th swimming a time of 4:13.72 and sophomore Rebecca Rainer (Richmond, Va.) finished 34th in 4:14.76.
In the 100 fly the Gators will have both swimmers that entered in the finals. Zalweski set a new school record with her personal-best time of 51.50 and she moves onto the championship final as the top seed. Hinds also advanced, as she will appear in the consolation final after posting a time of 52.28 in her prelim swim.
After leading off the 200 medley relay, Russell qualified for her first individual event as a Gator after swimming the second fastest time in prelims with a new personal-best 51.61 to advance to the championship final tonight.
In the 200 free, sophomore Natasha Fung (Edmonton, Canada) was just off her personal-best time as she clocked in at 1:46.60 to finish 27th overall. Senior Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) made her appearance in the 200 free for the last time as a Gator. She finished 39th with a time of 1:47.31. Freshman Lindsey McKnight (Coral Springs, Fla.) touched the wall in 1:48.49 to finish 48th overall.
Luthersdottir was the only entry for the Orange and Blue in the women’s 100 breast. She finished in 1:00.63 for her prelim swim to come in 25th in the event, but did not advance to the finals tonight.
The finals tonight will be aired live on ESPN3 and they will begin at 7 p.m. ET. UF will be competing in the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 100 back and 800 free relay. For live stats you can follow this link.
200 medley relay
1:36.80, 7th, advances to championship final
Elizabeth Beisel, 4th, 4:05.65
Jessica Thielmann, 21st, 4:11.45
Ashlee Linn, 30th, 4:13.72
Rebecca Rainer, 34th, 4:14.76
Ellese Zalewski, 1st, 51.50
Natalie Hinds, 10th, 52.28
Natasha Fung, 27th, 1:46.60
Jamie Bohunicky, 39th, 1:47.31
Lindsey McKnight, 48th, 1:48.49
Hilda Luthersdottir, 25th, 1:00.63
Sinead Russell, 2nd, 51.61