Friday March 29, 2013Gators Win 800 Free Relay NCAA Title, Set Two School Records on Night Two of NCAAs
The Gators closed out the second night on a high note by winning the national title in the 800 free relay at the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. On top of that, Florida’s men collected two top-three individual finishes, two school records and 15 All-America honors. They are currently fifth in the standings with 196.5 points.
“We had a couple of bad breaks but we stayed in the meet and I’m really proud of the way the guys raced,” said Head Coach Gregg Troy. “We had a great meet tonight. They got off and raced well the whole way. Great way to finish it with a school record in the 800 free relay with fine swims the whole way across.
Earning the 2013 800 free relay NCAA Championship was the group of freshman Pawel Werner (Wroclaw, Poland), redshirt junior Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), junior Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) and sophomore Dan Wallace (North Berwick, Scotland). They combined for a school record-setting time of 6:13.27.
This is the second time in three years that Florida has come away with a win in the 800 free relay. UF also won it in 2011 and Rousseau was on that team as well.
Rousseau had a tough break this morning but came back tonight to help the relay to the national title. “I am really proud of Sebastien Rousseau, taking a disappointment and coming back this evening and swimming and great relay leg,” Troy remarked.
Cieslak, who had an outstanding night, swam the second fastest 200 split in the entire field (1:32.86) and pushed the relay way out in front on the third leg to give Wallace a huge lead on the final leg. He was in the water earlier in the day for the 100 fly where he finished second and set a new school record with a time of 45.35.
“Marcin Cieslak is a very versatile guy,” Troy commented. “He swam the IM event yesterday and the 100 fly with second place today with a school record and then the 800 free relay with another school record. He goes a 1:32 free to be the second fastest guy in the whole field.”
Starting the night off was the 400 IM, where Wallace swam a solid race to score a third place finish. It is his best individual finish at the NCAA Championships as a Gator and is his second All-America honor of the meet so far. His time of 3:39.87 improved on his personal-best from the one he set in the morning session and is the fourth fastest time in school history.
“Wallace’s swims were really good this evening. He was solid the whole way in the 400 IM and had a great relay leg,” Troy said.
Swimming in the consolation final of the 400 IM was junior Connor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.). Signorin went out strong and held on for a fourth place finish in the consolation final to take 14th overall. He touched the wall in a time of 3:43.96.
The Gators weren’t stopping there as they qualified three swimmers for the 100 fly finals. Cieslak finished second in the 100 fly. It was his second top-two finish in as many events so far. He clocked in with a time of 45.35, setting a new school record in the process.
Also scoring for the Florida in the 100 fly was senior Cameron Martin (Clearwater, Fla.) and junior Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.). Martin continued to get faster as the day went on as he set another personal-best after touching the wall in 46.39 to finish 12th. He moved into fourth place in school history, surpassing Associate Head Coach Anthony Nesty’s time of 46.62 set in 1992. deBorde swam in his fifth event so far of the NCAAs. He finished 14th overall in the 100 fly with a time of 46.83.
In the 200 free, Werner scored points for UF as he tied for 14th with a time of 1:34.65. He earned the first All-America honors of his career as a Gator. Then sophomore Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.) took to the water in the 100 breast consolation final. Elliott secured a 14th place finish with his time of 53.30, earning the fourth All-America honor of his career.
The relay group of Martin, sophomore Ricky Munch (Clifton, Va.), Cieslak and deBorde took to the water for the 200 medley relay to open the second night of competition. They combined to finish 13th overall with a time of 1:26.02, moving up three spots from their qualifying seed. deBorde has continued to be strong on relays and swam a fast 18.94 free split to anchor the team.
After the second day of competition here are the top-10 teams: Michigan (336), California (301.5), Arizona (234.5), Southern California (212), Florida (196.5), Texas (192), Stanford (169), Auburn (167.5), Indiana (151) and Georgia (106).
Tomorrow will conclude the 2013 Men’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. The prelims will begin at 11 a.m. ET and the finals at 7 p.m. ET. Live results will be available through this link. Finals will be streamed live on ESPN3.
200 Medley Relay, 13th, 1:26.02
Dan Wallace, 3rd, 3:39.87
Connor Signorin, 12th, 3:43.96
Marcin Cieslak, 2nd, 45.35
Cameron Martin, 12th, 46.39
Brad deBorde, 14th, 46.83
Pawel Werner, 14th, 1:34.65
Matt Elliott, 14th, 53.30
800 Free Relay, 1st, 6:13.27