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Sunday October 20, 2013Gators Win Day Two, But Rally Falls Short Against Talented Cal

Gainesville, Fla.

The University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team (1-1, 1-0 SEC) won seven of 11 events on the second day of competition, but could not overcome a 135-108 first day deficit to California (3-0, 2-0 PAC 12) and dropped the two-day dual meet by a score of 238-210 at the Spieker Aquatics Center in Berkeley, Calif.

 

The Gators, going against a Cal team that featured five Olympians and four NCAA Champions, showed impressive fight and determination, winning the first five events of the day. Florida roared back from a 27 point hole to take a 170-166 lead at the first break. However, Cal responded by winning four of the final six events to provide the final margin. Over the course of the 24-event slate, the teams split the events 12 to 12, with the Gators taking first place in both diving events on the first day of the meet.

 

Senior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.), a two-time Olympic medalist and two-time NCAA Champion, provided the Gators with a trio of day two victories, including wins in front of Cal freshman and four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin and 2013 NCAA Champion Elizabeth Pelton.

 

We’ll See You Again: The matchup featured two of the premier collegiate programs in the nation, with both teams accounting for four of the last five team NCAA Championships. Cal took home the team title in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and the Gators captured the national championship in 2010. The Bears were last year’s runner up with 393 points. Florida finished sixth at the 2013 national meet, totaling 305 points and returns nine of 11 All-Americans, including eight first-team All-Americans. The teams will again battle for national supremacy at the 2014 NCAA Championships.

 

What’s Next: Florida will continue its impressive regular season schedule as 2013 SEC and NCAA Champion Georgia will come to Gainesville for a dual meet on Nov. 1st. The meet is scheduled to begin at noon. The men’s team will also host Georgia in a matchup of SEC and national powers.

 

Sound Bites:

“What great races today. We were fantastic. We came out and every race was contested, and we won our share of them against a really good Cal team. We gained a lot of experience this weekend and found out that we can swim with the best people. We had some weaknesses in the lineup depth wise, but we can address those. I am really happy with how we competed. I never like losing, but this is one where we won the day and looked tremendous.”- Head Coach Gregg Troy

 

“Elizabeth (Beisel) always takes the toughest assignments, and she raced world class athletes and was world class today. Yesterday she was second or third in three close races. Today, she won everything that she swam- a really tough triple. There are not many people on the planet that can do what she did today.” - Head Coach Gregg Troy

 

Rowdy Relay: Florida showed that the Gators would not go down without a fight from the first event of the day, the 200 medley relay.

·         The foursome of sophomore Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario, Canada), senior Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland), senior Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) and sophomore Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) touched in first with a swim of 1:42.25.

·         Russell led off with a 26 second flat 50 back. Luthersdottir kept the Gators in front with a 28.75 breaststroke leg. Zalewski was caught on the butterfly leg, despite an impressive 24.79 50 fly, and Hinds anchored the Gators home to victory on the freestyle leg with a 22.79 split.

 

Gator Distance: The Gator distance group showed that it is one of the best in the nation, winning both 500 freestyle and 1000 freestyle events of the weekend.

·         On day two, freshman Danielle Valley (Bradenton, Fla.) and senior Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) teamed up in the 1000 free to defeat Franklin, notching times of 9:53.64 and 9:56.29, respectively. The duo finished in reverse order on day one, with Mathieu finishing first in front of Valley. Valley’s time represented a collegiate best.

·         Valley’s victory gave Franklin her first collegiate loss.

 

Mid Distance: Gaining momentum after a pair of victories in the 200 medley relay and the 1000 free, the Gators extended their start to a perfect three-for-three with a win in the 200 free.

·         Beisel captured the event with a season best of 1:48.15, giving Beisel her first of three victories on the day.

·         Sophomore Lindsey McKnight (Coral Springs, Fla.) followed behind Beisel, touching in 1:48.66. On the first day of competition, McKnight placed second in the event with a time of 1:48.07.


Splash and Dash: The Gators received a first and third place finish in the splash-and-dash for their fourth consecutive victory of the meet.

·         Hinds sprinted to 23.09 in the 50 free. The result represented the second victory in the event for Hinds, who broke the 23 second barrier in a victory on the first day of the meet.

·         Zalewski was narrowly out-touched by .03 second, cruising into third with a time of 23.61.

 

Medley Madness: The 400 individual medley was one of the more anticipated races of the meet, matching yesterday’s 200 individual medley stacked field of Pelton, Cal’s talented freshman Celina Li and Beisel.

·         After placing third behind Pelton and Li in the 200 IM, Beisel cruised to her second victory of the day in the 400 IM, winning the event by over four seconds with a time of 4:09.54, easily the best time in the nation for the 2013 NCAA Champion.

 

Fast Flying: After the Gators came back for the 170-166 lead, Cal was boosted by a victory in the 100 butterfly by Li.

·         Zalewski gave the Gators four big points, clocking in a 55.76 for second place.

 

Spirited Sprints: Cal retrieved the momentum, as Pelton won the 100 freestyle (49.96).

·         Hinds delivered a 50 second flat swim to take second, giving the sophomore three first place and one second place swims in the sprint events over the course of the weekend. Hinds touched in 49.67 on the first day of competition.

 

Backs to the Wall: With the Gators leading the day five events to two and trailing by six points, the Gators responded with a big swim in the 100 backstroke.

·         Russell got her hand in the wall just before Cal’s Stephanie Au, winning the race by .04 with a swim of 54.41. However, Cal placed second through fourth to limit the damage on the scoreboard.

 

Distance Derby: The Gator distance group continued its impressive meet, winning their fourth event of the meet and seventh of the day.

·         Beisel swam a dominant race to defeat Franklin by nearly five seconds with a swim of 4:45.91. Beisel’s swim provided her with three impressive of the days. Beisel’s 500 free season best of 4:45.04 is the fastest in the nation this season.

 

Breaststroke Breakdown: Cal would win the final individual event in a solid 100 breaststroke race between Spain’s Marina Garcia Urzainqui and UF’s Luthersdottir.

·         Luthersdottir placed second with a mark of 1:02.50, only .11 behind Garcia Urzainqui.

 

Final Relay: With the final results in hand, Cal went on to score first and second place points in the 400 freestyle relay, although the Gator quartet of Zalewski, Hinds, Beisel and McKnight swam the second fastest time in the event with a mark of 3:25.28 to Cal’s 3:21.27. The relay was competed as an exhibition because some of the Gators competed in the maximum three events.  

 

Day One Recap: For a full recap of the first day of competition, please click on the following link Day One Recap.

 

Follow the Gators: For all the latest on Florida swimming and diving, stay tuned to GatorZone.com. To stay connected socially, ‘like’ Florida Swimming and Diving on Facebook and follow the Gators, @GatorZoneSwimDv, on Twitter.

 

 

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