Monday February 17, 2014Florida Expected to be Major Players at the 2014 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships
Florida’s top-ranked men and eighth ranked women Swimming and Diving teams will compete at the five-day Southeastern Conference Championships beginning Tuesday at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Georgia.
Florida’s men (8-0) enter the meet with the number one ranking in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll after finishing dual meet season with a perfect record for the third consecutive year. The Gators have faced off against nine current top-25 teams this season and have recorded wins over SEC foes No. 10 Auburn, No. 14 Georgia and No. 21 Tennessee.
The Gator women (5-3) have competed against seven of the current top-25 teams in the nation, and have posted wins over No. 15 Auburn and No. 23 Alabama. The Gators won the Ohio State Invitational and finished ahead of No. 7 Virginia and No. 18 Purdue. Florida’s only dual losses came against No. 1 California, No. 2 Georgia and No. 12 Tennessee.
The Orange and Blue return eight SEC Champions who have combined to win 25 conference titles. Seniors Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) and Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) lead UF with nine and seven SEC first place finishes apiece. Cieslak has captured SEC titles in the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 200 individual medley, 200 freestyle, 400 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay in his first three years as a Gator. Beisel is the three-time reigning SEC Champion in the 200 backstroke and the 400 IM and also touched first in the 200 IM her sophomore year.
Heading into the conference championships, the Gators lead the conference in eight men’s events and seven women’s events. Florida men have achieved five individual and three relay NCAA automatic qualifying cuts and 59 NCAA provisional cuts. The Gator women have notched eighth individual and five relay NCAA ‘A’ cuts and 60 NCAA ‘B’ cuts. Four of the five men’s relays and all five of the women’s relays rank in the top-10 nationally.
“This is an exciting time for us. Championship season is always big in swimming. Everything counts the rest of the way. We only have two competitions left, SEC’s and the NCAA meet. The SEC meet is a bit of a different format. It is the only meet that we swim that is a five day competition. It makes it have a little different dynamic. You’ve got to take your enthusiasm and maintain it over five days if you want to win in probably the best conference in the country.”- Head Coach Gregg Troy
Returning SEC Champions: Joining Cieslak and Beisel as returning SEC Champions are redshirt senior Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), junior Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (Madrid, Spain), sophomore Pawel Werner (Wroclaw, Poland), junior Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.), senior Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) and sophomore Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas). Rousseau and Solaeche-Gomez each have two career SEC wins, and teamed up with Cieslak and Werner to win the 800 freestyle relay in 2013.
Last Season’s Meet:
· Troy was named the SEC Male Swimming Coach of the Year for guiding UF’s men to the team championship.
· The Gator men broke Auburn’s streak of 16-straight SEC Championships to win the team’s first SEC title in 20 years. UF collected five titles, 10 top-three finishers and 27 top-eight finishes.
· UF’s women finished third with 1,190.5 points behind Georgia and Texas A&M. The Gators picked up three SEC victories behind Beisel’s 200 back and 400 IM and Hinds’s 100 fly.
· Hinds was named the SEC Female Freshman of the Year. Beisel received the Commissioner’s Trophy Award for scoring the most points at the meet.
· Beisel and Hinds were both named the All-SEC First team last year. Joining them on the All-SEC Second Team were seniors Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) and Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland) and sophomores Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) and Jessica Thielmann (Newcastle, England).
· Werner, Rousseau, Solaeche-Gomez, Cieslak and Elliott were all named the All-SEC First-Team for their part in winning SEC Championships. deBorde, sophomore Corey Main (Auckland, New Zealand), junior Matt Curby (Oviedo, Fla.) and junior Dan Wallace (North Berwick, Scotland) were named to the All-SEC Second-Team.
· Wallace (3x) and Rousseau (2x) have each placed second individually at SEC’s without winning an individual title. Cieslak touched out Rousseau by .01 to take the SEC title in the 200 fly.
Last Year’s Team Standings:
1. Florida – 1,408
2. Auburn – 1,196
3. Georgia – 1,024
4. Tennessee – 787.5
5. Missouri – 779.5
6. LSU – 753.5
7. Texas A&M – 709.5
8. South Carolina – 540.5
9. Kentucky – 452.5
10. Alabama – 451
1. Georgia – 1,420
2. Texas A&M – 1,296
3. Florida – 1,190.5
4. Tennessee – 1,018
5. Auburn – 860
6. Arkansas – 594
7. LSU – 494
8. Missouri – 487
9. Kentucky – 368.5
10. Alabama – 353
11. South Carolina – 248
12. Vanderbilt – 183
Gators at SEC’s History:
· Both the Florida men’s and women’s 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 men’s team has claimed 34 SEC Championships, 16 more than its closest competitor, Auburn (18).
· The women have taken 17 out of 33 possible league crowns, including 11 consecutive from 1986 through 1997, and their most recent title in 2009.
· Florida men have won the 800 free relay 21 times since 1982, and return all four of their SEC and NCAA championship relay teams.
Individual SEC History:
· The Gators boast numerous SEC honors, as the men’s 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.
· Florida Coaches have also earned 22 SEC Swimming Coach of the Year Accolades with Troy receiving the honor five times, and eight SEC Diving Coach of the Year awards, including seven by current diving coach Donnie Craine.
· Cieslak was named the SEC Athlete of the Year and was the SEC high point scorer his sophomore season and the SEC Freshman of the Year his rookie season.
· In addition to the 2013 SEC Commissioner’s Trophy, Beisel was named the SEC Athlete of the Year in 2012 and the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2011.
Follow Live: Streaming will be available during Friday's and Saturday's finals on ESPN3. Finals for the first three days will be streamed on GeorgiaDogs.com. No prelims will be streamed on any day.
SEC Info: For information, record book and applicable links on SEC Swimming and Diving, please head to the SEC's Website.
We’re On TV: The men's 90-minute highlight show will air March 3 at 4 p.m. The women's show will air March 4 at 5:30 p.m. Each will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Order of Events:
Tuesday, Feb. 18
Diving: Women’s 1-meter (prelims) -- 10 a.m.
Diving: Men’s 3-meter (prelims) -- 2:00 p.m.
Diving: Women’s 1-meter (finals) -- 5:30 p.m.
200 Medley Relay (finals)
Diving: Men’s 3-meter (finals)
800 Free Relay (finals)
Wednesday, Feb. 19
500 Free (prelims) -- 10 a.m.
200 IM (prelims)
50 Free (prelims)
Diving: Men’s 1-meter (prelims) -- 1 p.m.
200 Free Relay (finals)-- 6 p.m.
Diving: Men’s 1-meter (finals)
500 Free (Finals)
200 IM (Finals)
50 Free (Finals)
Thursday, Feb. 20
400 IM (prelims)-- 10 a.m.
100 Fly (prelims)
200 Free (prelims)
Diving: Women’s 3-meter (prelims) -- 1 p.m.
400 IM (finals) -- 6 p.m.
100 Fly (finals)
Diving: Women’s 3-meter (finals)
200 Free (finals)
Friday, Feb. 21
200 Fly (prelims) -- 10 a.m.
100 Back (prelims)
100 Breast (prelims)
Diving: Men’s Platform (prelims) -- 1 p.m.
200 Fly (Finals) -- 6 p.m.
100 Back (Finals)
100 Breast (Finals)
Diving: Men’s Platform (finals)
400 Medley Relay (finals)
Saturday, Feb. 22
100 Free (prelims) -- 10 a.m.
200 Back (prelims)
200 Breast (prelims)
Diving: Women’s Platform (prelims) -- 1 p.m.
1650 Free (prelims) -- 4 p.m.
1650 Free (finals) -- 6 p.m.
100 Free (finals)
200 Back (finals)
200 Breast (finals)
Diving: Women’s Platform (finals)
400 Free Relay (finals)
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