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Tuesday February 18, 2014Florida Wins Two Relay Titles, Sets Two School Records and a Conference Record on Day 1 of SEC's

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida’s top-ranked men picked up a pair of relay victories and school records and set a Southeastern Conference record on the first day of competition at the five-day SEC Championships at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Georgia. The ninth ranked Gator women notched a pair of relay bronze performances to start off the meet.

 

The Gator men earned a come from behind victory in the 200 medley relay as the team of junior Christian-Paul Homer, Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Marcin Cieslak and Brad deBorde touched in a UF record and NCAA automatic qualifying swim of 1:24.53. deBorde entered the pool with the Orange and Blue in fifth place, and threw down a lifetime best anchor of 18.52 to make up ground on the rest of the field in the last 50 yards. Florida won the race for the first time since 2011.

 

Florida men earned the program’s second consecutive 800 freestyle relay conference championship with an SEC and school record time of 6:13.03. The quartet of Corey Main, Sebastien Rousseau, Cieslak and Dan Wallace led from the get go. Main led off in a strong 200 free NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:34.06 and Rousseau dropped the most impressive split of the race with a 1:31.81 second leg. Both Gator relays lead the nation.

 

Florida women kicked off the meet with an eighth place finish on the one-meter springboard from Kahlia Warner. The sophomore Australian scored a personal best of 293.25 for her second career top-eight finish at the conference meet.

 

The foursome of Sinead Russell, Hilda Luthersdottir, Ellese Zalewski and Natalie Hinds cranked out UF’s all-time third fastest time in the 200 medley relay (1:36.20) in a third place finish. In the 800 free relay, the Gator team of Zalewski, Elizabeth Beisel, Lindsey McKnight and Russell touched in third in UF’s third fastest all-time swim of 7:00.05. Beisel notched a fantastic 1:42.81 second leg after Zalewski led off in 1:45.40. Both relay times rank third in the country.

 

Sounds Bites:

“Really good start to this evening’s meet. Anytime we can swim four relays like that and break school records with the fastest times in the country, we’re pleased with the evening. Marcin Cieslak and Brad deBorde kind of set the tone this evening on the men’s medley relay. They just refused to lose. We were a little sloppy on the start and got behind, but they swam in rough water and got us back. They refused to lose that race. It set the tempo for everyone.”- Head Coach Gregg Troy.

 

“It was a wonderful day for the Gators, two wins. It was really exciting for us. It was a lot of fun getting those wins today. The medley relay was extremely close. The 800 free relay, we were defending our championship and it is a really big race for our program. We are focusing on one event at a time. We’ll get some good rest tonight, eat a good dinner, get a good sleep and approach prelims tomorrow like it is a new day. We’ll try and make as many finals as we can, and then try and win the finals at night.”- Marcin Cieslak on his two relay wins

 

“I knew we were behind going into my leg, but I had faith in Marcin to catch us up a little bit and then I was going to give it my all. Thankfully, I made a really nice turn and had some really good breakouts, which I’ve been working on a lot. It worked out for us and I was happy for us to come out on top.”- Brad deBorde on the big comeback in the 200 medley relay.

 

Team Standings: Following three events, both Florida teams are in third place. The Gator men faced a similar deficit after day one last year en route to the conference championship.

 

Men:

1. Auburn – 192

2. Texas A&M- 142

3. Florida – 139

4. Tennessee – 135

5. South Carolina- 131

6. Kentucky- 130

7. Georgia- 124

7. Missouri- 124

9. Alabama- 115

10. LSU- 107

 

Women:

1. Georgia – 187

2. Tennessee – 153

3. Florida – 139

4. Texas A&M – 135

5. LSU- 128

6. Missouri – 127

7. Alabama- 117

8. Kentucky- 117

9. Arkansas- 108

10. Auburn- 80

11. South Carolina – 77

12. Vanderbilt – 64

 

Career SEC Wins:

With the pair of victories, Cieslak now has 11 career SEC titles (6 individual and 5 relay). In their careers, Rousseau and Soleache-Gomez each have three and deBorde has two. The conference championship was the first for Main, Wallace and Homer.

 

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:

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)

 

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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