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Thursday February 20, 2014Gators Add Two More Men's Titles, Win Two Women's Golds on Day 3 of SECs

Gainesville, Fla.

The top-ranked Florida men jumped into first place in the overall standings after two more individual wins on the third day of competition at the Southeastern Conference Championships. The Gator women earned their first two SEC championships of the meet, and stand in second place out of the 12-team field.


Florida men have captured seven out of a possible nine swimming championships so far, which is two more than the reigning conference champions had in 2013. The Gators executed in prelims and put 10 men in the ‘A’ final and five women in the ‘A’ final on day three.


Elizabeth Beisel captured her fourth consecutive 400 individual medley SEC title to become the conference’s second swimmer ever to win the even in all four years of eligibility. Beisel and yesterday’s 200 IM SEC Champion Georgia’s Melanie Margalis flipped finishes, as Beisel used a strong backstroke leg of 59.24 to separate herself from the pack and finish in the nation’s fastest time of 3:59.26. The North Kingstown, R.I., native’s win was the first victory for the Gators in the meet. Beisel now has eight career individual SEC championships.


Ellese Zalewski won her first career SEC title with a gold medal finish in the 100 butterfly. Zalewski out-touched the field with an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 51.58. The victory marked the second for UF of the meet and the second consecutive year a Gator won the event (sophomore Natalie Hinds won it as a freshman).


Marcin Cieslak won his first individual and third total SEC Championship of the meet. Cieslak added .10 to his fastest time in the nation from prelims, but still won the 100 fly title for the third time in his career with a mark of 45.69. Cieslak now has 12 career SEC wins and seven individual victories. The Polish native’s victory marked the sixth SEC title for the Orange and Blue.


Sebastien Rousseau earned his second individual SEC gold of the meet after beating Cieslak in the 200 IM last night. Rousseau stopped the clock in an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 1:33.23, and cruised to the wall in front of his freshman teammate Mitch D’Arrigo (1:33.95). The victory in the race was the second consecutive 200 free victory for the Gators after fourth place finisher, sophomore Pawel Werner (1:34.84), won the event last year.


In the men’s 400 IM, the Gators scored major team points with a 2-3-4-7 finish. Dan Wallace touched behind SEC Champion Chase Kalisz with UF’s fourth fastest all-time and the nation’s second fastest time of 3:38.96. Senior Connor Signorin notched his second career bronze medal in the event, finishing with a an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 3:43.34.


Sounds Bites:

“If you can win something all four years in this conference, you’ve accomplished something. It was a great race. The girl from Georgia, credit to her, challenged her (Elizabeth Beisel) the whole way. We had a real good day for the women. A little rocky in the start, but we came back and did a really good job.”- Head Coach Gregg Troy on Elizabeth Beisel.


“We had a great day today. The man were fantastic. They came in this morning and did what they had to do, and then came back at night and were even better. I was very pleased with what happened with Sebastien Rousseau, Dan Wallace and a lot of the younger guys like Jack Blyzinskyj and Christian-Paul Homer.”- Coach Troy


“I think the time wasn’t quite what I wanted, but I was happy to get the win. I was pretty happy with the last 100 (yards), and I was watching the Alabama guy to make sure that I caught him. I was also very happy that we got 1-2-4 in that race. Those are some huge points for us. Definitely as the last event of the night it keeps fresh in the guys’ mind and hopefully we come back in the morning and keep that fight up.”- Sebastien Rousseau on his 200 freestyle win.


“Melanie Margalis is having an amazing year, and she definitely didn’t make it easy at all, but it’s pretty cool to be able to say that I’ve won it four years in a row. I don’t think many people have done that, so there was a little bit of pressure before the race. I’m definitely relieved now.”- Elizabeth Beisel on her fourth consecutive 400 IM championship.


“It is the best feeling to touch the wall first. It was so close in the last 25 yards. It was pretty stressful. I’m so happy to touch the wall first. I could see a lot of splashes, so I assumed there were people heading into the wall. I just put my head down and got my hand to the wall as fast as I could.”- Ellese Zalewski on her first career SEC title.


“It feels good, but I was happier with my morning race because I was a little bit faster. I missed a few breakouts tonight. My underwater also wasn’t as sharp. I have some things that I need to work on, and I’ll be ready for NCAA’s in a few weeks.”- Marcin Cieslak on his win and the room for improvement.


Hear from freshman Mitch D'Arrigo after his two SEC silver medals so far.


Check out what sophomore Kahlia Warner had to say after finishing fifth on the three-meter springboard.


Team Standings:


1. Florida – 773.5

2. Auburn- 721.5

3. Georgia- 588

4. Texas A&M – 382

5. Tennessee- 374

6. Alabama- 352

7. Missouri- 343

8. South Carolina- 293

9. Kentucky- 278

10. LSU- 255



1. Georgia – 879

2. Florida – 642

3. Texas A&M- 614

4. Tennessee- 439

5. Auburn- 351

6. Arkansas- 286

7. LSU- 285

8. Missouri- 281

9. Alabama- 248

10. Kentucky- 236

11. South Carolina– 150

12. Vanderbilt – 94


Medley Madness: The Gators put two women in the ‘A’ final of the 400 IM. The UF men put four men in the championship final.

·         Beisel qualified for the championship final as the top seed with a time of 4:05.64. Sophomore Jessica Thielmann put up the seventh best qualifying time in a season best 4:13.03. Thielmann placed eighth in the event with a mark of 4:13.44.

·         Freshman Danielle Valley made the ‘B’ final of the event with a mark of 4:16.37.  Valley took 12th overall with a collegiate best of 4:15.22.

·         Five Gators qualified for the ‘C’ final of the 400 IM. Jordan Smith, Megan Rankin, Rebecca Rainer, Sierra Kuhn and Summer Stephens made up the UF contingent. Rainer won the event in 4:14.69. Stephens (4:16.61), Kuhn (4:17.20), Rankin (4:15.43) and Smith (4:17.81) teamed with Rainer to score 24 points.

·         Wallace, Matt Elliott, Carlos Omana and Signorin all qualified for the ‘A’ final. Elliott placed fourth with a career low mark of 3:43.60 and barely missed breaking the ‘A’ cut. Omana qualified with a time of 3:44.30 and placed seventh overall with a mark of 3:45.95.

·         Adam Bull made the ‘B’ final with a season best mark of 3:49.94. Bull took 13th overall with a time of 3:50.28.

·         Ryan Rosenbaum competed in the ‘C’ final after qualifying with a time of 3:50.84.


Fast Flying: The Gators put a pair of competitors in the 100 butterfly women’s ‘A’ final. Two Florida men earned a spot in the race after a solid prelims.

·         Zalewski and Hinds registered the second and sixth fastest qualifying times, 51.90 and 52.66, respectively.

·         Hinds placed fourth overall with a mark of 52.32.

·         Cieslak topped qualifying in a season low time of 45.59, and Brad deBorde kept up his fantastic meet with the fourth fastest qualifying time and a personal best of 46.39. deBorde placed sixth overall with a finals time of 46.67.

·         Christian-Paul Homer earned the 14th seed in prelims with a season best 47.24.

·         Freshman Jack Blyzinskyj took second in the ‘C’ final with a career best mark of 46.89, which ended up as the 11th best time in the event.


Mid-Distance: UF men placed another four in the championship final of the 200 freestyle. The UF women were led in the championship final by Sinead Russell.

·         Russell was the sixth fastest in qualifying with a time of 1:45.88, and placed seventh with a mark of 1:45.80.

·         Lindsey McKnight made the ‘B’ final after the 13th best qualifying mark of 1:47.19. McKnight finished 16th with a time of 1:48.30.

·         D’Arrigo, Corey Main, Rousseau and Werner represented UF in the ‘A’ final after a strong morning session. D’Arrigo and Main were the top seeds after season best times of 1:33.70 and 1:34.09, respectively. Rousseau was fourth in a time of 1:34,43 and Werner was sixth in a time of 1:35.04.

·         Main placed eighth overall with a time of 1:36.47.

·         Matt Curby swam in the ‘C’ final after notching a swim of 1:37.03 in prelims. Curby finished third in the race with a season best time of 1:35.98.


Diving Results: Two Gator women scored points on the women’s three-meter.

·         Kahlia Warner totaled a career best score of 347.30 and finished fifth overall. Warner posted the fourth best prelim score after a then career best 329.35.

·         Sophomore Delaney Dye delivered a career best total 300.75 for 16th.


SEC Records Set:

·         Men’s 800 freestyle relay mark of 6:13.03.

·         Dan Wallace’s 500 free time of 4:10.73.


School Records Set at the Meet:

·         deBorde’s 50 free time of 18.88.

·         Wallace’s 500 free time of 4:10.73.

·         Beisel’s 200 IM time of 1:54.26.

·         Men’s 800 freestyle relay mark of 6:13.03.

·         Men’s 200 medley relay time of 1:24.53.


SEC Titles:

·         Men’s 200 medley relay, 800 freestyle relay, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 50 freestyle

·         Women’s 400 individual medley and 100 butterfly


Career SEC Wins:

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

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 To stay connected socially, ‘like’ Florida Swimming and Diving on Facebook and follow the Gators, @GatorZoneSwimDv, on Twitter.



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