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Friday February 21, 2014Florida Men Take 80-Point Lead Into Final Day of SECs, Rousseau Wins Third SEC Title

Gainesville, Fla.

The No.1 Florida Swimming and Diving team holds an 80-point advantage over Auburn after four days of competition, but will need to finish strong on the last day of the Southeastern Conference Championships to claim its second consecutive conference championship. The Florida women sit in third following another evening of SEC and school records for entire program.

 

Redshirt senior Sebastien Rousseau made his case for Swimmer of the Meet after winning his third individual SEC Championship of the meet. Rousseau held off a field that produced five NCAA ‘A’ cuts, and it took an SEC record time of 1:41.07 to get the job done. Rousseau becomes the first Gator to win three individual SEC titles since teammate and bronze medalist Marcin Cieslak (1:41.75) accomplished the feat in 2012. Rousseau, a two-time South African Olympian and 10-time All-American, entered the meet without an individual SEC title to his name.

 

Sophomore Sinead Russell picked up the bronze medal in the 100 backstroke in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 51.69. The 2012 Canadian Olympian was UF’s lone competitor in the 100 backstroke and made the ‘A’ final with the third fastest qualifying mark of 52.46. Russell is a favorite heading into the 200 backstroke tomorrow.

 

Junior Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez became the first Gator in history to break the 53-second barrier in the 100 breast with the third fastest prelim time of 52.62. Solaeche-Gomez reset his program record with a bronze medal performance in the finals. The Spaniard’s mark of 52.43 was an NCAA automatic qualifying time.

 

Florida’s 400 medley relay squad of Jack Blyzinskyj, Solaeche-Gomez, Cieslak and Brad deBorde posted the nation’s fourth best time of 3:05.65 in a bronze medal finish. The fly-freestyle duo of Cieslak and deBorde at the end of the relay almost produced a comeback from the back of the pack similar to the Day 1 200 medley relay. Cieslak split 45.14 and deBorde blasted the field with a 41.35 anchor. The relay time was good for third in UF history.

 

Sounds Bites:

“We’ll need to push it because Auburn has a good day tomorrow. They are fantastic on the freestyle. You never know what’s going to happen, but it is good to be ahead 80 points. We don’t think in those terms (if it is enough). We’ve got to come back tomorrow and have a good day. We’ve got some good events for us. They have a few more swims then us, so we’ll need to get in and take care of business in the morning. Whatever happens, happens.”- Head Coach Gregg Troy going into the last day of competition ahead 80 points.

 

“A couple of young guys had really good days. A guy like Jack Blyzinskyj earned his place on the relay after his swims today. Sebastien Rousseau, the SEC record in the 200 butterfly is really well deserved. He has won three events so far in the meet. On top of everything, his training has been fantastic. He has a good NCAA meet ahead for him. Marcin Cieslak was really good today. I’m pretty pleased with today. Taylor Katz in the 200 butterfly will probably get herself to the NCAA meet with that swim, which is a little bit of a surprise. The guys breaststrokes were really good. That 41.3 freestyle split in the last relay was something else. He (Brad deBorde) is getting better every time he gets in.”- Troy on Day two performances.

 

“I used a different strategy than I did on the 200 freestyle. In the 200 free I hold back a bit more. The 200 fly, I knew guys like Chase (Kalisz) and Marcin (Cieslak) were going to come back strong because they always do. I know Marcin likes to come back strong. I spoke with Coach Troy before the race, and he told to kind of just let it go. Not force it, but let it happen. If I was ahead, than great. It was as simple as that. Just hold on.”- Sebastien Rousseau on his 200 butterfly and third SEC title of the meet.

 

Team Standings:

 Men:

1. Florida – 1097.5

2. Auburn- 1017.5

3. Georgia- 806

4. Missouri – 572

5. Tennessee- 568

6. Alabama- 506

7. Texas A&M- 471

8. LSU- 425

9. Kentucky- 417

10. South Carolina- 416

 

Women:

1. Georgia – 1098

2. Texas A&M- 911

3. Florida – 799

4. Tennessee- 579

5. Auburn- 571

6. LSU- 393

6. Alabama- 393

8. Missouri- 378.5

9. Arkansas- 373

10. Kentucky- 313

11. South Carolina– 185

12. Vanderbilt – 147.5

 

Fast Flying: Florida women were led in the 200 butterfly ‘A’ final by freshman Taylor Katz. The Gator men had three members in the championship final.

·         Katz qualified fifth fastest qualifying time after dropping 2.5 seconds off her previous career best (1:56.31). The lone freshman in the championship final placed fifth overall with Florida’s fifth fastest all-time swim of 1:55.69.

·         Freshman Alyssa Yambor-Maul and Molly Dubrasky competed in the ‘B’ final after posting prelim times of 1:59.39 and 1:58.44, respectively. Yambor-Maul’s prelim swim was her first NCAA ‘B’ cut in the event, and she followed that up with a 1:59.19 in the final. Dubrasky finished with a mark of 1:59.56.

·         Sierra Kuhn swam in the ‘C’ final after a 1:59.74 in qualifying, and placed fifth in the race with a time of 1:59.63.

·         In the men’s event, Sebastien Rousseau was the second fastest qualifier, finishing with a season low and NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 1:42.50. Joining Rousseau in the ‘A’ final were Dan Wallace (1:43.79) and the two-time reigning champion Marcin Cieslak (1:44.49).

·         The Gators were represented by Connor Signorin and Austin Manganiello in the ‘B’ final. Signorin, swimming the event at SECs for the first time in his career, dropped four seconds off his career best to take ninth in prelims (1:44.54), and dropped another half second in his 10th overall finish (1:44.08). Manganiello touched in a mark of 1:45.72 in prelims and set his career low in an 11th overall finish (1:44.71).

·         Adam Bull competed in the ‘C’ final after a prelim 1:47.22. Bull ended his final run in 1:47.51.

 

Backs to the Wall: UF men put two underclassmen in the championship final.

·         Sophomore Corey Main and Jack Blyzinskyj were the fourth and sixth fastest qualifiers after posting UF’s sixth and seventh all-time best 100 back times of 46.28 and 46.54, respectively. Blyzinskyj went on to finish fifth overall and lowered his personal best to 46.48. Main placed seventh with a time of 46.86.

·         Christian-Paul Homer was ninth in qualifying Florida’s ninth best all-time swim of 46.84. Homer took 11th overall after a final swim of 47.07.

 

Best Breast: Hilda Luthersdottir was the only Gator to compete in the 100 breaststroke, and earned a spot in the ‘A’ final after her second career swim under one-minute (59.91). Two Gator men earned a spot in the championship final.

·         Luthersdottir produced her third career sub-minute 100 breast and finished sixth with a mark of 59.94.

·         Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez became the first Gator in history to break the 53-second barrier in the 100 breast with the third fastest prelim time of 52.62. His teammate and previous Florida record holder, Matt Elliott, was the fourth seed after a personal best and now UF’s second best all-time mark of 53.03. Elliott took sixth at night with a mark of 53.11.

·         Ricky Munch qualified for the ‘B’ final with a mark of 54.12. Munch finished 14th overall with a time of 54.12.

 

Diving Results: Florida men competed on platform in the final diving event of conference championships.

·         Chris Jones, Zach Hernandez and James Pompi all scored points for the Orange and Blue. Jones finished in 15th with a season best of 279.85 and Hernandez placed 16th with a career best of 275.55.

 

Rowdy Relays:

·         Florida women’s 400 medley relay quartet of Elizabeth Beisel, Luthersdottir, Ellese Zalewski and Natalie Hinds placed fourth in a time of 3:31.07. The Gators entered the meet with an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 3:30.27.

 

SEC Records Set:

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

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

·         Sebastien Rousseau’s 200 fly time of 1:41.07.

 

School Records Set at the Meet:

·         Brad deBorde’s 50 free time of 18.88.

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

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

·         Eduardo Solache-Gomez’s 100 breast time of 52.43.

·         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 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 50 freestyle

·         Women’s 400 individual medley and 100 butterfly

 

Career SEC Wins:

Cieslak now has 12 career SEC titles (7 individual and 5 relay). In their careers, Rousseau (three relay) has six, Solaeche-Gomez four, deBorde three and Wallace two. The conference championship on Day 1 was the first for Main and Homer. Beisel now has nine career SEC titles, all individual, and Zalewski has one.

 

Follow Live: Streaming will be available during Saturday's finals on ESPN3. 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:

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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