Wednesday March 12, 2014No. 1 Florida Men Qualify 14 to NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
The top-ranked Florida Men’s Swimming and Diving team has individually qualified 14 men and all five relays for the NCAA Championships, as announced by the NCAA today. The SEC Champion Gators squad is made up of four seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen.
Arthur Frayler, Sebastien Rousseau, Mitch D’Arrigo, Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Marcin Cieslak, Connor Signorin, Corey Main, Matt Elliott, Carlos Omana, Pawel Werner, Dan Wallace, Matt Curby, Brad deBorde and Jack Blyzinskyj will represent the Gators at the three-day meet beginning March 27, in Austin, Texas.
“We’re really excited to have 14 guys qualified for the meet,” Head Coach Gregg Troy said. “I’m proud of the efforts that it took for them to get there. We’re going to take a 15th along, Christian-Paul Homer, as a relay alternate because he is key to the success of some of our relays. I’m happy for the guys and looking forward to a fantastic competition.”
Florida returns to the national meet with 10 of last season’s 13 NCAA All-Americans and 33 of 38 NCAA All-American (top-16) swims. The Gators will rely on seniors Cieslak (18x All-American), Rousseau (10x All-American), deBorde (14x All-American) and Signorin (4x All-American). Cieslak recorded a trio of runner-up finishes a year ago and Rousseau was most recently named the SEC Swimmer of the Year and was the recipient of the SECs Commissioners Trophy after winning three individual titles and scoring the most points at the conference championships.
The Gators placed sixth last season with 285.5 points, with teams third through sixth separated by less than 20 total points. The Orange and Blue won their second consecutive SEC Championship in February, and in the process posted seven school records and multiple times that are currently faster than performances from last year’s NCAA meet.
Florida enters the meet ranked in the top-six nationally in all five relays and returns its entire NCAA Champion 800 freestyle relay. Wallace (500 frees, 400 IM), D’Arrigo (500 free, 1650 free), deBorde (50 free), Rousseau (400 IM, 200 fly), Cieslak (100 fly, 200 fly), Frayler (1650 free) and Solaeche-Gomez (200 breast) all enter the meet with times that rank in the top-five nationally.
“On paper, from what we’ve seen, this looks like it is going to be a highly competitive meet,” Troy said. “There are eight to 10 really competitive teams that have a chance to win the national title. There are also a lot of talented individual swimmers, which I think will make it one of the most competitive NCAA meets in recent history.”
women’s NCAA Championship will take place from March 20-22 in Minneapolis,
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