COLUMBIA, Missouri, October 17. THE Florida Gators swim teams traveled to Columbia to race their Southeastern Conference foes for the first time, and handed the Tigers defeat in the men’s meet with a score of 169-130 and in the women’s competition 181-109.
Florida won the first eight events on the program, highlighted by impressive swims in the 1000 freestyles. A 9:43.79 from Elizabeth Beisel in the 1000 free just might stand as the swim of the meet, given that Beisel is known mostly for her backstroke and IM prowess. She now finds herself standing at the top of the collegiate rankings, five seconds ahead of 1650 freestyle NCAA record holder Stephanie Peacock. Beisel was the only one under 10 minutes, with teammate Megan Rankin second with a 10:02.69. Beisel would also win the 100 back in the first half of the meet with a 54.29 and would almost pull off a triple with a 200 breast time of 2:16.72 that was just a hair slower than teammate Hilda Luthersdottir’s 2:16.65.
Freshman Mitch D’Arrigo continues to show amazing talent in his freshman year, winning the 1000 free with a 9:08.55 and puts him in the top three in the collegiate ranks. With D’Arrigo never posting yards times of note before starting at Florida, he continues to set high standards in the early goings of the season. Arthur Frayler, a standout distance swimmer at Florida, was second with a 9:11.64.
Sebastien Rousseau, who helped Florida win the 2013 NCAA title in the 800 free relay, won the 200 free today with a 1:37.38 and the 200 back with a 1:46.87. Rousseau was just a shade off the top time in the country, a 1:37.31 from Michigan’s Michael Wynalda. Though he is likely to swim the 400 IM at the NCAA championships, Rousseau will be a key player in the 800 free relay again in his senior year.
With former national champion breaststroker Greg Rhodenbaugh at the helm of the Missouri program, it should be no surprise that the Tigers swept the 100 breaststroke races. Katharine Ross took the women’s race in 1:01.90 and Sam Tierney won the men’s event with a 55.13. Florida had been on a winning streak in the men’s breaststroke, with Matt Elliott winning all breaststroke races this season. Elliott, however, skipped the 100 breast and was fresh for the 200, where he finally broke the two-minute barrier this season with a winning time of 1:58.25. He needed to do that to beat Tierney, who posted a 1:58.94, also his first sub-2:00 swim of the season. Elliott ranks second in the country, while Tierney is third, both unable to beat Anton McKee’s 1:57.98 from last weekend.
Taylor Katz, the brother of recent Michigan commit (and tomorrow’s Morning Swim Show guest) Alex Katz, won the 200 fly with a 2:02.68, leading a Florida 1-2-3-4 sweep that included Jordan Smith (2:03.38), Summer Stephens (2:04.75) and Taylor Roy (2:05.86).
Ellese Zalewski of Florida posted two wins in the sprint freestyles, taking the 50 free in 23.30 and the 100 free in 50.32. Missouri sophomore Max Grodecki nearly claimed the same double, winning the 50 free with a 20.72 but finishing second in the 100 free with a 45.32 to Florida’s Corey Main, who won with a 45.13.
After placing second in the 100 breast with a 55.56, Florida’s Marcin Cieslak came back to post a quick 47.50 in the 100 fly and cement his place as the top collegiate swimmer in the event so far this season. He just missed eclipsing his 47.36 from the All-Florida Invitational that stands at the top of the rankings.
Rebecca Rainer used a powerful breaststroke leg to pull into the lead in the women’s 400 IM, and her freestyle was good enough to hold off Jordan Smith and post a 4:24.40 ahead of Smith’s 4:24.51. Smith got the first-place points, as Rainer was entered as an exhibition swimmer. Elliott used the same strategy as Rainer to win the men’s 400 IM with a 3:55.50 ahead of Connor Signorin’s 3:57.24.
The Florida men finished off the meet with a 2:57.79 in the 400 free relay using Cieslak, Brad DeBorde, Rousseau and Corey Main. They just missed supplanting Michigan’s 2:56.79 as the fastest relay in the country, sitting third behind Auburn’s 2:57.69.