GAINSEVILLE, Florida, September 29. FLORIDA used 15 of a possible 16 event victories between the men's and women's teams Saturday to maintain a first-place standing on both sides through day two of the Gators' season-opening All Florida Invitational at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. FSU (624) and FAU (431) round out the top three men's teams behind the Gators (837) through the second day of competition, while FSU (512.5) and Miami (445) sit in second and third behind Florida (780.5), respectively, on the women's side.
Florida cruised through Saturday's event slate, solidifying five individual NCAA 'B' cuts on the men's side and four in women's swimming action, while the Gators cashed in on relay points with wins all around in the men's and women's 200-yard medley and 800-yard free relays to both start and cap off Saturday's final action from the O'Dome.
A total of 10 Gators won individual event victories Saturday, while the Gators swept at least the top three spots in the men's 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back, while also going one-two in the 100 fly. Freshman Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario) highlighted the day for the Orange and Blue on the women's side with two victories in the 200 free and 100 back, while also contributing to UF's winning efforts in both the 200-yard medley and 800-yard free relays. The Gator women convincingly swept one-through-three in both the 200 free and 100 back individual races.
Florida opened the evening finals session with wins on both sides in the 200-yard medley relay, as the women went one-two in the event, led by a first place finish (1:40.95) from the quartet of Russell, junior Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland), freshman Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) and junior Kaitlin Frehling (St. Petersburg, Fla.). The squad of sophomores Christian Homer (Trinidad & Tobago) and Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.) and juniors Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) and Bradley Deborde (Longwood, Fla.) cruised to a winning 1:30.17 in the men's medley relay, as the Orange and Blue claimed the top two spots in the event.
Saturday's 400-yard individual medley action featured seven Florida finalists, as sophomore Rebecca Rainer (Richmond, Va.) highlighted the women's race with a NCAA 'B' standard and winning time of 4:17.82. On the men's side, the Gators swept first through fourth with a victory from junior Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) (3:51.15), while sophomore Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (Madrid, Spain), junior Connor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.) and Elliott placed second, third and fourth, respectively, as UF's top three finishers all solidified NCAA 'B' cuts in the event.
Just two events later, Hinds returned to the pool for the Gators' second NCAA standard of the evening on the women's side, this time in the 100-yard butterfly, touching in at 53.99, while Cieslak (48.16) and senior Cameron Martin (Clearwater, Fla.) (49.15) went one-two in the men's 100 fly finals, Cieslak with a NCAA 'B' mark himself.
In middle-distance freestyle action, Russell added her second event victory of the day for the Orange and Blue with a 1:49.19 swim in the women's 200-yard freestyle, leading the way for a Gator trio that claimed the top three spots on the women's side. It was freshman Pawel Werner (Wroclaw, Poland) that led the 1-2-3 sweep for Florida in the men's 200-yard free, touching first in 1:38.61.
Individual events wrapped up Saturday evening on the second night of competition at Florida's season-opening invitational with finals of the 100-yard breast and backstroke races. After winning earlier as a member of Florida's first-place 200-yard medley relay, Luthersdottir claimed an individual title in the women's 100-yard breast (1:03.30) and Elliot struck in his third event of the night, winning the men's 100 breast in NCAA consideration fashion with a 55.33, while leading a 1-2-3 charge for the Gators in the men's event.
Standing out with her second individual title of the night — not including UF's 200-yard medley relay victory — Russell found the wall first in the women's 100-yard back for Florida (54.47), while fellow 2012 Olympian and UF All-American junior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) came in second (55.04) as the duo added two more NCAA 'B' standards for the University of Florida women's squad in Saturday action with a first-through-third sweep
UF's men went out with a bang and a 1-2-3-4 sweep in the last individual race of evening finals, led by Homer's 50.03 100-yard back mark. Signorin, Rousseau and Martin all followed in suit in second, third and fourth, respectively, adding to the Gator domination.
In 800-yard free relay finals, freshmen Lindsey McKnight (Coral Springs, Fla.), Jessica Theilmann (Newcastle, England) and Russell teamed up with veteran leader and senior Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) for a 7:22.17 winning swim. UF's 'B' relay turned in a second-place finish with a 7:28.60.
UF's men went 1-2 in the evening finale to close out the day as the squad of Gomez, sophomore Matt Curby (Oviedo, Fla.), Rousseau and Cieslak took first in the men's 800-yard free relay (6:40.59). Close behind in second, the Florida quartet of Signorin, sophomores Nick Caldwell (Sarasota, Fla.) and Carlos Omana (Miami, Fla.) and Werner clocked a 6:43.01.
Following morning swimming prelims, but prior to finals action, junior men's diver Christopher Jones (Palm City, Fla.) helped extend the UF men's lead with a first-place one-meter finish (324.75), while freshmen Emily Mosher (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Delaney Dye (Tallahassee, Fla.) checked in with top-five finishes in the women's three-meter competition, Mosher in fourth (280.90) and Dye in fifth (239.20). Sophomore Jamie Applefield (Seminole, Fla.) finished 12th in the field with a 202.80 total.
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