GAINESVILLE, Florida, January 24. THE final home meet of the season for the Florida Gators showed how dominant they are poised to be at next month’s Southeastern Conference championships with a decisive win over Auburn today.
Before the swimming events started, the seniors from Florida were recognized, including a wealth of Olympic talent that includes Elizabeth Beisel, Sebastien Rousseau and Marcin Cieslak.
Senior recognition ceremony begins at 7:55 on the video player below. Courtesy Florida Swim Network
Florida would win the women’s meet with a score of xxx-xxx, while the Florida men put up a xxx-xxx win over Auburn. After ending Auburn’s streak of men’s conference titles last year, Florida looks on track to do that once again.
In the men’s meet, Florida placed first and second in xx of the events. Two of those sweeps took place in the men’s breaststroke events, as Eduardo Solache-Gomez and Matt Elliott battled for the wins. Solache-Gomez took the 100 breast with a 54.54 to Elliott’s 55.06, while Elliott battled from fourth at the 50 to win the 200 breast in 1:57.57 to Solache-Gomez’s 1:57.88.
Florida’s excellence in distance freestyle showed in the 500 and 1000 freestyles, where the Gators posted 1-2-3 finishes. Ryan Rosenbaum won the 1000 with a 9:02.19 in a close battle with Arthur Frayler, who was second with a 9:02.19 followed by Mitch D’Arrigo’s 9:04.15. In the 500 free, D’Arrigo posted a time of 4:21.86 to score the win over teammates Austin Manganiello (4:24.34) and Dan Wallace (4:26.72). Rosenbaum posted a 4:24.88 in an exhibition heat, which would have placed third overall.
Sebastien Rousseau had no equal in the 200 fly, winning with a 1:45.51 with teammate Connor Signorin second with a 1:48.42. Rousseau appeared to be on track to win the 200 IM, but was surprisingly outsplit by Solache-Gomez in the freestyle leg. Solache-Gomez took his second event of the day with a 1:46.86 to Rousseau’s 1:47.44. Rousseau does not appear to have swum the 200 IM at all this season, so today’s swim marks a season best and season debut in the event. It’s about three seconds off Solache-Gomez’s best time of the season.
Though he was not a part of any 1-2 sweeps, Marcin Cieslak took two events today, winning the 200 free with a 1:36.82 and the 100 fly with a 47.68.
Auburn collected three swimming wins, with two coming from senior Marcelo Chierighini. He posted a 19.71 in the 50 free over the 19.84 posted by Florida’s Brad Deborde. That time is Chierghini’s third-fastest of the season, behind the 19.25 and 19.33 he swam at the Auburn Invitational in November. For Deborde, it’s just a tick off the 19.83 he swam last week at the SMU Classic, but only his third time under 20 seconds this season. In the 100 free, Chierighini blasted to a 20.88 split before winning with a 43.81, his fourth time under 44 this season.
Joe Patching won the other event for Auburn, chasing down Florida’s Corey Main at the 100-yard mark then using spectacular underwater kicking work to win with a 1:43.81 to Main’s 1:44.25. Besides the 1:40.98 he swam at the Auburn Invitational, today’s swim is the fastest for Patching this season.
In the women’s meet, Elizabrth Beisel won three events to race for the last time as a Florida Gator in the McConnell pool, cruising to victories in the 200 fly (1:57.82), 200 back (1:55.21) and 200 IM (1:59.20). Her time in the 200 back might end up as the fastest swim of the weekend in the event, depending on what shakes out elsewhere by her rivals in that race today.
The only other double winner for the Florida women today was Hilda Lutthersdottir, who swam a 1:02.45 to win the 100 breast and 2:15.77 in a come-from-behind victory in the 200 breast.
Auburn got a double win from Emily Fos today as well, with the senior posting an impressive 53.87 in the 100 back and 49.55 in the 100 free. Besides winning the 200 medley relay, Auburn’s other win came from Megan Fonteno, who used dominating underwaters to win the 100 fly with a 54.94.
The Florida women went 1-2 in three events today, starting with Alicia Mathieu winning the 1000 free in 9:47.83 ahead of Jessica Thielman’s 9:49.86. The next event, Lindsey McKnight won the 200 free with a 1:48.92 with Ellese Zalewski second with a 1:50.12. Danielle Valley won the 500 free in 4:47.74 ahead of Mathieu, who posted a 4:51.37.
The other individual event win came when Natalie Hinds touched in 22.65 to win the 50 free over Auburn’s Allyx Purcell, who posted a 22.70.
Though the Gators had easily won the meet by the final event, the 400 free relay, the Gators did not swim easy. The women pulled off a close win with a 3:19.92 over Auburn’s 3:20.13, while Florida’s men’s team held off Auburn in the final strokes to touch in 2:56.19 to Auburn’s 2:56.30.