GAINESVILLE, Florida, November 7. THE Florida Gators men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, inspired by the presence of several alumni in town for homecoming weekend, trounced Alabama in today’s dual meet by winning 28 of 32 events.
The Gator women won with a score of 179-113, while the men beat the Crimson Tide 169-123. Florida’s dominance over their conference foe was shown in eight events where the Gators swept the top three spots, most of which took place in freestyle races.
Alabama took the victory in the women’s 200 fly at the hands of Leah Bird with a time of 2:01.81, just beating out Florida’s Alyssa Yambor-Maul, who posted a 2:01.97. Another close Alabama win came in the men’s 200 breast, where Anton McKee raced to the finish with Florida’s Eduardo Solache-Gomez. McKee, who briefly held the top spot in the nation in the 200 breast with his 1:57.98 from October 12, won today with a 1:58.77 over Solache-Gomez’s 1:58.85. Matt Elliott of Florida, who stands second in the nation with a 1:57.61, was never in the race and finished third with a 2:01.34.
Brett Walsh posted the other win for the Crimson Tide, leading from start to finish in the men’s 100 fly and winning with a 49.13, his best time of the season by eight tenths of a second. Brent Sagert was able to win the men’s 1-meter diving with 284.10 points after finishing second to Florida’s Zachary Hernandez on the 3-meter board.
The Gator sweeps took place in the women’s and men’s 1000 freestyles, led by a season-best 9:49.50 by Alicia Mathieu that puts her in the top 10 nationally and a 9:04.69 by Arthur Frayler that is ust a tenth slower than he swam last week against Georgia.
Notably, Alabama freshman Bonnie Macdonald posted her first sub-10:00 swim of the season with a 9:56.70 for fourth place in the women’s event.
Florida boasted a 1-2-3 sweep in the women’s and men’s 200 freestyles as well. Sinead Russell led the charge for the ladies with a 1:46.97 that is just outside the top five in the national rankings. Corey Main won the men’s race with a 1:37.71 that is just two hundredths off his best of the season that was posted back in September at the All-Florida Invite.
Natalie Hinds led a 1-2-3 sweep for Florida in the women’s 50 free with a 23.07, and Marcin Cieslak was out front by a large margin in the men’s 100 free with a 44.82, about two seconds behind the Florida teammates that followed, Daniel Spas and Mitch D’Arrigo (46.80 and 46.89).
Another sweep took place in the women’s 500 free, as Mathieu doubled on the wins with a 4:49.25, another season best. Though Florida has dual-meet depth in the distance freestyles, a sizable gap exists between Elizabeth Beisel’s times in the 500 and 1000 freestyles and those of her teammates.
Beisel was part of the final sweep of the meet, leading a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 IM with a 2:01.04 and winning by a full four seconds. Beisel has been on fire in the distance freestyle this season, and hasn’t been racing the backstroke events very much. She made that her focus tonight, winning both backstrokes with times of 54.75 and 1:55.94. The 200 back time is her best of the season, putting her in the top five of the national collegiate standings.
Three other Gator women posted multiple wins tonight. Russell followed up her 200 free win with a 100 free winning time of 51.26. Hilda Luthersdottir had a very close race in the 100 breast, beating Alabama’s Kaylin Burchell by .01 with a 1:02.23. Luthersdottir had a much more comfortable win in the 200 breast, cruising to the win with a 2:15.30.
Natalie Hinds also posted a double tonight. In addition to her 50 free win, she won the 100 fly with a 54.29.
On the men’s side, Sebastien Rousseau stepped up for just one individual event and made the most of it with a 1:45.71 in the 200 fly. He’s slowly creeping up to the men he will challenge in the event at the NCAA championships, sitting fifth in the national rankings.
Brad Deborde just missed out on cracking the 20-second barrier in the 50 free, and the frustration on his face after seeing “20.03″ on the scoreboard showed that he fell short of his intended goal. He moves up the national rankings though, from 11th to sixth.
Solache-Gomez was able to keep McKee from winning the 100 breast, using a strong final push to win in 54.86 to McKee’s 55.04. Christian Homer, who had a breakout meet last week against Georgia, won the 100 back with a 48.27.
The other three wins posted by the Florida men included: Connor Signorin in the 200 back (1:47.72), Justin Kaserlik in the 500 free (4:30.00) and Dan Wallace in the 200 IM (1:48.83).