GAINESVILLE, Florida, September 27. IN one of the more competitive season opening events, the host Florida Gators jumped out to leads in the men’s and women’s competitions as part of the Pinch A Penny All Florida Invitational.
The meet features six programs from the state of Florida: Florida State, Miami, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Southern, North Florida and Nova Southeastern.
“It was a good way to start the season,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “It highlighted some of the things that we’ve worked on. I am really happy how everyone raced across the board. It wasn’t necessarily that they were fast, but it is how they raced across the board. I think at this time of year that is what you want to see.”
After day one, the Florida men lead second-place Florida State 374-272, while the Florida women lead second-place FSU 342-251.
Elizabeth Beisel demonstrated some senior leadership by winning a pair of individual events this evening for the Gators. The Olympian cleaned up with wins in the 500-yard free (4:45.04) and 200-yard IM (2:00.53).
When all was said and done, seven NCAA provisional marks went up on the board. Kaitlyn Dressel had the top day for Florida State, surging to an NCAA B cut of 22.92 in the women’s 50-yard freestyle for the win after blasting a 22.86 during prelims.
Meanwhile, Marcin Cieslak (1:46.00) and Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (1:46.76) clocked B cuts in the 200 IM with Carlos Omana touching in 1:49.09 in the 200 IM during prelims for a B cut of his own. Dan Wallace snatched the 500 free title in 4:23.09 for a B cut of his own.
One of the more anticipated debuts went to Mitch D’Arrigo, the Italian who wound up as a surprising Florida Gators after changing his commitment away from Virginia during the summer. He took third in the 500 free (4:26.05).