GAINESVILLE, Florida, October 28. THE University of Florida swimming and diving team took to the pool Friday afternoon to take on SEC opponent Georgia in a dual that saw the men’s squad tie 150-150, and women’s squad drop their first decision of the 2011-12 season, 141.5-158.5. While the Gators didn’t pull a straight-out victory, the meet saw them capture 17 victories, 13 Olympic Trial qualifying times and nine U.S. Winter National qualifying marks.
Both the Bulldogs and Gators dove into the pool, competing in a long course meter pool for the first time of the 2011-12 season. Most collegiate meets are run in a 25-yard format, while most national and international meets are run in a LCM format.
The tie came down to the last event of the afternoon, as the men’s 400 freestyle relay quartet of Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.), James Turner (Ft. Pierce, Fla.), Matt Norton (Port Orange, Fla.) and Matthew Curby (Oviedo, Fla.) finished less than a second ahead of Georgia in a nail-biting performance.
“The men stood up, and raced well,” said head coach Gregg Troy. “We had our experienced guys out there, and our younger group as well. The freshmen were a little shocked by the level of competition we faced today, but they kept it together.”
Senior Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) paced the Gator women with three individual victories in the 200 fly (2:14.79), 200 back (2:16.85) and 400 IM (4:50.28) with each of her performances turning in Olympic Trial qualifying marks.
Both Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) and Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.) matched Crippen with three times that met requirements for the Olympic Trials. Beisel turned in two, first-place finishes in the 100 back (1:03.96) and 400 free (4:14.47) along with a 8:43.25 finish in the 800 free for second place. Elliot was the lone freshman to post trial qualifying marks as he claimed both the 100 and 200 events in 1:04.59 and 2:18.01, respectively. The Illinois import also finished second in the 400 IM, after he touched the wall in 4:27.94.
Sarah Batemen (Orlando, Fla.) continued her stellar senior season with two victories in the 50 free (25.93) and 100 fly (1:01.06) – both of which surpassed Olympic Trial qualifying times. The Orlando native also posted a second-place finish in the 100 free, logging a U.S. Winter National qualifying mark of 57.60.
Other Gators claiming first-place finishes were deBorde,Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) and Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.). deBorde finished ahead the pool of competitors in the 50 free, touching the wall in 24.07, while Cieslak nabbed two victories as he swept both the 100 and 200 fly in 56.48 and 2:03.98, respectively. Bohunicky claimed the 200 free in 2:04.09.
The divers helped post points for Florida as they each claimed titles on the boards. Senior Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.) swept both the one- and three-meter competition posting scores of 345.60 and 397.30, respectively.Danielle Risley (Jacksonville, Fla.) won the first event of the day as she captured the one-meter competition with 304.88 points. Fellow teammate Kaylee Doback (Brandon, Fla.) led the way on the three-meter boards with 336.01 points, and close out the sweep on the boards.
“The divers did really well for us,” Coach Troy remarked. “They helped keep us in the meet today.”
Both the men’s and women’s squads will take to the pool again on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. when Florida plays host to in-state rival Florida State. The meet will mark the second time the Gators and Seminoles will face off, as they finished one-two at the All-Florida Invitational earlier this month.
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