GAINESVILLE, Florida, November 10. NO. 3 Texas (3-0) collected two individual victories apiece from junior Matthew McGinnis (Raleigh, N.C.) and sophomore Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) as the Longhorns posted a narrow 126-117 victory over No. 10 Florida Friday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Natatorium. UT picks up its third victory over a top-15 opponent in as many attempts to remain unbeaten.
"It was an unusual meet for us," said UT coach Eddie Reese. "Usually when we get in a close meet, we win the close races. I'm not sure why we didn't win anything close today, but we did it the best way we could do it. We swam really well today, but I was disappointed to lose the close races."
Texas kicked off the meet with an NCAA provisional-qualifying swim in the 400-yard medley relay. The quartet of senior Thomas Sacco (Dallas, Texas), senior Tyler O'Halloran (Boardman, Ohio), freshman Ricky Berens (Charlotte, N.C.) and senior Garrett Weber-Gale (Fox Point, Wis.) trailed after the opening leg but rallied to victory in 3:15.67.
The Longhorns lengthened their lead after the next event, the 1000 freestyle, when Klueh garnered his first victory of the day, taking the event in 8:59.90
"Klueh's time in the 1000 was really great," Reese said. "For him to go that fast at this time of year…he is special. He just keeps going."
UT scored its third win in as many events when it claimed the 200 freestyle. McGinnis touched the wall first in a NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 1:36.60 while freshman David Walters (Yorktown, Va.) took third in 1:38.65.
Weber-Gale led a Longhorn trio at the top of the fourth event, the 50 freestyle, when he won in 20.82. Junior Matthew Lowe (Minot, N.D.) took a close second in 20.91, and O'Halloran placed third in 20.95.
Florida managed its first victory in the meet's fifth event, the 200 individual medley, as sophomore Lucas Salatta clocked a winning time of 1:47.70, edging teammate Bradley Ally by one one-hundredth of a second to draw the Gators closer to the Longhorns in the overall team standings.
Florida sophomore Jonathan Wilcox cut the Gator deficit further by taking the one-meter diving event, but UT's Berens, the CollegeSwimming.com National Men's Collegiate Swimmer of the Week, followed by handily winning the 200 butterfly in a NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 1:46.40.
McGinnis displayed his versatility by adding a 100-freestyle victory to his 200 freestyle win, touching the wall in a NCAA "B" cut time of 44.22. Junior Chris Seitz (Taylor Mill, Ky.) took second in 45.67, and Weber-Gale placed third in 45.84.
Klueh struck again after Florida's Salatta added his second victory, picking up victory No. 2 on the day with a solid 4:24.33 effort in the 500 freestyle for a NCAA "B" cut. The victory proved to be crucial, as the Gators would pull even with Texas by winning the one-meter diving event and the 200 breaststroke.
With the score knotted at 113 heading into the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, the Longhorns pulled away to the team victory behind a solid effort from Seitz, junior Caleb McDermott (Canyon Lake, Texas), Klueh and McGinnis, finishing in 2:59.91. Texas' "C" relay team of Walters, Sacco, freshman Peter Jameson (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Jeremy Harris (St. Paul, Minn.) finished just one one-hundredth of a second out of second place in 3:02.35.