PHOENIX, Arizona, October 26. EARLIER this week the Sport Dispute Resolution Center of Canada handed down a decision to eliminate Cecil Russell's lifetime ban from coaching, giving him just three more years to serve. The decision was based on the opinion that a lifetime ban for smuggling drugs that were not meant for athletes was too harsh, though arbitrator Richard McLaren did not overlook the three years Russell spent on deck coaching, a blatant violation of the ban. If Russell can abide by the rules of the ban, he could be back on deck as early as March 2014. Russell had his two children Colin and Sinead on the Canadian Olympic team, with Sinead making the final of the 200 backstroke. Sinead is now a freshman at the University of Florida.
Yesterday the University of Georgia and the University of Florida competed in men's and women's dual meets. While the women's side featured more star power in the form of Allison Schmitt and Elizabeth Beisel, the men's meet featured the best swimming. Sebastien Rousseau, a senior at Florida, now has the top collegiate time in the country so far in the 200 fly, and is third nationally in the 200 IM behind teammates Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez and Marcin Cieslak. Matt Elliott became the second collegiate swimmer under two minutes in the 200 breast so far with a 1:59.44, and Pawel Werner, a freshman from Poland, won his first collegiate race with a 1:37.04 in the 200 free, the second-fastest time in the country behind Texas' Clay Youngquist. The fast times helped the Florida men defeat Georgia 192-104, though Georgia had some quality swimming of its own. Martin Grodzki, the reigning NCAA champ in the 500 and 1650 freestyles, now has the top 1000 free time with a 9:03.26, with second-place finisher Jason Taylor of Florida second with a 9:03.34. Nicolas Fink s now tied with William and Mary's Andrew Strait for top swimmer in the 100 breast with a time of 54.85.
On the women's side Georgia extended their dual meet win streak to 79 with a 188-110 win over Florida. Allison Schmitt won the 200 free and 100 free, with Olympic teammate Shannon Vreeland second in both events. Megan Romano had an impressive double, winning the 100 back and 50 free for Georgia. Florida got some wins from Elizabeth Beisel, who swam the nation's top time in the 200 back with a 1:55.88, and freshman Natalie Hinds, who swam a 53.95 to win the 100 fly.
The University of Tennessee was able to win both the men's and women's meets against Louisville yesterday, winning a few important races, including come-from-behind wins in the 200 breast and 200 fly from sophomore Tristan Slater, as well as a third victory in the 400 IM. The Volunteer men won 168.5-131.5, while the Lady Volunteers were dominant with a 190-107 win on the strength of Kelsey Floyd, who won the 100 fly, 200 fly and 500 free.
You can read more about these meets by going to our college channel at swimmingworld.com, and be sure to come back there throughout the weekend, when we'll post recaps of several top college meets. One of them will be in Austin, where the Texas men and women will race in a tri-meet against Indiana and Michigan. Each team has varying strengths that will make the races close. Dax Hill is Texas' only reigning NCAA champ, having won the 200 free last March, while Michigan will boast Olympian Connor Jaeger. Indiana's men will have returning swimmer Eric Ress, who will battle for national titles in the backstrokes in March. On the women's side, Texas has a strong contingent across the board that could buoy them to a big win in their home pool. Laura Sogar is right now their top swimmer, making NCAA finals in the breaststroke events.