Gators swim team in third place at SEC Championships

The University of Florida swimming and diving team finished the first night of the 2013 SEC Championships Tuesday at the Student Rec Center Natatorium. The No. 4 UF men’s team currently sits in third place with 149 points and the No. 5 women are in seventh with 126 points.

Florida’s men grabbed a win in the 800 free relay to highlight the first night of competition. The group of freshman Pawel Werner (Wroclaw, Poland), redshirt junior Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), sophomore Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (Madrid, Spain) and junior Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) solidly beat the field with a NCAA “A” time of 6:14.76, finishing six seconds ahead of second place Tennessee. The time is the third best in school history.

The men also had a third place finish in the 200 medley relay. Sophomore Christian Homer (Trinidad and Tobago), sophomore Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.), Cieslak and junior Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) combined for yet another NCAA “A” time as they finished in 1:25.64.

The Gators also had three divers score on night one. Senior Sean Saley (Pompano Beach, Fla.) was the top finisher as he took 12th on the one-meter board with a score of 304.20. Then junior Christopher Jones (Palm City, Fla.) took 15th with a score of 280.25 and redshirt freshman Zach Hernandez (Johns Creek, Ga.) was 21st with a 255.00.

UF’s women scored second place finishes in both the relay’s to start the championships. In the 200 medley relay, freshman Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario), junior Hilda Luthersdottir (Harfnarfjordur, Iceland), junior Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) and freshman Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) tied for second with Texas A&M as they touched in 1:35.96, a NCAA “A” time.

Then in the 800 free relay, the group of Zalewski, Russell, senior Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) and junior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) secured a NCAA “A” time of 6:56.63 for another second place finish. Also scoring for the women were two Gator divers. Freshman Kahlia Warner (Queensland, Australia) took 15th on the three-meter board with a 281.15 and fellow freshman Delaney Dye (Tallahassee, Fla.) was 21st with a 270.50.

Courtesy of UF Communications