Minneapolis, Minn. – The No. 5 University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team concluded the three-day 2011 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in fifth place with 291 points Saturday night at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn. The top-five finish was the highest of any Southeastern Conference school at the meet, Florida’s fifth in the last six years and UF’s eighth under head coach Gregg Troy. For the 12th consecutive season, the Orange and Blue finished in the top 10 nationally. Individually, 15 UF swimmers combined to bring back 19 All-America honors and two national championships (200-yard freestyle, 800-yard freestyle relay) to Gainesville.
“I’m really proud of how everyone raced all weekend,” Troy said. “We raced tough all season long and went through some adversity this week, but we still hung in there tight. We still feel like we could have been a little bit better, but overall, it was a really great season. I can’t say enough about how well the guys did.”
The Gators concluded their season in the 400-yard freestyle relay, where the Orange and Blue crew of seniors Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) and Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.), along junior James Turner (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) and freshman Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.), earned honorable mention All-America honors with a time of 2:52.02 to finish 10th overall. The race was Dwyer’s last as a Gator, as the 2010 NCAA Male Swimmer of the Year and two-time SEC Male Swimmer of the Year finished off his UF career with 12 All-America honors. Fraser, who earlier in the evening took 15th overall in the 100-yard freestyle (43.09) to pick up honorable mention All-America honors in the event, registered a team-best six All-America honors at the event, leaving Gainesville with 19 total All-America honors (tied for ninth-most in school history).
The majority of Florida’s points on the final day came in the 200-yard butterfly, where the Gators took home four All-America honors. Freshman Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) took fourth and touched the wall in a personal-best 1:42.13, passing Ryan Lochte’s 2006 time of 1:42.39 for second-fastest in school history. Cieslak ended his first NCAA meet with five All-America honors. Also earning All-America honors in seventh place overall was sophomore Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), who clocked in at 1:43.15 to pick up his fourth All-America honor of the meet (six career). Also competing in the event was sophomore Cameron Martin (Clearwater, Fla.), who earned his first-ever honorable mention All-America honor with an 11th place finish of 1:44.00. Senior Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) garnered his only All-America honor of the meet with a 16th-place finish in the event with a time of 1:45.07. Gercsak ends his UF career with four career All-America honors.
Redshirt sophomore Marco Loughran (London, England) concluded his UF career with his eighth career All-America honor by finishing third in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:40.95. Loughran’s highest career finish gave him five All-America honors for the meet, and was Florida’s highest finish in the event since Omar Pinzon took third in the race in 2009.
Despite the final session starting at 8 p.m. ET, three of the four heats for the 1,650 free took place before the scheduled start time due to the length of the event. One of those heats was heat two, which was won by long-distance specialist Joey Pedraza (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). The senior finished ninth overall in the event, picking up his first career individual event All-America honor (second total), as well as his first All-America honor since earning honorable mention honors as a freshman in 2008 as part of Florida’s 200-yard medley relay squad. Also competing in the event was freshman Connor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.), who took 14th overall in 15:00.13 to conclude his first NCAA meet with two All-America honors.
For complete results from the 2011 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, click here.
2011 Final Top-10 Team Scores
1. California – 493
2. Texas – 470.5
3. Stanford – 403
4. Arizona – 302
5. Florida – 291
6. Auburn – 269.5
7. Southern California – 206
8. Virginia – 200
9. Michigan -181
10. Georgia 125.5