Florida swimmers take third at SMU

While the Florida swim teams were defeating the Florida Atlantic at home on Saturday, select members of the men’s team were competing at the Perkins Natatorium in Dallas for the Classic at SMU.

The Gators finished third out of seven competitors on Saturday evening with 283.50 points. They were behind Michigan (315 points) and USC (309 points). The meet featured many prestigious swim programs such as Southern Methodist University, No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 USC, No. 16 North Carolina, and No. 20 Purdue.

On hand in Dallas were junior Cameron Martin, sophomores Marcin Cieslak, Brad deBorde, and Mike Lewark and freshmen Nicholas Caldwell, Matthew Curby, Matt Elliott, and Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez.

The Gators collected four individual victories over the weekend at the Classic with the help of deBorde, Cieslak and Signorin, as well as Elliott.

Signorin captured the first individual victory when he claimed the top spot in the 400 IM in a season-best and NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 3:47.28. The sophomore also finished second in the 500 free when he touched the wall in 4:23.87, and later he took fourth in the 200 back with a time of 1:48.34.

In a neck-to-neck race to the wall, deBorde tied for first alongside SMU’s competitor in the 50 free, when the two finished the race in 20.36. deBorde also added a top-five finish in the 100 free when he finished in 44.28 for fourth place.

Elliott was the lone freshman to collect an individual victory in the 200 breast when he swam into the wall at 1:57.79. The three-time Male Freshman Swimmer of the Week also added a seventh place finish in the 200 IM with a time of1:48.43.

Cieslak collected four top-five finishes over the weekend when he took first in the 200 fly (1:43.62), second in the 100 fly (47.81), fourth in the 200 free with a personal-best time of 1:37.21, and he also helped lead the 400 medley relay to a third-place finish.

Martin added a seventh place finish in the 200 fly (1:47.19), 8th in the 100 fly (49.22) and 10th in the 200 back (1:47.95).

With a young Florida team, the freshmen played a pivotal role in the Classic at SMU.

Gomez was the highest finisher behind Elliott when he finished second in the 200 IM with a time of 1:47.81. He also finished the 400 IM in 3:49.69 and the 100 breast in 56.45 for seventh and eighth, respectively. Gomez also added a seventh place finish in the 200 breast when he touched the wall in 1:59.59.

Curby put together a third place effort in the 100 back (49.51) and a 12th place finish in the 100 free (45.76). He also added a 10th place finish in the 50 free when he touched the wall in 20.84.

Caldwell also achieved an eighth place time (4:25.47) in the 500 free, and a ninth-place finish in the 200 free with a 1:38.82 mark.

The 400-medley relay quartet of Martin, Elliott, Cieslak and deBorde timed in with a third-place effort of 3:15.91 behind USC and Michigan. deBorde later teamed with Caldwell, Signorin and Solaeche-Gomez to finish the 800 free relay in 6:33.80 for fourth.

Florida finished sixth in both the 200 medley and freestyle relay. The 200 medley team finished in 1:30.77 with the help of freshmen Curby and Elliott, and sophomores Cieslak and deBorde, while the 200 free team finished in 1:22.09 with deBorde, Cieslak, Signorin and Curby.

Lewark was the lone Gator representative on the boards. The sophomore finished fourth in 1-meter competition with a 306.70 mark and fifth off the 3-meter boards with 339.90 points.

Both the men’s and women’s squads will compete in the final home meet of the season next Saturday, Jan. 21 at 11 a.m. They will host SEC rival Auburn for senior day. Recognition for all Gator senior swimmers will take place before the start of the meet.