Gators swimmers pick up All-America Honors in four events on Day One of NCAA Championships

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The No. 5 University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team finished the first night of the 2011 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in seventh place with 70 points Thursday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Texas leads the overall team standings with 139 points, followed by Stanford (136), California (134), Auburn (110.5), Arizona (99), Virginia (74) and Florida.

“We had some good performances today,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We raced really well. We had a couple of disappointments with some races we thought we’d be better in, but by the same token, Cieslak and Rousseau did tremendous in the 200 IM.”

The Gators picked up two All-America honors in the 200-yard individual medley, led by a sixth-place finish from freshman Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland). The 2011 SEC Male Freshman of the Year picked up his first-ever All-America honor by clocking in at a UF season best and personal-best 1:43.69, which ranks sixth in school history. Coming in second in the “B” finals to finish 10th overall was sophomore Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), who also recorded a personal best with a time of 1:44.24, good for ninth place in Florida history in the event. The All-America honor for the South African was the third of his career and his first in the event.

Senior captain Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) took home his eighth career All-American honor with a third-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle. The 2010 NCAA Champion in the event put his hand on the wall in 4:13.98, almost two seconds fastest than his prelim time (4:15.55).

“Conor in the finals maybe overswam the front-end of the race a little bit,” Troy said.

In relay competition, the Florida foursome of redshirt sophomore Marco Loughran (London, England), Dwyer, Cieslak and senior Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) closed the night by taking fourth in the finals of the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:06.81. In the first event of the evening, Florida’s 200-yard freestyle relay squad of freshman Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.), junior James Turner (Ft. Pierce, Fla.), Loughran and sophomore Scott Sommer (Ocala, Fla.) took 15th overall. The Gators finished eighth in the “B” finals of the event, but moved up to seventh after the University of North Carolina was disqualified.

“We had a good relay at the end, so we’re going to put the pieces back together and get it started back again tomorrow,” Troy said.

Prelims for the second day of the NCAA Championships begin Friday at 12 p.m. ET.

Top-10 Team Standings After Day One

1. Texas – 139

2. Stanford -136

3. California – 134

4. Auburn – 110.5

5. Arizona – 99

6. Virginia – 74

7. Florida – 70

8. Southern California – 62

9. Michigan – 57

10. Texas A&M – 49