The University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team tied with the University of Georgia 150-150, while the women’s team lost its first meet of the season 141.5-158.5. Both teams competed for the first time this season in a long-course meter pool on Friday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Natatorium. Although the Gators weren’t able to pull a straight victory, they were able to capture 17 wins, 13 Olympic Trial qualifying times, and nine U.S. Winter National qualifying marks.
The tie between the two men’s teams was determined by the last event of the afternoon – the 400 freestyle relay. The team of Brad deBorde , James Turner, Matt Norton, and Matthew Curby were able to snag a victory after finishing less than a second ahead of Georgia.
“The men stood up, and raced well,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We had our experienced guys out there, and our younger group as well. The freshmen were a little shocked by the level of competition we faced today, but they kept it together.”
Teresa Crippen led the Gator women’s squad with three individual victories in the 200 fly (2:14.79), 200 back (2:16.85) and 400 IM (4:50.28). All three of her performances met the standard for Olympic Trial qualifying times.
Elizabeth Beisel and Matt Elliott also had three finishes that met requirements for the Olympic Trials. Beisel captured two first-place titles in the 100 back (1:03.96) and 400 free (4:14.47) along with one second-place title in the 800 free, touching the wall at 8:43.25. Elliot was the only freshman to achieve trial qualifying marks as he finished both the 100 and 200 events in 1:04.59 and 2:18.01, respectively. Elliot also took second in the 400 IM, with a time of 4:27.94.
Sarah Batemen continued her fantastic season with two victories in the 50 free (25.93) and 100 fly (1:01.06) – both of which were enough to qualify for the Olympic Trials. She also captured a second-place finish in the 100 free, posting a U.S. Winter National qualifying mark of 57.60.
Other Gators claiming victories were deBorde, Marcin Cieslak and Jamie Bohunicky. deBorde triumphed over the competition in the 50 free, with a time of 24.07, while Cieslak claimed two titles as he swept the 100 and 200 fly in 56.48 and 2:03.98, respectively. Bohunicky took first in the 200 free with a time of 2:04.09.
The UF divers were a huge asset to the team, posting points on both the one- and three-meter boards . Anthony Lewark took first in both board competitions scoring 345.60 on the one-meter and 397.30 on the three-meter. Danielle Risley took home the title for the first event of the day as she captured the one-meter competition with 304.88 points. Fellow teammate Kaylee Doback led the way on the three-meter boards with 336.01 points.
“The divers did really well for us,” Coach Troy remarked. “They helped keep us in the meet today.”
Both the men’s and women’s squads will compete again on Wednesday at 5 p.m. when Florida hosts rival Florida State.