Minneapolis, Minn. – The No. 5 University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team qualified for the “A” finals of two events Saturday afternoon on the last day of the 2011 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn. The Gators enter the last session of the meet in fifth place with 213 points, one point behind fourth-place Arizona (214), and 139 points behind overall leader California (352).
“We had a good morning,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “It’s a real dogfight tonight for fourth place with three teams.”
One day after earning All-America honors in the 100-yard backstroke, redshirt sophomore Marco Loughran started began his last day qualifying for the “A” finals of the 200-yard backstroke. The 2011 SEC Champion in the event won the last heat of the event in a time of 1:40.49, placing second overall in the morning session. Also competing in the event was junior Brian Howell (Cincinnati, Ohio), who placed 34th overall with a time of 1:46.67.
In the next event, last night’s 200-yard freestyle national champion Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) qualified for the “B” finals of the 100 free by taking 13th overall in the prelim session. The senior finished in fifth in the final heat with a time of 42.94. Also in the final heat was freshman Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.), who took seventh in the heat (25th overall) with a time of 43.46. Senior captain Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) just missed the “B” finals with a time of 44.27 in the second heat (19th overall), while sophomore Scott Sommer took 44th overall by putting his hand on the wall in 44.34.
Two Gators qualified for both of the “A” and “B” finals of the 200-yard butterfly in the last individual event of the morning. Sophomore Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) and freshman Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) qualified for the “A” finals, finishing in seventh (1:43.40) and eighth-place (1:43.41), respectively. Sophomore Cameron Martin (Clearwater, Fla.) clocked in at 1:43.89 to finish 11th overall, qualifying for his first finals of his career with the ninth-fastest time in school history. Senior Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) finished right behind him in 12th with a season-best time of 1:44.03.
“The 200 butterfly and Marco Loughran’s backstroke were really good,” Troy said.
Senior Mike Joyce (Voorhees, N.J.) was Florida’s only participant in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing 31st overall by clocking in at a personal-best 1:58.06.
In the last event of the morning, Fraser, Dwyer, junior James Turner (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) and deBorde finished 10th overall in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The foursome finished in 2:52.57, the ninth-fastest time in school history in the event.
“We would have liked to get that last relay in the final and were a little bit shy, so we’re going to have to swim real well in the consolation tonight,” Troy said.
The final session of the NCAA Championships begin tonight at 8 p.m. ET, and can be viewed at ESPN3.com.
UF Men Qualifying for “A” Finals
100 Back – Marco Loughran
200 Fly – Sebastien Rousseau
200 Fly – Marcin Cieslak
UF Men Qualifying for “B” Finals
100 Free – Brett Fraser
200 Fly – Cameron Martin
200 Fly – Balazs Gercsak
400 Free Relay – TEAM