Gators win 800 free relay on night two of NCAAs

Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 12:26 a.m.

The Gators closed out the second night on a high note by winning the national title in the 800 free relay at the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. On top of that, Florida’s men collected two top-three individual finishes, two school records and 15 All-America honors. They are currently fifth in the standings with 196.5 points.

“We had a couple of bad breaks but we stayed in the meet and I’m really proud of the way the guys raced,” said Head Coach Gregg Troy. “We had a great meet tonight. They got off and raced well the whole way. Great way to finish it with a school record in the 800 free relay with fine swims the whole way across.

Earning the 2013 800 free relay NCAA Championship was the group of freshman Pawel Werner, redshirt junior Sebastien Rousseau, junior Marcin Cieslak and sophomore Dan Wallace. They combined for a school record-setting time of 6:13.27.

This is the second time in three years that Florida has come away with a win in the 800 free relay. UF also won it in 2011 and Rousseau was on that team as well.

Rousseau had a tough break this morning but came back tonight to help the relay to the national title.

“I am really proud of Sebastien Rousseau, taking a disappointment and coming back this evening and swimming and great relay leg,” Troy remarked.

Cieslak, who had an outstanding night, swam the second fastest 200 split in the entire field (1:32.86) and pushed the relay way out in front on the third leg to give Wallace a huge lead on the final leg. He was in the water earlier in the day for the 100 fly where he finished second and set a new school record with a time of 45.35.

“Marcin Cieslak is a very versatile guy,” Troy commented. “He swam the IM event yesterday and the 100 fly with second place today with a school record and then the 800 free relay with another school record. He goes a 1:32 free to be the second fastest guy in the whole field.”

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