UF swimming caps off dominant season-opening performance


A Florida swimmer dives into the water during the Pinch A Penny All Florida Invitational on Sunday.

Alex M. Sanchez/Correspondent
Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 11:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 11:16 p.m.

The Florida swimming and diving teams capped a solid season-opening performance by capturing 10 of 12 events on the final day of the Pinch A Penny All Florida Invitational to secure both the men's and women's overall titles for the fourth straight year at the meet.

“I think what I liked was the enthusiasm of the group,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We were mechanically pretty sound. For us early-season, I think it's a pretty good indication that our technique phase where we started is pretty good.”

The Gator women finished with 1,269 points to outdistance runner-up FSU (798), with Florida Gulf Coast (695) third. Miami (400), Florida Southern (386), North Florida (286) and Nova Southeastern (119) rounded out the scoring.

On the men's side, UF topped the charts with 1,146 points, followed by FSU (970), Florida Southern (487), Nova Southeastern (449) and Miami (105).

Individually, UF athletes won 35 of the 40 event titles contested over the course of the three-day meet.

So dominant were the Gators that Florida swimmers finished 1-2-3 in five of Sunday's 12 finals, sweeping the top three spots in the men's 1,650-yard freestyle, the women's and men's 200 backstroke and the women's 200 breastroke as well as the top four in the men's 200 breast.

“On the men's side, I liked the depth,” Troy said. “I especially liked the way the guys raced one another. There were a couple of spots where we were head-to-head with two guys racing, and that's always good because if they take that to training, it reflects later on in the season and makes them a lot tougher.

“On the women's side, we're a little bit shy some places, but at the same time we saw some places where we got better than before.”

Sunday's highlights included a stirring finish from UF junior Carlos Omana, who took the lead on the next-to-last turn in the men's 200 back and raced home in a winning time of 1:45.76, while senior and two-time U. S. Olympian Elizabeth Beisel was impressive in winning the women's 200 back in 1:56.96.

For the weekend, multiple overall winners for the UF women included Beisel (200 back, 500 free, 200 IM), fellow senior Hilda Luthersdottir (100 and 200 breast) and sophomores Sinead Russell (100 back, 200 free) and Kahlia Warner, the latter of whom won the one-meter and three-meter diving events.

On the men's side, senior Marcin Cieslak (200 IM, 100 and 200 butterfly) headlined a group that included juniors Dan Wallace (500 free, 1,650 free) and Matt Elliott (100, 200 breast) and sophomore Corey Main (100 back, 200 free).

UF also won every relay contested capped by taking both of the 400 free relays to finish off the meet.

“We had some pretty good swims, but we've got things on both sides we need to work on,” Troy said. “It's nice where we're at, but it's a long way until March (NCAAs), so it's just kind of a stepping stone and a take-off point.”

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