The University of Florida Gators used a ton of depth to cruise past Florida Atlantic Saturday. The Gator women swept FAU to win 175-112, while the Gator men, missing 8 of their top swimmers and 1 top diver (who are away competing at the SMU Classic this weekend), let some fresh faces pick up event wins in a 166-123 victory.
Elizabeth Beisel had two huge victories for the Gators. First she went 1:54.60 in the 200 fly, her first foray into that event according to USA Swimming. That time ranks 7th in the NCAA so far this season and crushed the field by 8 seconds.
Beisel followed that up with a 4:37.04 win in the 500 free – that’s the 6th-fastest time in the NCAA, meaning Beisel put up two top-10 swims in mid-January in two events she hardly ever swims, an awfully good weekend even by Beisel’s high standards. She also led off in 49.9 on the 400 free relay for the Gators.
The former U.S. Olympian, who was dealing with a cold early in the month according to coach Gregg Troy, seems to be swimming fast at the right time, ramping up to what will be her last NCAA Championships in March.
Lindsey McKnight and Natalie Hinds were also double-winners for Florida. McKnight took the 100 breast (1:05.10) and 200 IM (2:04.57), while Hinds swept the backstrokes (56.12 in the 100 back, 2:03.02 in the 200 back).
The Gator men were nearly as dominant themselves, having only a little trouble in the sprint races with top 50 man Bradley deBorde competing at SMU for the weekend.
Junior Christian Homer filled in for deBorde in the 50, going 21.09 to scrape out a two-tenths-of-a-second win. He also added a 100 fly win with a 48.77 late in the meet.
Pawel Werner had a big day for Florida, going 1:38.33 to win the 200 free and following that up with a 4:27.49 touchout win over teammate Arthur Frayler, who won the 1000 free at this meet.
Florida Atlantic won two events, capitalizing on Florida’s sprint weakness for the first. FAU sophomore Matthieu Burtez went 45.98 to win the 100 free over Florida’s Andrea D’Arrigo, typically a distance swimmer who was inserted to fill the shoes of the absent deBorde.
The Owls also picked up the win in 3-meter diving with junior Greg Cox‘s 314.25-point performance. Second place in that event was Florida’s Christopher Jones, and the two flip-flopped spots in the 1-meter event. Jones officially qualified for Zones with his 1-meter score after missing much of the fall with a shoulder injury.
The Gators host Auburn in Gainesville next Saturday while the Florida Atlantic Owls face Florida International in two weeks.
Full results here.