Florida to Celebrate Four Olympians, Senior Class, Prior to Dual with Auburn

The second ranked Florida men (6-0, 3-0 SEC) and eighth ranked Florida women (4-2, 2-1 SEC) will host Southeastern Conference rival No. 10 Auburn men (2-2, 1-0 SEC) and No. 12 Auburn women (3-1, 1-0 SEC) at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the O’Connell Center. The Gators will bid farewell to the 2014 senior class with a ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m.

The Gators are competing in the third of four duals in the final tune up before the start of the Southeastern Conference Championships on Feb. 18. The teams will dive the one-meter at 7 p.m. tonight. Admission to all parts of the meet is free.

Sounds Bites: Head Coach Gregg Troy will express his thoughts about the 2014 senior class at the conclusion of tomorrow’s meet.

Coach Gregg Troy

Coach Gregg Troy

“This is meet is one of two dress rehearsals for us before we head into the postseason. Both tomorrow’s meet and next week’s meet against Tennessee have start times that are similar to the prelims at the SEC and NCAA Championships. It gives us a great chance to see how those folks respond to great competition early in the day. These are high level dress rehearsals and the results matter on the day, but the reality is that we’ve had years where the meet has been close (with Auburn) but we’ve been distanced from each other at the end of the year. That has gone both ways.”- Troy on the matchup with Auburn.

“We’re looking for the best efforts these next two meets because the honesty in the effort allows you to evaluate the team heading into the championship season. That will help finalize our meet lineup and will give us some extra preparation going into the SEC Championships. If we can get someone qualified for the NCAA meet the next two duals, then that will be a big plus. We’ve got a few people that have not qualified and one relay that we need to improve our seeding in. If we can get NCAA qualifying times, that makes it so that we are not swimming under the gun every time we compete in those events.”- Troy on what to watch for in the team heading into the end of the season.

Senior Class: The Gators 2014 senior class totals 13 and consists of four Olympians. The class has captured five individual NCAA Championships and has racked up 81 All-American honors in three years of competition.

  • Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) is a two-time Olympic medalist, World Champion, two-time NCAA Champion and 14-time All-American. Beisel was named the SEC Female Recipient of the Commissioner’s Trophy for accumulating the highest point total at the conference championships the past two seasons and has tallied seven SEC individual championships. She became just the 11th student-athlete in Florida history to be named Capital One Academic All-American of the Year and was selected to the 2013 Capital One Academic At-Large First Team, becoming the second Gator to be named to the first team twice.
  • Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) is a 2012 Olympian, 18-time All-American and eight-time SEC Champion. Cieslak has been one of the SEC’s top swimmers since arriving in Gainesville, earning the SEC Commissioner’s Trophy for scoring the most points at the 2012 SEC Championships, winning the 2013 800 freestyle relay NCAA Championship and placing in the top-three in the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley the past two seasons at the NCAA Championships.
  • Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) is a two-time Olympian, two-time NCAA Champion and 10-time All-American. Rousseau was named the 2013 US Open High Point of the Meet and is a two-time Olympic and World Championship finalist. He was a member of the 2011 and 2013 800 freestyle NCAA title.
  • Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) is a 14-time All-American and is UF’s record holder in the 50 freestyle. deBorde has served as one of the team’s leaders on and off the pool deck. The 2012 50 freestyle SEC Champion is a two-time College Swimming Coaches Association of America two-time Scholar All-American.
  • Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland) is a 2012 Olympian and nine-time All-American. Luthersdottir has taken her swimming to the next level this season, most recently setting two school records in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke at the midseason invitational. Luthersdottir made the semi-finals in two events at the 2013 World Championships.
  • Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) is a three-time All-American in the mile and has cemented herself as the top 1650 freestylist in UF history after breaking a 25-year old school record at the midseason invitational. Mathieu will look to improve upon her fifth place finish at last year’s NCAA Championships in the mile and currently boasts the fastest time in the country.
  • Connor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.) is a four-time All-American and one of this year’s men’s captains. Signorin boasts three Florida all-time top-10 marks and has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll the past two seasons.
  • Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) is a nine-time All-American and is poised for her best collegiate season after setting the UF 100 butterfly team record at the midseason invitational. Zalewski finished in the top-four in two events and grabbed the second most All-America honors on the team with six at the 2013 NCAA Championships.
  • Kaitlin Frehling (St. Petersburg, Fla.) is a two-time All-American as a contributor on relays and an individual SEC scorer. Her contributions on the Gator’s 200 free relay and 400 free relay stand as top-10 times in UF history.
  • Chris Jones (Palm City, Fla.) has been Florida’s highest finishing diver for the past two seasons at the SEC Championships. He tallied his career best on the platform, 327.65, in a top-eight performance at the 2013 NCAA Zone Diving Championships.
  • Jamie Applefield (Seminole, Fla.) is a diver that has been a positive influence on the Gator program, registering the most community service hours on the team this year. This diver will leave UF with career best scores of 259.67 on the one-meter springboard and 246.68 on the three-meter springboard.
  • Levar Goosen (Rotterdam, Netherlands) has improved in the sprint events and in the 100 butterfly since stepping on campus in 2009. He was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll his sophomore season.
  • James Pompi (Port Orange, Fla.) is a two-year diver with the Gators, and has seen his scores increase after coming to UF. He set his career best on both the one-meter and three-meter springboards this season in dual meets.

Ending Auburn’s SEC Streak: The Gator men snapped Auburn’s streak of 16 consecutive SEC Championships last season. Florida went on to finish two places ahead of the Tigers at the 2013 NCAA Championships.

Last Season’s Dual: The Auburn women defeated UF by a score of 161-138 last year in Auburn. UF topped the Tigers by a total of 167-133.

Matchup to Watch: deBorde and Auburn’s senior Marcelo Chierighini have split the last two SEC Championships in the 50 freestyle. In last year’s dual meet, the duo both notched times of 19.84. Chierighini went on to win the 2013 SEC title, with deBorde coming in second, and finished three spots ahead of deBorde at the NCAA Championships. The rivals have three more races against one another as college athletes: Saturday, SEC’s and NCAA’s.    

Series History: All-time in dual meets with Auburn, Florida men hold an 18-15 lead and Florida women hold a 17-14.

Men’s Dual Streak: The Gator men have gone 21 straight dual meets without dropping a dual, a record that dates back to Jan. 21, 2011. Auburn defeated UF that day by a margin of 167-133.

Last Time Out: The Gators swept Florida Atlantic at the O’Dome last Saturday. The women captured every event and won 175-112. The men sent nine members of the team to the Classic at SMU while the rest of the men defeated FAU 166-123. The Gators scored five individual wins and placed second in Dallas in a matchup of four top-eight teams. Florida totaled 321 points and finished 12 points behind reigning NCAA Champion Michigan.

Rankings: In the most recent College Swimming poll the Gator men were ranked number one. The College Swimming Coaches Association of America has the Gators ranked number two. 

We’re On TV: Sun Sports will air a 60-minute show of the meet at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2. The meet will air again that same Sunday at 9:30 p.m. and the following Sunday, Feb. 9, at 9:30 a.m.

Follow Live: Florida Swim Network will carry the meet live. You can find the meet here.

Fan Information: Tomorrow’s swim meet will be the second of four major events happening at O’Connell Center as part of UF’s attempt to ‘Pack the O’Dome.’ Fans attending tonight’s diving may need to arrive early with a large crowd expected for UF Gymnastics’ home opener. In addition, tomorrow’s meet is an eight point Rowdy Reptile check in for students. Fans are encouraged to use the free O’Connell Center parking garage with all of the events occurring on campus.

Schedule of Events:

1M Diving (Women & Men) – Friday, January 24th – 7 p.m.

200 Medley Relay – Saturday, January 25th – 11 a.m.

1,000 Freestyle

200 Freestyle

100 Back

100 Breast

200 Fly

50 Free

3M Diving (Women)

100 Free

200 Back

200 Breast

500 Free

100 Fly

3M Diving (Men)

200 IM

400 Free Relay

Follow the Gators: For all the latest on Florida swimming and diving, stay tuned to GatorZone.com. To stay connected socially, ‘like’ Florida Swimming and Diving on Facebook and follow the Gators, @GatorZoneSwimDv, on Twitter.

 This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of the University of Florida Swimming and Diving.

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8 years ago

What is up with Georgia Hohmann? Wasn’t she supposed to be swimming this season for the gators? Same goes for Theresa Michalak.

bobo gigi
8 years ago

A little publicity for another swimming website, Florida Swim Network, which does a great job about swimming in Florida at every level, age group, high school, club, college, pro.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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