The Florida women dominated the All-Florida Invite through the first two days on the backs of their leaders Elizabeth Beisel, Teresa Crippen, and Sarah Bateman. On the third and final day of competition in Gainesville, designed to mimic the NCAA Championships, that trend continued in a big way.
Beisel led things off with a huge swim of 16:09.89 in the women’s mile. This is an event that she rarely swims (I can’t find any times for her, though she may have done it in a minor meet), but she showed that this isn’t because she isn’t awesome at it. She threw out 29’s at will, and split one on every 50 (aside from faster opening and closing marks). It seemed like she could have held that pace for another couple-of-hundred yards if the race had gone that long.
Next up was Teresa Crippen’s turn in the 200 backstroke. This is another event that Beisel’s very strong in, though she sat it out in this instance. Crippen touched in 1:57.32 for an NCAA B-cut and the best time in the country so far this year. Sophomore Trish Regan showed that she might be ready to step up and have a great season with a runner-up finish in 1:59.05. That’s roughly 5-seconds faster than she went at this meet in 2010.
Crippen would tack on another win in the final individual event, the 200 fly, in a time of 1:58.54. This was an important swim for her to simulate the very tough schedule she has on the final day at Nationals. That’s the best time in the country, and she was followed by Florida State freshman Elizabeth Pepper (2:00.03) which is already a two-second time drop from a tri-meet just one week earlier. Notable out of prelims was a 2:03.17 from Sarah Bateman for the 4th-best AM time. She is constantly surprising with versatility that goes well beyond most of the nation’s top sprint freestylers.
In the evening session, before the would-be 200 fly swim, Bateman won the women’s 100 free in 50.06 to narrowly miss becoming the first woman under 50-seconds this season. Behind her were a pair of the young Florida State freestyle crew: Sophomore Tiffany Oliver (50.36) and freshman Kaitlyn Dressen (50.57).
The vets didn’t get to have all the fun, though. In the other individual event, the 200 breaststroke, freshman Rebecca Rainer won in 2:14.86, which is an encouraging sign for them. They really needed to add some depth to the breaststroke events, and it looks like Rainer is a step in the right direction. Behind her in that race was Elizabeth Beisel, working on some cross-training, with a 2:16.25. Beisel is underrated as a breaststroker, with the butterfly being the weak leg of her IM’s.
In men’s competition, Florida State’s Mateo de Angulo took a win 15:25.33. De Angulo, a former JuCo Swimmer of the Year, is the Colombian National Record holder in the distance freestyle events, so it’s no surprise that he’s posting great times early on this season. Behind him was Florida freshman Eduardo Solaeche in 15:35.28. The distance freestyles are Solaeche’s third-best stroke group (after the breaststrokes and IM’s), but swimming this event in a session with the 200 breaststroke is a great learning experience for him.
Solaeche and fellow freshman Matt Elliott have had great duels throughout this meet, but in their final showdown, the 200 breaststroke, Elliott really looked dominant. He took a win in 1:59.06, with Solaeche taking 2nd in 2:03.86.
In the 200 backstroke, sophomore Connor Signorin picked up his 2nd individual win of the meet with a time of 1:48.87. He outswam Florida Southern’s Jen Halfacre, a one-time Florida Gator and the defending Division II Champion in the event, who touched 2nd in 1:49.10.
In the men’s 200 fly, Florida sophomore Marcin Cieslak won easily in 1:47.31, an NCAA “B” time. Aside from the first 50, he actually negative-split this race, which is impressive for so early in the season.
Full Finals Results (all days) here.
1. Florida, University of 1074
2. Florida State University 911
3. Florida Gulf Coast University 594
4. University of Miami 467
5. Florida Atlantic University 334
6. Florida International Univ. 184
7. University of North Florida 136
8. Florida Southern College 90
9. Nova SouthEastern University 83
1. Florida, University of 1092
2. Florida State University 949
3. Florida Atlantic University 608
4. Florida Southern College 470
5. Nova SouthEastern University 438
6. University of Miami 40