Three swimmers share the honor of SEC Swimmer of the Week for January 28th. The conference gave the men’s award to Florida’s Marcin Cieslak on his own, while the women’s award was split between Elizabeth Beisel, also of Florida, and Georgia’s Brittany MacLean.
Cieslak earned his honor for being the highest scorer in Florida’s 180-117 victory over the Auburn Tigers, winning the 100 fly (47.68) and 200 free (1:36.92) individually. He was also on the winning 200 medley and 400 free relays. In the latter of those races, he battled Auburn’s Marcelo Chierighini, the NCAA title contender, and kept Florida in the hunt so that they could put in a big win over the highly-ranked Auburn sprint group.
As the season wears on, the Florida men look more-and-more like NCAA title contenders as a team, especially with their guys who are primarily stroke swimmers performing so well in the sprint freestyle relays.
Meanwhile, in the women’s meet, Beisel pulled in three individual wins (and no relay swims) as the Florida women also took Auburn to task in front of a sellout crowd, by score of 173.5-124.5.
First, she won the 200 fly in 1:57.82, then the senior posted a 1:55.21 in one of her primary events, the 200 back, and she wrapped her day with a 1:59.20 in the 200 IM. A Florida women’s team that doesn’t have to use Beisel on the 200 medley or 400 free relays is a better Florida team, and that’s what we saw on Saturday.
Beisel shared that award with Georgia’s sophomore MacLean, who won back-to-back races against Tennessee on Saturday. First, she put up a 9:36.85 in the 1000, which was a season-best and the fastest time in the country this season; just a few minutes later, she won the 200 free in 1:46.93.
MacLean was unable to take a triple, but still placed as the runner-up in the 500 free with a 4:46.67.
Other SEC awards this week went to:
- Luke Percy, Tennessee, Male Freshman of the Week – Percy won the 50 free (20.25) and 100 free (44.10) against Georgia, and also led off the Volunteers’ winning 400 free relay with a 43.79 split.
- Olivia Smoliga, Georgia, Female Freshman of the Week – Smoliga topped the 100 back against Tennessee in 54.13, and was also on the winning 200 medley and 400 free relays.
- Mauricio Robles, Tennessee, Male Diver of the Week – Robles continued his electric redshirt sophomore season with his 7th win on the 1-meter and 6th win on the 3-meter against Georgia, winning by over 160 points combined in the two events.
- Paige McCleary, Alabama, Female Diver of the Week – In her last home meet, McCleary broke the Alabama Aquatic Center and University of Alabama school records on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards against Emory. Both school records were held by former NCAA All-Americans.