Florida's Elese Zalewski Surprise Scratch From NCAA Championship Meet; Florida State Benefits

The first round of scratches, released on Wednesday, for the 2011-2012 Women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, were fairly obviously coaches attempting to improve the standings of their relays.

The motive for the latest scratch, released today, was a bit less martyrly.

Florida scratched sophomore Elese Zalewski from the meet, despite being invited in four different events, as she will be off attending the Australian Olympic Trials that run simultaneously to the women’s NCAA Championships. She was a member of Florida’s primary 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay, and also received an individual invite by way of her 48.95 in the 100 free.

This really hurts the Gators, who are very thin in the sprint events (aside from, of course, one of their stars Sarah Bateman) and their relays. This likely means that they’ll either have to move middle-distance swimmer Natasha Fung on to some sprint relays, or use one of their superstars (Crippen, Beisel) who are good, but not sprint good, out of position. Either way, this adds probably a second to the 400 free relay and at least half-a-second to the 200’s.

What’s even more peculiar is that Zalewski is one of the best sprinters (behind Sara Bateman) on a team that is very thin on pure speed. This move can only be chalked-up to something more than a competitive decision.

The Gators’ in-state rivals Florida State were the beneficiaries of the scratch. Sophomore Julia Henkel has been called up in the 400 IM, though that will be her only entry in the meet as she had no other B-times. (The 100 free previously had 31 entries, so the scratch resulted in a 400 IM’er being called up, as a higher-priority than the next-best 100 freestyler).

Updated psych sheets can be seen here.

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Majer99

I beleive it may be due to going back to Australia for the Olympic Trials.

Swim Ma

Ellese left for Olympic Trials in Australia immediately after SEC’s…
She will be missed at NCAAS’s…..but the Florida team will step up and
Do their best.Coach Troy has done an amazing job of juggling the needs and dreams of his swimmers in regards to competing internationally and for their College team.Sebastian Rousseau is another example….and there are many more.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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