The LSU men’s program has added a pair of very solid transfers for the 2013-2014 season: Marco Gonzalez from Junior College Daytona State and Daniel Swietlicki from Division II power Drury.
Neither is a pickup of such huge proportion as to swing the SEC Championship in favor of the Tigers, but both are very good, high-impact additions that will be key to Dave Geyer’s long-term building project.
Gonzalez was 3rd at last year’s Junior College National Championship meet with a 20.19 in the 50 free, and took 2nd only to the speedy Brad Tandy in the 100 free with a 43.91.
LSU’s sprint group wasn’t great last season, and they were crushed by graduations: four of the team’s top five flat-starts 50 freestylers all have exhausted their eligibility, as did their top 100 freestyler Andrei Tuomola.
The flat-starts don’t show the full story for this team’s sprint group, though; senior-to-be Michael Saco split a 19.3 on the 200 free relay at SEC’s last year, as three underclassmen took 5th in that event. LSU placed even higher, 4th, in the 400 free relay again with three underclassmen, including Freshman Alex Linge who split 43.3. For reference, that’s the fastest of any freshman in that relay did in the entire conference.
Daytona State College’s program was cut after last season, though after two years a Gonzalez transfer was likely anyway.
Swietlicki, from Germany, is the defending NCAA Division II Champion in the 200 backstroke. At that same meet last year, he placed 2nd in the 100 back, 4th in the 400 IM, and 10th in the 200 IM, and emerged as the Drury Record holder in both backstroke races.
His best times of 47.5/1:44.1 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes give the Tigers a likely two scorers in the A-Final at the SEC Championships in either event, and a bit of an internal competition for the spots on the medley relay. Junior-to-be Michael Young won the B-Final in the 100 back at last year’s meet in 47.6.
His best of 3:53.7 in the 400 IM probably wouldn’t score much immediately at SEC’s for the Tigers, but with the SEC being relatively weak outside of Florida in this event overall, some improvements give him an opportunity to scale that ladder very quickly.
Both swimmers will have two years of eligibility remaining.