In the third public change-of-verbal in the class of 2014, Scottish swimmer Mark Szaranek has opted against his initial decision to go to Michigan, and will instead sign a letter in a couple of weeks to swim for the Florida Gators.
“I had a great trip at both but I was a bit too hasty in my decision making without considering all factors,” Szaranek said. “Both teams and groups coaches are great. But I just made the decision too quickly after the (Michigan) trip, without fully giving Florida the chance they deserved. Later I then realised that Florida was the best fit for me. I’m really looking forward to getting to work with Gregg Troy and the coaching team at Florida.”
Szaranek is a versatile swimmer, but primarily a sprint freestyler/butterflier/IM’er. In long course meters, he’s been 23.9 and 51.6 in the 50 and 100 free; 1:53.2 in the 200 free; 57.6 in the 100 back; 54.2/2:03.7 in the 100 and 200 fly; and a 2:02.4 in the 200 IM.
As we mentioned the first time around, Szaranek is a massive prospect within Scottish swimming, and is on target to qualify for their 2018 Commonwealth Games squad, if not their 2014 one, and has Olympic potential for the broader British team as well. He has 47 Scottish Age Records, and was the bronze medalist at the 2013 European Junior Championships in the 200 IM. He also finaled at that meet in the 100 fly.
While his versatility would have fit well at Michigan, Florida has become somewhat of a mecca for IM’ers, and more recently butterfliers as well, after the program’s success with swimmers like Ryan Lochte, Elizabeth Beisel, Marcin Cieslak, and Dan Wallace.
Wallace, who was 11th last year at NCAA’s in the 200 IM and 3rd in the 400 IM, is also Scottish.