Photo by Peter H. Bick
21 November 2014, 06:54pm
ATLANTA – After a day of blistering performances that included three swims that automatically qualified for the NCAA championships, tonight’s finals at the Georgia Tech Invitational cooled the atmosphere a bit. While no one put up times to automatically put them on the NCAA roster, the races still produced some strong efforts.
Pawel Werner took the men’s 200 free, leading a 1-2-3-4-5 Florida finish with a 1:34.79 to post the fastest time in the country by more than a second. Corey Main now owns the second-fastest time in the collegiate ranks this season with a 1:35.17, while Mitch D’Arrigo (1:35.26) and Nicolas Alexiou (1:35.67) sit third and fourth. All four of the swims bumped Indiana’s Anze Tavcar out of the No. 1 spot. Rounding out the Florida rout in the event was Justin Kaisrlik with a 1:37.68.
Caeleb Dressel, a freshman at the University of Florida, had three very impressive swims tonight. He helped Florida win the 200 medley relay with a blistering 18.94 freestyle leg that produced a 1:26.03 for the team that included Corey Main (21.98 backstroke), Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (24.41 breaststroke) and Christian Homer (20.70 butterfly). Despite Dressel’s split, the Gators just missed the “A” cut of 1:25.63. Georgia Tech, buoyed by a 19.32 freestyle split from Andrew Kosic, was second with a 1:27.70 while Florida State took third with a 1:28.60.
Dressel returned to win the 100 fly with a 46.60, missing his lifetime best of 45.89 from last year. Kosic had a lead of nine hundredths over Dressel at the 50-yard mark, but settled for second with a 46.87. Cadell Lyons of Florida State took third with a 47.26.
Dressel’s third big swim of the night came in the 100 breast, where he won the B final with a 54.39 after posting a 57.17 in prelims. That time would be the second-fastest of the finals session, but not fast enough to beat the winning time of 53.67 by Solaeche-Gomez. Jason Coombs of Florida State was second with a 54.40 after a 54.08 in prelims, while Craig Emslie of Indian River was third in 54.65.
Just as they did yesterday in the 500 free, Florida nearly filled all the lanes in the 10-person 400 IM final. Leading the way was NCAA runner-up and Commonwealth Games champion Dan Wallace with a 3:44.12, followed by Solaeche-Gomez with a 3:46.90 and Carlos Omana with a 3:49.18. Also competing for Florida in the final were: Mark Szaranek (4th, 3:49.77), Ryan Rosenbaum (5th, 3:53.31), Arthur Frayler (7th, 3:55.82) William Silva (8th, 3:56.02) and Adam Bull (10th 4:00.68). Swimming for Georgia Tech, Michael Henry placed sixth with a 3:55.63, and Florida State’s Kyle Doxtater was eighth with a 3:58.80.
Jack Blyzinskyj led a Florida 1-2-3 finish in the 100 back with a 47.49, the third-fastest swim in the collegiate rankings this season. Main was second once again tonight with a 47.51, while Christian Homer took third with a 47.74.
Florida had no trouble with the men’s 800 free relay, posting a solid time of 6:24.27 with Wallace (1:35.27), D’Arrigo (1:36.20), Werner (1:36.05) and Main (1:36.75) on the squad. Second place went to Georgia Tech with a 6:38.87 and third went to Indian River with a 6:46.71.
The Florida women weren’t able to win all their events, but managed to win four of the seven events. They took both relays (200 medley relay: 1:38.28, 800 free relay: 7:09.92), and just missed the “A” cut of 1:37.84 in the 200 medley relay. Placing second in the short relay was Florida State with a 1:38.36, while Florida Gold Coast snapped up third with a 1:39.26.
The Gators made a run at the “A” cut of 7:07.20 in the 800 free relay, but fell a bit short with their 7:09.92. Arkansas was well back but still posted an impressive second-place time of 7:16.84. Florida Atlantic was third with a 7:21.93
Jessica Thielmann dominated the 400 IM with a 4:09.64, good enough for the top time in the collegiate rankings and the first sub-4:10 of the season among collegiate swimmers. Chelsea Tatlow of Arkansas was second with a 4:13.86, while Jordan Smith of Florida took third with a 4:15.66.
Lindsey McKnight won the 200 free title with a 1:45.79, ahead of Florida Atlantic’s Agi Bucz’s 1:46.54 and the 1:47.12 by Florida State’s Kaitlyn Dressel.
Sinead Russell had no trouble winning the 100 back with a 52.89, and Anna Mayfield of Arkansas was second with a 53.69. Bianca Spinazzola of Florida State took third with a 53.88.
Nikki Daniels of Arkansas became the third swimmer under 1:00 in the 100 breast this season with a 59.58 in prelims. She couldn’t match that in finals but won easily with a 59.89. Sami Pochowski of Florida State was second with a 1:01.53 while Christina Loh of Indian River took third with a 1:01.62.
Chelsea Britt got a win for Florida State tonight with a 52.39 in the 100 fly over the 53.06 by Florida’s Natalie Hinds. My Friedell of Miami got a third-place finish with a 54.14.