By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
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ATHENS, Ga. – The Florida men and the Georgia women lead the 2014 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships following the third day of competition, which took place in front of 1,232 fans on Thursday at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia.
The Georgia women have won nine of 11 events so far in the event and lead the team standings with 879 total points. Florida is second with 642, while Texas A&M is third with 614.
The Florida men won a pair of events on Thursday night and surged into the team lead with 773.5 points. Auburn is second with 721.5, while Georgia is third with 588.
Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel became just the second athlete in SEC history to win four consecutive women’s 400 individual medley titles, capturing this year’s event in a nation-leading time of 3:59.26. Beisel joins former Auburn swimmer Maggie Bowen (2000-03) as the only other four-time winner of the women’s 400 IM. Georgia’s Melanie Margalis was second in 3:59.85, while Texas A&M’s Sarah Henry was third in 4:03.90.
Georgia’s Chase Kalisz defended his title in the men’s 400 individual medley, clocking an SEC-record time of 3:36.89 en route to the victory. He shattered the previous SEC record of 3:37.75, set by Florida’s Conor Dwyer in 2011 and Kalisz’s time went down as one of the fastest in collegiate history. Florida’s Dan Wallace was second in 3:38.96, while teammate Connor Signorin was third in 3:43.34.
Florida’s Ellese Zalewski took home the women’s 100 butterfly title in a time of 51.58, giving the Gators their second consecutive title in the event after Natalie Hinds won in 2013. Kentucky’s Christina Bechtel was second in 51.69, while Georgia’s Lauren Harrington was third in 52.07.
Florida’s Marcin Cieslak won the men’s 100 butterfly championship for the third time in four years, doing so in a time of 45.69. Georgia’s Doug Reynolds was second in 45.90, while Tennessee’s Sam Rairden was third in 45.92.
Georgia’s Laura Ryan captured the women’s 3-meter diving event for the second consecutive year with a winning score of 413.75. She became the first back-to-back winner in the event since South Carolina’s Michelle Davisson in 1998 and 1999. UGA teammate Ann-Perry Blank was second in 363.80, while LSU’s Cassie Weil was third in 357.45.
Georgia’s Shannon Vreeland claimed the women’s 200 freestyle, clocking an SEC-record time of 1:41.83 and giving UGA four of the last five titles in that event. Vreeland broke the previous SEC record of 1:42.46 set by Georgia’s Morgan Scroggy in 2011. Tennessee’s Lindsay Gendron, the 2013 SEC women’s 200 freestyle champion, was second in 1:43.35, while Georgia’s Brittany MacLean was third in 1:43.88.
Florida’s Sebastien Rousseau won the men’s 200 freestyle in a time of 1:33.23. That gave the Gators three consecutive titles in the event, accomplished by three different athletes over the past three years. Teammate Mitch D’Arrigo was second in 1:33.95, while Alabama’s BJ Hornikel was third in 1:34.25.
Day four of the 2014 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships begins on Friday at 10 a.m. ET with the prelims and 6 p.m. ET with the finals. Friday’s final events will be streamed live on ESPN3 (http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/1652061/SEC-Swimming-&-Diving-Championships).
For all of the latest information on SEC Swimming and Diving, please log on to www.SECDigitalNetwork.com.
2014 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships: Day Three (February 20, 2014 – Athens, Ga.)
Thursday Finals Results
Men’s Team Standings (through 11 events): 1. Florida 773.5; 2. Auburn 721.5; 3. Georgia 588; 4. Texas A&M 382; 5. Tennessee 374; 6. Alabama 352; 7. Missouri 343; 8. South Carolina 293; 9. Kentucky 278; 10. LSU 255.
Women’s Team Standings (through 11 events): 1. Georgia 879; 2. Florida 642; 3. Texas A&M 614; 4. Tennessee 439; 5. Auburn 351; 6. Arkansas 286; 7. LSU 285; 8. Missouri 281; 9. Alabama 248; 10. Kentucky 236; 11. South Carolina 150; 12. Vanderbilt 94.
Women’s 400 Individual Medley (A final)
1. Elizabeth Beisel, UF (3:59.26); 2. Melanie Margalis, UG (3:59.85); 3. Sarah Henry, AM (4:03.90); 4. Amber McDermott, UG (4:07.09); 5. Nicole Vernon, UG (4:07.85); 6. Hali Flickinger, UG (4:07.91); 7. Lauren Driscoll, UT (4:12.60); 8. Jessica Thielmann, UF (4:13.44).
Men’s 400 Individual Medley (A final)
1. Chase Kalisz, UG (3:36.89); 2. Dan Wallace, UF (3:38.96); 3. Connor Signorin, UF (3:43.34); 4. Matthew Elliott, UF (3:43.60); 5. Jared Markham, UG (3:44.93); 6. Simon Frank, AM (3:45.86); 7. Carlos Omana, UF (3:45.95); 8. Tristan Slater, UT (3:46.00).
Women’s 100 Butterfly (A final)
1. Ellese Zalewski, UF (51.58); 2. Christina Bechtel, UK (51.69); 3. Lauren Harrington, UG (52.07); 4. Natalie Hinds, UF (52.32); 5. Carol McElhany, AM (52.48); 6. Dani Barbiea, MU (52.49); 7. Kristel Vourna, UA (52.66); 8. Paige Miller, AM (52.99).
Men’s 100 Butterfly (A final)
1. Marcin Cieslak, UF (45.69); 2. Doug Reynolds, UG (45.90); 3. Sam Rairden, UT (45.92); 4. Arthur Mendes, AU (46.24); 5. Cam Jones, AU (46.63); 6. Bradley deBorde, UF (46.67); T7. Marcelo Chierighini, AU (46.83); T7. Frank Greeff, LS (46.83).
Women’s 3-Meter Diving
1. Laura Ryan, UG (413.75); 2. Ann-Perry Blank, UG (363.80); 3. Cassie Weil, LS (357.45); 4. Paige McCleary, UA (348.50); 5. Kahlia Warner, UF (347.30); 6. Tori Lamp, UT (343.05); 7. Shanna Schuelein, AU (341.40); 8. Figgy Figueroa, MU (309.35).
Women’s 200 Freestyle (A final)
1. Shannon Vreeland, UG (1:41.83); 2. Lindsay Gendron, UT (1:43.35); 3. Brittany MacLean, UG (1:43.88); 4. Jordan Mattern, UG (1:44.19); 5. Liliana Ibanez Lopez, AM (1:44.96); 6. Kelli Benjamin, AM (1:45.48); 7. Sinead Russell, UF (1:45.80); 8. Megan Cox, LS (1:47.30).
Men’s 200 Freestyle (A final)
1. Sebastien Rousseau, UF (1:33.23); 2. Mitch D’Arrigo, UF (1:33.95); 3. BJ Hornikel, UA (1:34.25); 4. Pawel Werner, UF (1:34.48); 5. Matias Koski, UG (1:34.54); 6. Sean Lehane, UT (1:34.67); 7. Zane Grothe, AU (1:35.49); 8. Corey Main, UF (1:36.47).
University of Florida
Women’s 400y Individual Medley Champion
“Melanie Margalis is having an amazing year and she definitely didn’t make it easy at all but it’s pretty cool to be able to say that I’ve won it four
years in a row. I don’t think many people have done that so there was a little bit of pressure before the race but I’m definitely relieved now.”
Chase Kalisz University of Georgia
Men’s 400y Individual Medley Champion
“I feel pretty good. I had my eyes set on the American record and I still have a full taper and shave so I’m looking forward to NCAAs. I’m only a second off of it so I feel pretty good about it.”
Ellese Zalewski University of Florida
Women’s 100y Butterfly Champion
“It is the best feeling to touch the wall first. It was so close in the last 25 yards. It was pretty stressful. I’m so happy to touch the wall first. I could see a lot of splashes, so I assumed there were people heading into the wall. I just put my head down and got my hand to the wall as fast as I could.”
Marcin Cieslak University of Florida
Men’s 100y Butterfly Champion
“It feels good, but I was happier with my morning race because I was a little bit faster. I missed a few breakouts tonight. My underwater also wasn’t as sharp. I have some things that I need to work on, and I’ll be ready for NCAA’s in a few weeks.”
Shannon Vreeland University of Georgia
Women’s 200y Freestyle Champion
“I definitely wasn’t expecting that time but day in and day out that’s around the time that I practice for. It was exciting to be able to do it in a race. I had a feeling I had a pretty good time during the last 50 yards but it was still surprising.”
Sebastian Rousseau University of Georgia
Men’s 200y Freestyle Champion
“I think the time wasn’t quite what it wanted, but obviously I’m very happy to get the win. I was happy with my last [100 yards] and I was also really happy to go 1-‐2-‐4 in that race. That’s a lot of points for us.”
Laura Ryan University of Georgia
Women’s 3m Diving Champion
“Tonight was so much fun. To have both Ann-‐ Perry and I light it up is something that I will remember forever. It was lifetime bests for both of us and that doesn’t happen very often so I think we’re both pumped about it.”
University of Georgia - Coach Current 1st place women’s team
“We thought it was a really important today to keep the pressure on. We wanted to come in this morning and put ourselves in a position to keep everyone at bay. Florida had a great chance to score a lot of points in the I.M., A&M was going to be really good today. We didn’t have a lot of swimmers, but the ones that we did have we wanted in the finals. The kids did a great job of doing that.”
University of Florida - Coach Current 1st place men’s team
“We had a great day today. The men were fantastic. They came in this morning and did what they needed to do and came back tonight and did even better. We’re really pleased with how today went for the men.”