Florida Gator Men Lead After Day 2 of SECs and an American Record for Dressel
By Joe Auer
Interviews by Ben Schmitz, cover photo Mizzou Athletics
Columbia, MO — The Finals of Day 2 grew much anticipation from the Florida Gators and the crowd after a morning American Record in the Mizzou Aquatic Center. Caeleb Dressel, feeling that he had a little more in the tank for tonight, was up for the task as the Gators were in third place before tonight behind Auburn and Missouri.
The evening lead off with the women’s 500 Free and Jessica Thielmann (UF) going 4:39.76 for 4th, Kendal Casey (KY) 4:43.30, 10th, Taylor Katz (UF) 4:43.74, 12th, and Autumn Finke (UF) 4:46.69, 14th.
On the men’s side, Pawel Werner (UF) had an excellent race to come from behind and win with a 4:13.31, Mitch D’Arrigo (UF) swam a 4:13.92 for 3rd, and Arthur Frayler (UF) 4:18.60 for 6th. In the B Final Austin Manganiello, Andrew Brady and Ben Lawless went 4:19.10, for 10th, 4:22.45, 13th, 4:22.82, 14th respectively.
Sydney Pickrem (TXAM) was the only Florida women in the 200 IM Final and had a great morning 200 IM with a 1:55.87 (1:56.37 for 5th in finals). Ashlee Linn (UF) 1:57.76, good for 11th and Lauren Driscoll (TN) 1:58.24, 13th were the only B Final swimmers from Florida.
Jan Switkowski (UF) was the lead Florida swimmer and 2nd place finisher for the men in the 200 IM going a blazing 1:42.55. Mark Szaranek (UF) followed him closely with a 1:42.65 for 3rd and Michael Duderstadt (AU) was 5th with a 1:44.73. In the B Final, Alex Lebed (UF) had a great swim getting 11th and going a quick 1:45.70.
On obviously what was the main of event of the night, the 50 Free on both sides, Natalie Hinds (UF) swam a good 22.06 (21.92 p) for 4th, while Kira Toussaint (TN) 22.13 and Harper Bruens (TN) 22.40 cruised to 6th and 8th respectively.
So of course the 50 Free for the men was near the end of the meet and Florida Gators Caeleb Dressel (UF) was poised to go even faster after leaving a little in the tank for Finals. Not quite fully prepared for NCAAs yet but extremely pumped, he exploded off the blocks and broke his own American Record with an amazing 18.23. Teammate Corey Main (UF) also had a great swim and placed 5th with a 19:36 (fastest reaction time of 0.61).
All 3 male divers scored for the Gators in the 1 meter competition which was huge for the team score. Sam Smith (10th), Zach Hernandez (15th) and Dalton Goss for 20th, combined for 34 points.
The 200 Free Relay was the final event of the night and was littered with Floridians. The Tennessee winning relay had Harper Bruens 21.80 and Kira Tooussaint 21.90, while the Florida Gators who finished 6th had Natalie Hinds 22.25, Ashlee Linn 22.68, Lindsey McKnight 22.74 and Mollie Pulte 22.30. Kentucky’s relay had Kendal Casey 23.26 and Vanderbilt had Longwood’s Kayla Moran, 22.31.
In the men’s 200 Free Relay, always a close one, the Florida Gators edged out all the rest of the field with a 1:16.46 and a team of Corey Main 19.43, Mark Szaranek 19.57, Caeleb Dressel 18.41 and Jack Blyzinskyj 19.05. Michael Duderstadt of Auburn swam a leg of 18.95, Devin McCaffery of LSU 20.02 and Caeleb Tosh of South Carolina 20.77.
Swimmers will be back in action Thursday at 11:00 am EST and 7:00 pm EST for Finals. Stay tuned to Florida Swim Network for all the coverage of your Florida Swimmers.
More Interviews below
American Record Holder Caeleb Dressel
Gregg Troy After Day 2
Pawel Werner, winner 500 Free
Florida Swim Network