The no. 3 Florida men notched their sixth consecutive SEC Championship on Sunday evening, scoring 1,237 points. This title gave the men their 39th SEC Championship in program history, the second most by any SEC team (Kentucky men’s basketball, 50). The women’s team had another solid day of racing to put them seventh in the final standings with 619 points.
Senior Caeleb Dressel earned his third consecutive SEC Male Swimmer of the Meet award and he was given the Commissioner’s Trophy. The senior won his third and final individual event this meet, swimming a SEC meet record of 41.01 in the 100 free. He later broke that SEC Meet record with his 40.87 split in the 400 free relay.
Dressel took a commanding lead from the start, beating the rest of the field by .77 seconds. This is his third consecutive year winning the 100 free title and he now owns six of the nine fastest times in the history of the event.
Florida’s women and men earned back-to-back medals in the 1,650 free, with Taylor Ault earning a silver medal for the women and Blake Manganiello earning a bronze.
Ault earned the first individual medal of her Gator career, posting a career-best time of 16:03.36 in the 1,650 free. Ault swam in the final heat of the women’s 1,650 joined by teammate Kahra Williams, who finished 16th overall with a time of 16:33.04.
Georgia Darwent and Savanna Faulconer went 16-17 in the event, swimming times of 16:33.35 and 16:33.74, respectively. Two more freshmen women competed in the event, with Bettina Boszormenyi swimming a career-best 16:39.21 and Nikki Miller posting a time of 16:51.03 to finish 31st.
Manganiello also posted a career-best time en route to his medal, posting a B-cut swim of 14:46.19. The Gators got points and B-cuts from all the other men racing in the event as well. Ben Lawless finished seventh with a time of 15:00.39, Andrew Brady placed 14th with a time of 15:00.39 and Santiago Corredor swam a personal-best 15:19.74 to finish 23rd.
Mark Szaranek earned his third individual medal of the meet, winning gold in the 200 breast. He posted a career-best A-cut time of 1:51.86 to break the school record that had stood since 2012 – he bested it by .81 seconds. The individual gold the first of the meet for Szaranek, who earned a silver in the 400 IM and a bronze in the 200 IM.
Ross Palazzo also raced in the A final of the event, posting a B-cut time of 1:55.24 to finish eighth. Marco Guarente’s performance in the B final was a career-best for the sophomore; he finished second with a B-cut time of 1:55.13. Chandler Bray also competed in the B final, posting a time of 1:57.78 to clinch a B-cut qualification.
Brennan Balogh qualified for the first A final of his career in the 200 back and he finished eighth in the final with a B-cut time of 1:42.10. Michael Taylor (1:41.52) and Clark Beach (1:42.28) finished 1-2 in the B final, with both men swimming a new career-best B-cut times. Bayley Main finished third in the C final with a B-cut of 1:43.87.
The women had two swimmers competing in the B final of the 200 back, with Sherridon Dressel finishing 10th overall with a career-best time of 1:54.44. That time is almost six seconds faster than her previous career-best and earned her a B-cut qualification. Sydney Sell followed in 11th, recording a B-cut time of 1:54.77.
Brooke Madden competed in the platform final, recording a career-best score of 265.50 to tie for fifth and earn valuable points on the women’s side.
The Gators earned their final gold medal of the week after finishing first in the 400 free relay. The relay team of Caeleb Dressel, Khader Baqlah, Maxime Rooney and Mark Szaranek swam an A-cut of 2:47.06 to clinch the victory and the meet for the Gators. It was the second year in a row that the Gators have come out victorious in this event.
The women’s 400 free relay team of Sherridon Dressel, Amelia Maughan, Bella Garofalo and Kelsey Dambacher finished eighth with a time of 3:18.61.
The Gators return to action for the Last Chance Meet on Feb. 24-26 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
2017 SEC Gold Medalists:
– 200 breast – Mark Szaranek – 1:51.86
o School record
– 100 free – Caeleb Dressel – 41.01
o SEC Meet record
– 400 free relay – Caeleb Dressel, Khader Baqlah, Maxime Rooney, Mark Szaranek – 2:47.06
– 100 breast – Caeleb Dressel – 50.03
o American, NCAA, US Open, SEC Meet, Florida and pool record
– 400 medley relay – Bayley Main, Caeleb Dressel, Mark Szaranek, Jan Switkowski
– 100 fly – Jan Switkowski – 45.26
– 200 free – Khader Baqlah – 1:32.97
– 200 IM – Caeleb Dressel – 1:38.13
o American, NCAA, US Open, SEC Meet and pool record
– 200 medley relay – Michael Taylor, Chandler Bray, Jan Switkowski, Caeleb Dressel – 1:22.94
o New school record and new SEC Meet record
– 800 free relay – Jan Switkowski, Maxime Rooney, Khader Baqlah, Mark Szaranek – 6:12.06
o SEC Meet record
2017 SEC Silver Medalists:
– 1650 free – Taylor Ault – 16:03.66
– 200 free – Maxime Rooney – 1:32.97
– 400 IM – Mark Szaranek – 3:37.50
– 200 free relay – Enzo Martinez-Scarpe, Caeleb Dressel, Jan Switkowski, Mark Szaranek
2017 Bronze Medalists:
– 1650 free – Blake Manganiello – 14:52.03
– 200 IM – Mark Szaranek – 1:41.00
– 500 free – Khader Baqlah – 4:14.48
History Made by Dressel:
– With his three individual SEC Championships during the meet, Dressel finishes with 10 in his career – the most by any male swimmer in UF’s history.
– He passed Marcin Cieslak (2010-14), Tom Dioguardi (1965-67), Martin Zubero (1988-91) and Ryan Lochte (2003-06) who all earned eight individual titles in their careers.
– He set two American records during the meet in the 100 breast and 200 IM
o He currently holds American records in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 IM and 100 breast
Straight from the Source – Head Coach Gregg Troy:
- – “This one was really special – we have a great blend of older guys and younger guys to complete us. This one was a bit tougher, but we pushed through. The women were tremendously better than year and we are only going to get better because we are a young team.”
– The Gators return home for the Last Chance Meet that runs through Feb. 24-26.