The Florida men’s and women’s swimming teams traveled to Auburn, Alabama, this weekend for the second time in three weeks, as they both competed in the Auburn Invitational.
With the SEC Championships just over one week away, the Gators picked up impressive individual and team performances and gathered critical momentum needed at this point deep in the season.
The field was particularly strong at Auburn’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center, with nine of the 12 teams competing ranked in the top-25 nationally. That didn’t impede on numerous UF swimmers racking up victories and personal records.
On the No. 6-ranked men’s side, freshman Dillon Hillis and junior Drew Clark earned Day 1 victories in the 200-meter individual medley final (1:47.45) and the 500-meter freestyle final (4:24.84), respectively.
The Florida Gators swimming and diving teams will be in the O'Connell Center Natatorium this…
Day 2 for the men’s team saw victories by freshman Miguel Cancel and juniors Viktor Toth and Dakota Mahaffey.
Cancel swam a personal-best time of 3:51.92 to capture the 400-meter individual medley final, while Toth took the 200-meter freestyle final (1:38.90), and Mahaffey added a first-place finish in the 100-meter backstroke final (48.12).
Cancel also added a victory in the 200-meter butterfly final (1:46.40) on a career-best swim, in addition to a season-best time and victory by sophomore Ethan Beach in the 200-meter backstroke final (1:44.02).
With the postseason on the horizon, assistant coach Stephen Jungbluth liked what he saw in his men this weekend.
“We were impressed with their composure under that type of pressure and their ability to focus on the details of performing well,” Coach Jungbluth said in a release.
As for the No. 8 ranked women’s team, victories and career-bests were bountiful, with strong individual performances by freshman Celi Guzman, sophomore Adrianna DeBoer and juniors Kelsey Dambacher and Jillian Hatch leading a very dominant effort.
Guzman swept the backstroke finals, winning the 100-meter (54.24) and 200-meter (1:57.73) with personal-best times. DeBoer swept the breaststroke finals, capturing the 100-meter (1:01.08) and adding the 200-meter (2:14.52) on personal-best times as well.
Dambacher and Hatch also added victories for the women’s squad, winning the 200 free (1:46.56) and the 200-meter butterfly (1:59.76), respectively.
“Kelsey [Dambacher], Jillian [Hatch], Adrianna [DeBoer], and Celi [Guzman] led the way,” said assistant coach Whitney Hite. “But the great part is really everyone had an awesome meet. We couldn’t be more proud of these women.”
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