Florida earns 34th SEC Championship, breaks Auburn's 16-year win streak
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Florida won the 2013 SEC Championship on Saturday. The Gators broke Auburn’s streak of 16 consecutive SEC Championships, the third-longest streak for a single program in SEC sports history. UF finished first with 1,408 points and had four individual championships and one relay championship.
“It’s great for the guys,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We have been chasing Auburn and nipping at [its] heels every year and we’ve been close a couple of them. I think this kind of takes us over the top from the standpoint that it gets the monkey off our back. It’s a good building point towards the NCAA meet and it’s not an end in itself, but it certainly is a good conference win.”
This is the 34th SEC title for the men’s team, the most of any school in the conference as Auburn is the next closest with 18. Florida last won the SEC Championship in 1993, breaking a 20-year streak and having finished runner-up for 11 years.
“We are really fortunate to have the great staff we do here at Florida,” Troy said. “The other coaches [and] the kids came from every different training group and did a great job. Martyn Wilby, Anthony Nesty, Leah Stancil, Donnie Craine with the divers and Steve Jungbluth with the sprinters; they all did a great job with the swimmers.”
The Gators finished the final night of competition by adding two more titles to their collection to give them eight total. Sophomore Matt Elliott won his first SEC Championship finishing first in the men’s 200 breast.
Starting off the final session was the men’s 1,650 free. Freshman Arthur Frayler swam a solid 14:49.88 to finish third. That time ranks him second all-time in Florida history. Sophomore Carlos Omana swam a 14:55.53 to finish fifth and move into ninth in school history.
Adding an eighth-place finish for the Gators was senior Jason Taylor with a time of 15:02.78, a personal-best. Freshman Ryan Rosenbaum took 31st in 15:42.37.
Finishing seventh in the 100 free was sophomore Matt Curby in a time of 43.43. Junior Brad deBorde won the B Final with his season-best time of 43.35 and freshman Pawel Werner took 10th in 43.82.
Three Gators swam in the 200 back A Final. Freshman Corey Main swam a personal-best 1:41.69 to finish second. Senior Cameron Martin finished sixth in 1:44.56 and junior Connor Signorin was seventh with a time of 1:44.98.
Making it a one-three finish in the 200 breast, Elliott won his first SEC title in a NCAA “A” time of 1:54.13. It was also the second-best time in school history behind Clark Burckle’s 1:53.89. Sophomore Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez took third with a personal-best 1:54.74.
Sophomore Richard Munch also swam a personal-best on his way to a ninth-place finish to win the B Final and freshman Luke Torres recorded a personal-best 2:00.87 to finish 22nd.
The Gators capped off their win with a second-place finish in the 400 free relay. The group of deBorde, junior Sebastien Rousseau, Cieslak and Curby clocked a NCAA “A” time of 2:50.83. deBorde swam a lead-off split of 42.90 for a new personal-best. The Gators caught Auburn on the third leg, but the Tigers were able to hold them off.
In men’s platform diving, junior Christopher Jones finished 14th for the Gators with his score of 298.00. Redshirt freshman Zach Hernandez took 17th, scoring a 273.90 and senior Sean Saley posted a 217.60 to finish 24th.