October 6, 2011
WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
University of Florida will open the college season at the Stephen O’Connell Center Natatorium Friday through Sunday when the Gators host the second annual All-Florida Invitational in Gainesville.
“We’re pretty fortunate on both the men and women’s side going into the first meet of the year,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said.
“We’re coming off a tremendous summer where a lot of our swimmers competed on both the international and national scene.”
Nine teams will compete in the three-day meet. Host Florida will be joined by Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida International, Florida Southern, Florida State, University of Miami, North Florida and Nova Southeastern.
“We did it last year for the first time, and we actually had a pretty big demand from the other schools to do it,” said Troy, the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s swim coach.
“Anytime you have FSU on campus, it’s always good to have both the programs here. It’s a unique dynamic.
“Swimming three full days with a complete college program with the exception of platform diving, it allows you to get the chance to see everyone in a couple of different dimensions.”
Florida State’s women’s team, led by SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver, is coming off two wins over Miami and Florida Gulf Coast last weekend. SOFLO’s Melissa Cooper, a Texas A&M transfer, and Ashley Hicks are also on FSU’s women’s team.
The men’s team, featuring SOFLO’s Tyler Sell, Alex Rodriguez and Doug Ramos, will compete in their first meet of the season.
SOFLO’s Linea Cutter, a freshman at Nova Southeastern University, will make her collegiate swimming debut. The Douglas alum is expected to make an impact her first season in the freestyles.
NSU is opening the season in Gainesville after sending eight swimmers to the NCAA Championships in the program’s first year. NSU picked up several transfers from Illinois State, Daytona State, Mankato State, Florida State and Alabama.
University of Miami’s women’s team (0-2) will compete. SOFLO’s Dana Hatic, a senior breaststroker, heads the team. In last weekend’s meet against FSU and FGCU, Hatic was second in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:18.97 as one of the Hurricanes top finishers.
Florida Atlantic features SOFLO swimmers Eszter Bucz, Anthony Fermin and Gabriel Pena.
Bucz, a breaststroker, is a Hungarian national champion, Sun Belt Conference champion and school record holder.
FGCU is led by junior Danielle Beaubrun, a breaststroke conference champion who will use this weekend’s meet as a tuneup for the Pan American Games in Mexico. The St. Lucia swimmer and FGCU coach Neal Studd will head to Guadalajara next Tuesday. Studd said that Beaubrun needs to get in a meet of racing before Pan Ams.
On Friday, prelims are 10 a.m. and finals 7 p.m.; on Saturday prelims are 9 a.m. and finals 7 p.m. and Sunday prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 4 p.m.
FINA/Arena World Cup Begins Friday
The 2011 FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup Series opens Friday at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Complex in Dubai with a star-studded international lineup.
Among the field is Kenya’s Jason Dunford, coached by former Michael Lohberg protégé Andrea Di Nino, head of the ADN Project in Italy. Others entered are South African Chad Le Closs and Russians Evgeny Korotyshkin and Yuliya Efimova.
FINA is offering a lucrative prize purse for medal winners during the grueling seven-leg series.
Gold medal winners earn $1,500, silver medal winners $1,000 and bronze medal winners $500. A cash prize of $10,000 will be awarded any swimmer who breaks a world record.
The overall men’s and women’s series winner will earn $100,000. Last year Therese Alshammar of Sweden and Thiago Pereira of Brazil were overall champions.
Australia will not compete in Dubai but will join the series in Stockholm (Oct. 15-16), Moscow (October 18-19) and Berlin (October 22-23). Aussie comeback swimmers Ian Thorpe, Geoff Huegill and Libby Trickett are expected to swim in some of the meets.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org