By Sharon Robb
March 26, 2014
A week after the women were in the spotlight, the men will take their turn at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships that begin Thursday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center at the University of Texas in Austin.
In what’s expected to come down to the final event, Florida is seeded first based on the psych sheet followed by Michigan, North Carolina State and University of California at Berkeley.
Florida State is seeded 11th with first-year coach Frankie Bradley, a former Florida Gold Coast swimmer, making his NCAA Championship coaching debut with the Seminoles.
The Florida, Michigan, N.C. State and Cal seedings are based on the Top 16 swimmers if they finished where they are seeded in the psych sheet, which of course, rarely happens, but then that’s why they have meets.
Florida has 391 points and Michigan, which spends time at The Race Club in the Keys training and fishing during holiday breaks, has 376 points. Florida State has 133 points.
If ever there was a year the Gators have a shot at another team title, it’s this year.
The Gators qualified 14 swimmers men and five powerful relays that features four seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen.
Leading the Gators is Metro Aquatic Club’s Carlos Omana, one of the mainstays on the team.
Omana will be joined by Arthur Frayler, Sebastien Rousseau, Mitch D’Arrigo, Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Marcin Cieslak, Connor Signorin, Corey Main, Matt Elliott, Pawel Werner, Dan Wallace, Matt Curby, Brad deBorde and Jack Blyzinskyj. Christian-Paul Homer will travel with the team as a relay alternate.
The Gators are coming off their second consecutive SEC Championship title.
The Seminoles are led by two-time defending ACC Swimmer of the Meet Pavel Sankovich of Belarus. Sankovich will score most of FSU’s points in the 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard backstroke and individual medley as well as the free relays.
The No. 17-ranked Seminoles will have eight swimmers competing in individual events and relays including Florida Gold Coast swimmers Paul Murray, Connor Knight, Jason McCormick and Jason Coombs.
The Wolverines are led by sprinter Bruno Ortiz and Michael Wynalda.
There will be a strong Florida Swimming and Florida Gold Coast presence at the three-day meet.
Also entered in the meet are Dylan Carter of Southern California and Trinidad and Tobago, who trains in South Florida extensively and competes in Florida Gold Coast meets.
Cal’s Ryan Murphy, a Bolles alum, could score 40 to 50 points on relays and in the backstroke events.
Thursday’s events are 200-yard freestyle relay, 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relay.
Prelims are 11 a.m. and finals 7 p.m. Both sessions will be live streamed at Texassports.com.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org