The Gator swimming and diving teams will open up their 2013-2014 season schedule by hosting the Pinch A Penny All Florida Invitational this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the O’Connell Center.
Participating in the meet are a plethora of teams from the Sunshine State which include Miami, Florida State, Nova Southeastern, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Southern and North Florida.
In the swimming side, the Gators will be led by senior Elizabeth Beisel, sophomore Natalie Hinds, redshirt-senior Sebastian Rousseau and senior Marcin Cieslak.
For the men, the team begins the year after having captured the SEC title last season and breaking Auburn’s streak of 16 consecutive SEC championships. Rousseau and Cieslak along with sophomore Pawel Warner and junior Dan Wallace are also the reigning NCAA Champions in the 800 freestyle relay.
Meanwhile on the women’s side, Beisel kicks off her final year as a Gator this weekend, after nabbing her second-career NCAA title last season by winning the 400 individual medley.
The diving teams will also see action this weekend as both the men and women will compete.
Diving coach Donnie Craine talks about his young team and how excited he is to see them take to the water.
The men will rely on senior James Pompi and red shirt sophomore Zach Hernandez to score some points and lead the team as they fill the void of red shirt senior Chris Jones, who is still recuperating from shoulder surgery.
Craine explains how he believes the improvements he has seen in Pompi and Hernandez will be beneficial for the team this season.
For the women, four sophomores which include top scorer Kahlia Warner, will seek to rely on more experience, as they all return with a year of competition under their belt.
Craine explains how a year can make all the difference.
This will be the fourth installment of the All Florida Invitational, with both the Gators men’s and women’s teams having won all previous three meets.