The top-ranked Florida men’s swimming and diving team opens competition in the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas on Thursday.
Last season, the Gators placed sixth, but were only 3.5 points from breaking into the top four. The Gators have placed in the top 10 in 14 consecutive years since Gator head coach Gregg Troy took over the program. They have won a total of 41 NCAA titles (31 individual and 10 relays), along with two NCAA team titles. The last time the Gators won the gold was in 1984.
The men are coming into this meet off of their second consecutive and 35th overall SEC Championship win. The team set seven school records as well as three SEC records at the meet. Dan Wallace set the record for the 500 free at 4:10.73, and Sebastian Rousseau beat the SEC record for the 200 fly with a time of 1:41.07. The men’s 800 freestyle relay team beat the standing conference record with a time of 6:13.03.
“We try to put our mind on what we want to do individually in our lane. If we take care of business in our lanes and the focus is correct and we do what we’ve practiced, we’ll be fine. I know this, the one thing they will do is they’ll stand up and they’ll race really tough. There’s a lot of character on the team and they handle adverse situations really well. I feel real comfortable that we’ll see great efforts,” said Troy.
The Gators have 10 NCAA All-American swimmers returning to the national meet, including senior Sebastian Rousseau. Rousseau was most recently named the SEC Swimmer of the Year and was the recipient of the SEC Commissioners Trophy after winning three individual titles (200 free, 200 fly, 200 IM) and scoring the most points at the conference championships.
Trials begin on Thursday, March 27 at 11 AM in the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. The national meet will wrap up on Saturday, March 29.
To follow the action, click here.
To hear audio from Coach Troy, see below.