Swimmers fall to Cal, UF

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Swimmers fall to Cal, UF (Photo by John Schreiber, The Daily Campus)

The 23rd annual Dallas Morning News College Swimming and Diving Classic was held at SMU on Friday and Saturday night, and the Mustangs represented their school with a solid third place finish.

In a field that held national powerhouses such as No. 2 Florida and No. 4 California, a third place finish was very promising for the Mustangs’ future. Scoring 352 total points in the two-day event, California was able to capture the title over Florida, who posted 313 points. SMU rounded out the top three with 293 points.

The story of the weekend for SMU was an inability to win a heat. When the first day was all said and done, SMU was sitting in third place with 145 points, but won zero individual heats. There were, however, five second place finishes that accounted for the majority of the points.

Notable performances on the first day came from senior Camilo Becerra. He was narrowly defeated in both the 50 free and 100 fly championship finals by California’s Duje Draganja. In the 50 free, Becerra lost by just .03 seconds, and the 100 fly was even closer, losing by just .01 seconds.

Sophomore Ian Clark also had a second place finish, swimming the 400 IM in 3:54.33.

California led the first day team standings with 182 points and six championship finals overall. Florida sat patiently in second place with a score of 158, clinging to a 13-point lead over SMU.

When the second day came around, much of the same was delivered from each team. California continued to roll, and Florida still could not keep up. The Mustangs again were not able to win a championship final, but did manage to snag six second place finishes.

SMU’s Clark added two more second place races, this time in the 200 back and the 200 IM. The winner in both races was Olympic silver medalist Ryan Lochte. Unfortunately for Clark, Lochte was able to show why he was able to take home a medal in Athens, Greece last summer.

Becerra was still unable to beat Duje Draganja when the two met up again in the 100 free final. Becerra’s time of 45.08 was only good enough for a second place finish, while Draganja’s time of 43.70 was enough to earn him the championship.

Eric Sehn of Texas A&M earned the high-point diver award, while Lochte won his second consecutive high-point swimmer award. Lochte was able to win all four races he competed in, and also set numerous meet and pool records.

While California, Florida and SMU captured the top three spots, Arizona State, Florida State, and Texas A&M followed with scores of 248, 236, and 232, respectively. SMU will see action again Jan. 28 and 29, when they travel to Austin to compete against both Texas and Arizona in a double dual meet.

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