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Saturday March 25, 2006Lochte Ends UF Career By Winning Seventh NCAA Title

Atlanta, GA

Senior Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) completed his illustrious career at the University of Florida by claiming his seventh national title at the 2006 NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships hosted at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. Lochte blew away the field in the 200-yard backstroke final in an NCAA and American record time of 1:37.68.

 

Lochte opened the first 100 yards of the race with an NCAA record split time of 47.42 to set the pace. He began building a two body-length lead on runner-up Hongzhe Sun of Stanford through the 150-yard mark and never looked back. Lochte toppled his own NCAA and American record time of 1:38.37, which he set last year at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn.

 

“It’s sad that it was my last individual race,” Lochte said, “but to have my team and family behind me was the greatest thing. I’m happy where I am. Breaking records never gets old. That’s why they have records, so they can be broken. I’m just glad I’m the one doing it.”

 

With the win Lochte surpassed current assistant coach Anthony Nesty for the Gators’ all-time lead for individual NCAA titles won. Lochte has won seven individual titles during his storybook career. During his sophomore year, Lochte won his first NCAA title in the 400 IM. He followed up last season by winning the 200 back, 200 IM and was part of the winning 800 freestyle relay team. Lochte became the first Gator to win three individual titles in one competition after claiming the 200 IM and 400 IM titles earlier this week. 

 

“It doesn’t feel like I have won that many titles,” Lochte said. “I’m just another guy on the team. I try to help the team by doing my part, that’s all.”

 

To top off an already stellar weekend, Lochte moved into second all-time in Gator history by winning 24 All-American titles. Lochte came into the 2006 NCAA Championships with 18 and will leave with six more honors.

 

Lochte’s legacy at Florida is solidified not only by his post-season accomplishments, but his efforts during the regular season as well. Often matched in the toughest races, Lochte won 26 consecutive dual-meet races in 2005-06 and did not lose a dual-meet race since his sophomore year.

 

“Ryan is probably the hardest worker we’ve had the pleasure of coaching at the University of Florida,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “He listens to instruction well and isn’t afraid of taking on a challenge. The most amazing is that he is the same beach boy as he was when he first came in. Success has not gone to his head one bit.”

 

With Lochte’s departure immanent, Florida did not have to look far to see the future this weekend at the NCAA Championships. Freshman Lucas Salatta (Sao Paulo, Brazil)  earned his fifth All-American honor by placing fifth in the 200 backstroke final with a career-best time of 1:42.89.

 

Senior Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.) concluded his college career by helping the team score points in the 200 back consolation final. Hartley swam to an eight-place finish in the heat with a time of 1:46.08 and drew praise from his teammate and friend Lochte for an outstanding career that included 10 All-American honors.

 

 

“We’ve raced together all four years,” Lochte said of Hartley. “He has been right there with me in practice and has helped me a lot. To see him race like he did tonight just makes me motivated.”

 

 

Freshman Bradley Ally (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) capped off a solid weekend of racing by finishing 16th in the 200 breaststroke. Ally swam a time of 1:59.28 to place eighth in the consolation. He led the Gators by capturing seven All-American titles less than 72 hours after returning from the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. Sophomore Luca DeMatteis (Naples, Italy) earned his second career All-American honor by placing 15th in the 200 breast with a time of 1:58.83.

 

The Gators’ distance swimmers performed admirably during the 1,650 freestyle time trials. Sophomore Tobias Work (Falmouth, Mass.) battled through illness all week and led the team with a time of 15:20.54, which was good for 27th-place. Sophomore Grant Johnson (Clearwater, Fla.) followed with a time of 15:32.97 to finish 28, while Max Jaben (Overland Park, Kan.) concluded his season by recording a time of 15:35.99 to finish in 29th-place. Georgia’s Sebastien Rouault upset Michigan’s Peter Vanderkaay by clocking a time of 14:23.43.

 

In the final race of the evening the team of Lochte, Darian Townsend (Pietermartizburg, South Africa), Daniel Penniman (Pensacola, Fla.) and Nick Borreca (Honolulu, Hawaii) placed sixth with a time of 2:53.56.

 

Florida finishes the NCAA Championships in fifth-place for a second consecutive year with a total of 242.5 points events. Auburn claimed the 2006 team title with a total score of 446.5 though 20 events.

 

Complete results from the 2006 NCAA Championships can be found at www.ncaasports.com or www.ramblingwreck.com

 

NOTES: Former Gator Geoff Gaberino presented the trophies to the 800 freestyle relay winners. Gaberino was a 15-time All-American from 1980-84 and helped the Gators win their first NCAA Championship in 1984. Individually Gaberino won four NCAA titles during his collegiate career. 

 

Day 3 Preliminary Recaps

 

200 Backstroke

Senior Ryan Lochte advanced to the finals of the 200 backstroke on Saturday afternoon at the 2006 NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships. Lochte won the preliminary round in a Georgia Tech Aquatic Center record time of 1:40.70. Lochte will try to become the first Gator in school history to win three individual titles later this evening during the finals at 7 p.m. A win on Saturday would also move Lochte into the all-time lead with six individual NCAA titles.

 

Freshman Lucas Salatta also qualified for tonight’s finals by recording a career-best time of 1:42.76. Senior Brian Hartley earned his fourth All-American honor of the competition by qualifying for the consolation final with a season-best time of 1:45.03. 

 

100 Freestyle

Senior Nick Borreca narrowly missed advancing to the finals by six-hundredths of a second. Borreca clocked a career-best time of 43.52, but finished 18th overall. Sophomore Daniel Penniman swam to a 40th-place finish in a time of 44.30, while sophomore Darian Townsend clocked a time of 44.68 to finish 49th. Arizona’s Simon Burnett won the prelim round with a time of 42.39.  

 

200 Breaststroke

A pair of Gators advanced to the consolation final for the 200 breast. Freshman Bradley Ally finished fourth in his heat with a time of 1:58.36, while sophomore Luca DeMatteis swam a season-best time of 1:58.84. Alabama’s Vlad Polyakov earned the top-seed with a time of 1:55.62.

 

400 Freestyle Relay

Florida earned a spot in the championship final by recording a season-best time of 2:52.35 in the event. The team of Lochte, Townsend, Penniman and Borreca was edged by Arizona at the wall by one-tenth of the second.

 

Platform Diving

Freshman Jonathan Wilcox (Yarrow Point, Wash.) tallied 264.00 points to place 15th in the platform dive. Wilcox completed his season with one All-American honor and set the school record in the three-meter dive with a score of 408.92 against Florida Atlantic on Nov. 11, 2005.

 

 

 

 Day 3 Finals Results

Event

Winner

School

Time/Score

1,650 Free

Sebastien Rouault

Georgia

14:29.43

200 Back

Ryan Lochte

Florida

1:37.68

100 Free

Garrett Weber-Gale

Texas

42.11

200 Fly

Davis Tarwater

Michigan

1:41.84

Platform Dive

Steven Segerlin

Auburn

449.30

200 Breast

Henrique Barbosa

California

1:53.97

 

Day 3 Preliminary Results

Event

Winner

School

Time

200 Back

Ryan Lochte

Florida

1:40.70

100 Free

Simon Burnett

Arizona

42.39

200 Breast

Vlad Polyakov

Alabama

1:55.62

200 Fly

Davis Tarwater

Michigan

1:43.04

400 FR

Burnett, Subirats, Nilo, Ritter

Arizona

2:52.24

 

 

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