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Men's Swimming & Diving Headline

Lucas Salatta picked up two NCAA provisional qualifying standards in the win over Michigan.

Saturday October 14, 2006Men?s Swimming Hands Michigan First Season-Opening Loss In 39 Years, 135-106

Ann Arbor, MI

Lucas Salatta picked up two NCAA provisional qualifying standards in the win over Michigan.

The University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team won the meet’s first seven events, and took nine total victories, en route to handing Michigan its first loss in a dual-season opener since 1967-68 by a score of 135-106. Sophomores Lucas Salatta (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Jonathan Wilcox (Bellevue, Wash.) led the way for the Gator men (1-0, 0-0 SEC), each winning two individual events on the afternoon.


“We’ve got a good group of guys here,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “We talked last night about what we wanted to accomplish today, and we came out and did those things. We caught them off guard at the beginning of the meet, and we were able to hold them off at the end when they swam a little better.”


Salatta claimed victory in the 200 free (1:37.57) and the 200 back (1:44.51), turning in NCAA provisional qualifying times in both events. Wilcox, a 2006 All-American in the 1M dive, swept the diving competitions with scores of 344.18 and 358.73 in the 1M and 3M dives, respectively. Both tallies give Wilcox NCAA Zone qualifying marks, and his 1M score stands as a career best.


“Lucas Salatta was outstanding in the first half of the meet,” Troy said. “We didn’t swim him in his best events, and he was still able to give us a different dynamic. The two diving wins were also a great help today, because they gave us the flexibility to be able to swim some guys in different spots. That certainly helped us accomplish our goal of evaluating our team.”


UF set the tone at the outset of the meet, as the 400 MR team of Salatta, freshman Clark Burckle (Louisville, Ky.), sophomore Bradley Ally (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and freshman Shaune Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) placed first with a time of 3:18.77. Junior Tobias Work (Falmouth, Mass.) followed that performance with a win of his own in the next event, clocking a 9:08.83 to take the 1,000 free for the Gators.


Florida continued its winning ways in the 200 free, as Salatta and Fraser (1:38.11) swept the top two spots in the event. Freshman Roland Rudolf (Budapest, Hungary) got in on the scoring act with a fifth-place finish in a time of 1:40.78.


That momentum carried over into the next two events as junior Daniel Penniman (Pensacola, Fla.) posted a win in the 50 free (21.05) and Ally followed with a first-place showing in the 200 individual medley (1:49.62). Senior Matt Coan (Plantation, Fla.) turned in a third-place effort in the 50 free, with a career-best time of 21.43, to help the Gators build their lead.


Florida capped its seven-event win streak in the 200 fly, as Fraser scored his first collegiate win with a time of 1:48.46. The Gators also placed two other swimmers in the top-five of the event when juniors Tim Hughes (Winter Park, Fla.) and J.B. Walsh (Virginia Beach, Va.) took third (1:49.77) and fourth (1:50.27), respectively.


After a runner-up finish in the 100 free by Penniman (46.30), UF produced its most dominant performance of the day, sweeping the top three places of the 200 back. Salatta turned in his second win of the day with a time of 1:44.51, while freshman Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia) placed second (1:48.31) and Rudolf rounded out the trio with a time of 1:49.04.


In the 500 free, Work secured his second top-three finish of the day with a 4:28.51, good for third place. Burckle rounded out the day for the Gators with a second-place showing in the 200 breast, clocking in at 2:03.28. UF swam exhibition in the 400 FR to close the meet, and the quartet of Salatta, Ally, Fraser and Penniman turned in a time of 3:01.71 that just missed an NCAA provisional cut, and would have been good enough to win the event.


“We had a good week of training and that was evident in the way we swam today,” Troy said. “Tobias Work did well against a tough group of distance swimmers from Michigan, and our freshmen didn’t swim like freshmen today. They showed that they can stand up and race, which will help our older guys out because we’ll be able to keep them fresh.”


Florida’s win marked the sixth-consecutive year the Gators have won their initial dual meet of the season, and ran their all-time record in dual openers to 64-10 (.865). The victory also narrowed Michigan’s hold on the series advantage to 5-2. The loss was the first season-opening defeat for the Wolverines since dropping an 83-40 decision to Indiana in 1967.


The Gators will return to action on Thursday, Oct. 19, when they travel to Baton Rouge, La., to take on LSU.


Men’s Results (Florida 135, Michigan 106)





M 400 FR

Salatta, Burckle, Fraser, Ally



M 1,000 Free

Tobias Work



M 200 Free

Lucas Salatta



M 50 Free

Daniel Penniman



M 200 IM

Bradley Ally



M 1M Dive

Jonathan Wilcox



M 200 Fly

Shaune Fraser



M 100 Free

Bobby Savulich



M 200 Back

Lucas Salatta



M 500 Free

Matt Patton



M 3M Dive

Jonathan Wilcox



M 200 Breast

Scott Spann



M 400 FR

Savulich, Brady, Schultz, Houchin








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