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Women's Swimming & Diving Headline

Junior Caroline Burckle recorded three NCAA B times in Florida's win at Michigan.

Saturday October 14, 2006No. 5 Gator Women?s Swimmers Defeat No. 22 Michigan on Opening Day


Junior Caroline Burckle recorded three NCAA B times in Florida's win at Michigan.

The No. 5 University of Florida women’s swimming and diving squad improved to a perfect 35-0 opening day record with a 124-119 victory over No. 22 Michigan Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor. The Gators recorded a total of 13 NCAA provisional swims during the meet and five first-place finishes.


“We got off to a pretty horrible start in the first half of the meet, but about halfway through, the team decided to come back and swim really well. We’ve got a long way to go, but overall, we did really well today,” said ninth-year head coach Gregg Troy.


The quartet of juniors Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) and Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.), sophomore Lauren Winter (Dalkeith, Australia) and freshman Elizabeth Kemp (Potomac, Md.) led off the meet with an NCAA B time of 3:44.55 in the 400-yard medley relay for a second-place finish.


In the second women’s event of the meet, redshirt junior Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted the Gators’ initial first-place finish of the day as she clocked in at 9:54.79 in the 1,000 free. Sophomore Stephanie Cota (Granite Bay, Calif.) recorded a third-place finish in the event with a time of 9:59.96.


Junior Natalie Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Kemp turned in second and third-place performances in the 200 free, respectively, with times of 1:50.40 and 1:50.49, before freshman Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Winter also went two and three in the 50 free with times of 23.56 and 23.70.


Burckle recorded her second of three NCAA provisional times in the 200 IM, with her third-place time of 2:04.13. Senior Ashley Carusone (High Springs, Fla.) and freshman Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) placed fourth and fifth in event, respectively, with times of 2:05.42 and 2:07.07.


Senior Candace Weiman (Castro Valley, Calif.), Cota and sophomore Jenny Lago (Wellington, Fla.) claimed the top-three places in the 200 fly en route to posting three NCAA B times in the event. Weiman touched the wall in 2:01.71 for first place, while Cota (2:02.04) and Lago (2:02.35) finished second and third.


Winter turned in a time of 51.35 in the 100 free to finish second, while teammates Pike and Napier finished third and fifth with times of 51.50 and 53.28.


Redshirt junior Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) marked her return to collegiate compeition after a 15-month hiatus due to shoulder surgery with a first-place finish and NCAA B time in the 200 back. Retrum clocked in at 1:59.43, and Spofforth finished just behind her in second-place with an NCAA B time of 2:00.86.


“Leah really made a big win for us. For her to come back after 15 months and win her first event was great. She gave us a huge boost, and it was good to see how she responded to competition again,” said Troy.


The Gators turned in their second 1-2-3 showing of the day in the 500 free, as Burckle (4:49.33), Ball (4:53.49) and junior Kim Larson (Longwood, Fla.) each notched NCAA B times in the event. Junior Amanda Hartley (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Carusone followed the trio with a second and third-place showing in the 200 breast, where Hartley recorded a time of 2:19.93 and Carusone clocked in at 2:22.68.


In diving action, sophomore Whitney Stern (Safety Harbor, Fla.) posted a NCAA automatic qualifying and career-best score of 282.38 on the three-meter board to claim her first collegiate first-place finish in the event. She also placed third on the one-meter board with a score of 242.63, while freshman Jennifer Funch (Cincinnati, Ohio) placed fifth with a score of 224.40. Funch also collected fifth-place in the three-meter event with a score of 255.00.


Weiman, Kemp, Napier and freshman Sarah Peterson (Franklin, Tenn.) wrapped up the meet with a second-place effort in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:27.51, and the quartet of Retrum, Larson, sophomore Kelsy Smith (Cary, N.C.) and freshman Jenne Ballatore (Gainesville, Fla.) placed third with a time of 3:30.03.


“Overall, our freshmen girls swam very well today, and as a coaching staff, we were really looking forward to seeing them in a competition setting for the first time. What we saw today bodes really well for the rest of the season,” concluded Troy.


The Florida women will remain idle for nearly two weeks before returning to Gainesville for their home opener against Southeastern Conference opponent Georgia. The Thursday, October 26 competition is slated to begin at 4 p.m., and has been tabbed as Swimming World Magazine’s Dual Meet of the Week.







400 MR

Brady, Mueller, Kelly, Smith



1000 Free

Katie Ball



200 Free

Lindsey Smith



50 Free

Kaitlyn Brady



200 IM

Justine Mueller



1M Dive

Elyse Lee



200 Fly

Candace Weiman



100 Free

Lindsey Smith



200 Back

Leah Retrum



500 Free

Caroline Burckle



3M Dive

Whitney Stern



200 Breast

Justine Mueller



400 FR

Brady, Kelly, Cole, Johnson







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