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Thursday October 26, 2006No. 2 Florida Defeats No. 5 Georgia for Second Time in Troy Era

Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 2 University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team defeated No. 5 Georgia, 129-114, for the second time under head coach Gregg Troy. With the Thursday afternoon victory at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the Gators (2-0 overall, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) improved to 8-1 in home openers in The Troy Era, and 13-8 all-time over the Lady Bulldogs.

 

“We beat a real good Georgia team today. We jumped on them early and stayed on them,” said Troy. “It’s a big win for us, but it’s just October, and that makes it an even bigger prediction that we are moving in the right direction.”

 

The Gators jumped into an early lead over the Bulldogs as the 400-yard medley relay team of freshmen Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) and Elizabeth Kemp (Potomac, Md.), junior Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) and senior Candace Weiman (Castro Valley, Calif.) posted an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:42.61 in the event. Junior Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) also notched a ‘B’ cut time in the 100-yard backstroke (55.21) as she led off the Florida B relay.

 

Florida finished 1-2-3 in the first of three events in the 1,000-yard freestyle, with junior Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio) setting a career-best time of 9:49.75 for first place. Sophomore Stephanie Cota (Granite Bay, Calif.) finished second in a time of 9:49.75, and junior Kim Larson (Longwood, Fla.) claimed third place after touching the wall in 9:56.97.

 

Burckle notched her first individual win of the day with an NCAA B time of 1:47.64 in the 200-yard freestyle, and junior Natalie Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) claimed third in the event with a provisional time of 1:49.41.

 

Freshman Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and sophomore Lauren Winter (Dalkeith, Australia) increased the Florida lead to 54-39 after notching second and fourth-place finishes in the 50-yard freestyle, respectively, with times of 23.56 and 23.67.

 

The trio of Weiman, junior Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) and senior Ashley Carusone (High Springs, Fla.) combined for the first three places and three provisional times in the 200-yard individual medley. Weiman clocked in at 2:02.77 for first place, while Retrum’s 2:03.14 placed her second and Carusone finished third with a time of 2:03.78.

 

The Gators posted their final 1-2-3 finish of the day in the 200-yard butterfly with another trio of provisional times. Weiman claimed first after clocking in at 2:00.78, and Carusone and Cota took second and third with times of 2:02.01 and 2:02.32.

 

Retrum, Spofforth and sophomore Kelsy Smith (Cary, N.C.) tallied provisional times in the 200-yard backstroke, where Retrum led the Gators with a time of 1:58.48 for second place. Smith finished third with a time of 2:00.03, and Spofforth came in fourth after clocking in at 2:00.34.

 

Burckle notched Florida’s first NCAA automatic qualifying time of the season with a 4:45.21 finish in the 500-yard freestyle for her third victory of the meet. Ball recorded her second provisional time of the season in the event with a time of 4:51.44 which placed her fourth.

 

“Caroline has been training great. She’s had probably the best six weeks of training out of the entire team,” said Troy. “She was a little bit injured last season, and we didn’t get to see what she was capable of after her great freshman year. Right now, we’re seeing better things out of Caroline than in her freshman season, and that’s a sign of great things to come.”

 

In diving action, freshman Jennifer Funch (Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore Whitney Stern (Safety Harbor, Fla.) finished second and third on the one-meter boards with scores of 233.85 and 231.38, respectively, while sophomore Jeana Bartell (Boca Raton, Fla.) led the Gators in the three-meter event with a second-place score of 270.01, which just made the NCAA B cut.

 

Florida will return to the water Friday afternoon as it hosts No. 16 Minnesota. The men’s and women’s one-meter diving events will begin at 12:15 p.m., and swimming action is slated for a 2 p.m. start. Doors will open prior to the onset of diving competition.

 

Event

Winner

School

Time

1M Dive

Emily Hunter

Georgia

241.50

400 MR

Spofforth, Burckle, Weiman, Kemp

Florida

3:42.61

1000 Free

Katie Ball

Florida

9:49.75

200 Free

Caroline Burckle

Florida

1:47.64

50 Free

Kara Lynn Joyce

Georgia

22.99

200 IM

Candace Weiman

Florida

2:02.77

3M Dive

Emily Hunter

Georgia

299.03

200 Fly

Candace Weiman

Florida

2:00.78

100 Free

Kara Lynn Joyce

Georgia

50.25

200 Back

Aleksandra Putra

Georgia

1:58.07

500 Free

Caroline Burckle

Florida

4:45.21

200 Breast

Kelly McNichols

Georgia

2:17.82

400 FR

Cole, Carter, Miller, Joyce

Georgia

3:23.94

 

-UF-

 

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