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Friday January 12, 2007No. 9 Gators Claim 159-122 Victory Over Virginia

Gainesville, Fla.

The ninth-ranked University of Florida women’s swimming and diving squad (5-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) opened the spring portion of its 2006-07 schedule with a 159-122 victory over No. 20 Virginia (3-2, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) Friday evening in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium. With the win, the Gator women improved their all-time series record to 5-0 against the Cavaliers.

 

“We raced really well, but that’s not to say that we still don’t have some work to do before the conference meet. After tonight’s meet, I can say that I’m pretty happy with where we’re at for this point in the season,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said.

 

Florida claimed each of the top three spots in the sprint freestyle and 200 fly competitions. Junior Natalie Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) led the way for the Gators with a pair of wins and NCAA provisional times in the 100 and 200 free after touching the wall in 50.77 and 1:48.14, respectively.

 

“Natalie had a very good December, as far as training is concerned. She has developed some confidence in herself, and that is beginning to show in each of her events. She’s becoming a big-time contender for Florida,” Troy added.

 

Freshman Elizabeth Kemp (Potomac, Md.) and sophomore Lauren Winter (Dalkeith, Australia) finished second and third in the 100 free, with Kemp clocking a ‘B’-cut time of 50.84 and Winter finishing in 51.57. In 200 free action, senior Kristin Gilliam (Gainesville, Fla.) claimed second place with a time of 1:50.84, and freshman Jenne Ballatore (Gainesville, Fla.) completed the sweep with a third-place showing (1:51.88).

 

Freshman Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) was the top finisher in the 50 free, where she recorded a provisional-qualifying time of 23.29. She was followed by Kemp and junior Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) in second and third with times of 23.50 and 23.93, respectively.

 

Senior Ashley Carusone (High Springs, Fla.) led off a trio of Florida swimmers that finished 1-2-3 in the 200 fly with a ‘B’ time of 2:00.47, and redshirt junior Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) added a provisional time of her own after finishing second in 2:01.41. Sophomore Stephanie Cota (Granite Bay, Calif.) notched a third-place finish in the event with a time of 2:04.16.

 

Sophomore Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.) jumpstarted the Gator domination as she clocked a 1,650 free ‘B’ time of 16:27.65 in the first individual swimming competition of the evening, and junior Kim Larson (Longwood, Fla.) followed with a provisional time of 16:36.81 for second place.

 

The Gators also controlled the top spot in the 100 and 200 backstroke events as freshman Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) notched provisional times in each. Her first-place time of 55.25 in the 100 back marked a season best, and she was just one hundredth of a second off her season best time of 2:00.34 in her 200 back victory.

 

Also claiming one of Florida’s 12 ‘B’ cut times in the ACC-SEC showdown was junior Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.), who led Florida in the 100 breast with a time of 1:03.04.

 

The quartet of Pike, Winter, Burckle and Kemp added the final NCAA ‘B’ time of the evening with a time of 3:23.36 in the 400 free relay. Earlier in the evening, Vanderbilt, Burckle, Winter and Napier claimed the first swimming win of the night as they opened the meet with a time of 1:42.85 in the 200 medley relay.

 

In diving action, sophomore Whitney Stern (Safety Harbor, Fla.) and freshman Jennifer Funch (Cincinatti, Ohio) finished 1-2 on the 3-meter board with scores of 247.80 and 240.68, respectively.

 

Florida will return to action Saturday afternoon as it serves host to instate Indian River Community College. Diving events will begin at 1:30 p.m., and swimming will get underway at 3 p.m.

 

Women’s Results (Florida 159, Virginia 122)

Event

Winner

School

Time/Score

1M Dive

Jackie Apple

Virginia

224.92

200y MR

Vanderbilt, Burckle, Winter, Napier

Florida

1:42.85

1650y Free

Laurabeth Guenthner

Florida

16:27.65

200y Free

Natalie Pike

Florida

1:48.14

100y Back

Gemma Spofforth

Florida

55.25

100y Breast

Caroline Burckle

Florida

1:03.04

200y Fly

Ashley Carusone

Florida

2:00.47

50y Free

Stephanie Napier

Florida

23.29

3M Dive

Whitney Stern

Florida

247.80

100y Free

Natalie Pike

Florida

50.77

200y Back

Gemma Spofforth

Florida

2:00.35

200y Breast

Jenny Steiner

Virginia

2:18.90

500y Free

Jenna Harris

Virginia

4:59.77

100y Fly

Stephanie Glover

Virginia

56.86

400y IM

Erin Corgan

Virginia

4:25.82

400y FR

Lewis, Glover, Law, Bland

Virginia

3:28.48

 

-UF-

 

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