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Friday January 19, 2007No. 9 Florida Falls at Third-Ranked Auburn, 167-125

Gainesville, Fla.

Junior Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) recorded her second NCAA automatic-qualifying time of the season and two first-place finishes, but despite tallying a season-high 14 NCAA provisional-qualifying times and five first-place finishes, the ninth-ranked University of Florida women’s swimming and diving squad (6-2, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) wasn’t able to overcome the defending national champions as No. 3 Auburn claimed a 167-125 dual-meet victory Friday evening at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala.

 

Auburn is the current national champion for a reason – they’re a tough team and really deep. We raced solid all the way through, but even though we posted some great swims, we’re a little disappointed with the outcome,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “This team displayed a tremendous amount of character tonight. We came out pretty flat at the beginning, but everyone came together in the second half and really displayed the character and competitive drive that this team has.”

 

Burckle recorded a team and season-best time of 4:44.91 in the 500-yard freestyle to punch her second ticket to the NCAA Championship. Her first automatic-qualifying time of the season came in the same event as she posted a time of 4:45.21 against Georgia on Oct. 26, 2006. Earlier in the evening, Burckle recorded the Gators’ first individual win against the Tigers as she claimed the 100-yard breaststroke by nearly a full second with a provisional time of 1:02.28.

 

“Caroline Burckle had an outstanding night. She defeated a U.S. National Team member (Hayley Peirsol) in her 500 free swim, and she really put it to everyone she competed against,” Troy added.

 

Redshirt junior Leah Retrum (Colombus, Ind.) led a trio of Gators to a 1-2-3 sweep in the 200-yard backstroke. Retrum touched the wall in a provisional-qualifying time of 1:58.45, and freshman Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) and sophomore Kelsy Smith (Cary, N.C.) finished second and third, respectively, with ‘B’ cut times of 1:58.73 and 2:00.57.

 

The quartet of Spofforth, Burckle, Lauren Winter (Dalkeith, Australia) and Natalie Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) opened the meet with a second-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay, where they posted a ‘B’ time of 3:42.67.

 

Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio), Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.) and Kim Larson (Longwood, Fla.) finished 3-4-5 in the 1,000-yard freestyle, respectively, before Pike followed with a second-place performance in the 200-yard freestyle with a provisional time of 1:48.27.

 

Junior Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) and Spofforth tallied a pair of ‘B’ cuts in the 100-yard backstroke, where the duo finished third and fourth after touching the wall in 55.53 and 55.60. Senior Ashley Carusone (High Springs, Fla.) clocked in a provisional time of 2:02.03 in the 200-yard butterfly to take third place, and Retrum finished just behind her in fourth with a time of 2:02.66.

 

Freshman Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) just missed her team-best time by one-hundredth of a second in the 50-yard freestyle as she came in second in the event with a ‘B’ time of 23.30, and Pike followed in the 100-yard freestyle with a season team-best time of 50.33 for her second-straight provisional time in as many meets in the event.

 

Along with Burckle’s dominating ‘A’ time in the 500 free, the Gators recorded two additional provisional times as Guenthner and Ball posted third and fourth-place times of 4:50.10 and 4:50.35.

 

Carusone and Smith claimed the top two places in the 200-yard individual medley before the Gators wrapped up the meet with a first-place showing in the 400-yard freestyle relay, where Burckle, Pike, Winter and Kemp collected Florida’s top-time of the season with a 3:20.89 finish.

 

Florida will conclude its visit to the Magnolia State with a tri-meet in Tuscaloosa against SEC foes Alabama and South Carolina on Saturday at 3 p.m.

 

Women’s Results (Auburn 167, Florida 125)

Event

Winner

School

Time/Score

1M Dive

Corey Lyn Gerlach

Auburn

303.97

400y MR

Goh, Stupp, Ohlgren, Kukors

Auburn

3:40.98

1000y Free

Hayley Peirsol

Auburn

9:38.47

200y Free

Emily Kukors

Auburn

1:46.76

100y Back

Rachel Goh

Auburn

54.55

100y Breast

Caroline Burckle

Florida

1:02.28

200y Fly

Tawnie Bethune

Auburn

1:59.41

50y Free

Kara Denby

Auburn

23.23

3M Dive

Corey Lyn Gerlach

Auburn

321.60

100y Free

Kara Denby

Auburn

50.11

200y Back

Leah Retrum

Florida

1:58.45

200y Breast

Anne Amardeilh

Auburn

2:17.01

500y Free

Caroline Burckle

Florida

4:44.91

100y Fly

Tawnie Bethune

Auburn

54.95

200y IM

Ashley Carusone

Florida

2:05.53

400y FR

Burckle, Pike, Winter, Kemp

Florida

3:20.89

 

-UF-

 

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