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Friday January 26, 2007Florida Wins Third-Straight SEC Dual with 157-86 Victory Over Tennessee

Gainesville, Fla.

The sixth-ranked University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team (9-2, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) tallied eight first-place finishes and 15 NCAA provisional-qualifying times in a 157-86 victory over No. 13 Tennessee (4-4, 2-3 SEC)  Friday evening in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium. With the win, the Gators earned their third-straight dual victory against a conference opponent, and also improved their all-time record to a perfect 20-0 over the Lady Vols.

 

Seven Gator women garnered NCAA ‘B’ cuts for the first time this season, including the 200-yard medley relay quartet of Kristen Harris (Holmdel, N.J.), Caroline Drab (Lund, Sweden), Jennie Lindh (Kalmar, Sweden) and Colleen Healy (Cape Coral, Fla.), who recorded a season-best time of 1:42.44 for Florida.

 

“We got off to a great start tonight, with Kristen, Caroline, Jennie and Colleen surprising us with a ‘B’ cut. Needless to say, that helped make us very pleased all around,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “We knew we were going to have some fast swims tonight, but we would still like to see some of the women get a little bit faster times, and we’ll give them another shot at that tomorrow (against FAU).”

 

Redshirt junior Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomores Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.) and Stephanie Cota (Granite Bay, Calif.)  tallied the Orange and Blue’s first 1-2-3 sweep of the evening in the 1,000-yard freestyle, with Ball clocking a first-place time of 9:52.05. Guenthner and Cota followed with times of 9:52.51 and 10:09.79, respectively.

 

In the 200-yard free, freshman Jenne Ballatore (Gainesville, Fla.) notched the first ‘B’ cut of her collegiate career with a first-place time of 1:48.68, and senior Kristin Gilliam (Gainesville, Fla.) just missed the same cut as she recorded a third-place time of 1:50.52. Freshman Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Healy followed with second and third-place finishes in the 50 free with times of 23.50 and 23.60.

 

Redshirt junior Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) touched the wall in a provisional-qualifying time of 4:19.08 in the 400-yard IM, which also marked a season-best time in the event for the Gator women. Freshman Kristen Beales (Arlington, Va.) followed with a second-place time of 4:23.10, marking her first-ever provisional time, and junior Natalie Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) took third in 4:28.37 to complete the Florida sweep.

 

The Gators recorded their second-straight sweep of the individual events as senior Ashley Carusone (High Springs, Fla.) and sophomores Jenny Lago (Wellington, Fla.) and Kelsy Smith (Cary, N.C.) claimed the top-three spots in the 200-yard butterfly, with Carusone notching a ‘B’ time of 2:01.14.

 

Spofforth, Gilliam and freshman Sarah Peterson (Franklin, Tenn.) posted the top-three finishes in the 200-yard backstroke, but Harris blew away the field by nearly five seconds as she notched her second ‘B’ time of the night with a time of 1:59.66 while swimming as an exhibition entry.

 

Florida freshmen dominated the 500-yard freestyle, as Elizabeth Goldson (Glen Cove, N.Y.) and Beales swam to first and second places with provisional times of 4:52.05 and 4:52.24, respectively, and Ballatore came in third with a time of 4:55.37.

 

Juniors Amanda Hartley (Tallahasse, Fla.) and Drab finished second and third in the 200-yard breaststroke before the quartet of Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.), Pike, Lauren Winter (Dalkeith, Australia) and Napier wrapped up the meet with a final ‘B’ time of 1:33.13 in the 200-yard free relay for first place.

 

“Kristen Harris and Kristen Beales swam very well tonight, and they still have a good chance of getting to the NCAA meet. We’ll get another shot either at the conference championship or the time trial afterwards,” Troy added.

 

In diving action, Tennessee’s Lauren LeRoy claimed victories on the one- and three-meter boards. Florida freshman Jennifer Funch (Cincinnati, Ohio) took second in the one-meter event with a season-best score of 263.55, and sophomore Whitney Stern (Safety Harbor, Fla.) posted a career-best on the three-meter board with a score of 315.83 for second place.

 

Tonight’s meet will air on tape delay by Sun Sports at 10 a.m. EST on Feb. 4, and at 4 p.m. EST on Feb. 5.

 

The Gator women will wrap up the regular season tomorrow afternoon with a 1 p.m. contest against in-state opponent Florida Atlantic. Prior to the meet, Florida will recognize the six members of this year’s senior class.

 

Women’s Results (Florida 157, Tennessee 86)

Event

Winner

School

Time/Score

1M Dive

Lauren LeRoy

Tennessee

273.45

200y MR

Spofforth, Burckle, Vanderbilt, Napier

Florida

1:42.69

1000y Free

Katie Ball

Florida

9:52.05

200y Free

Jenne Ballatore

Florida

1:48.68

50 Free

Christin Magnuson

Tennessee

23.34

400 IM

Leah Retrum

Florida

4:19.08

200 Fly

Ashley Carusone

Florida

2:01.14

100 Free

Christin Magnuson

Tennessee

50.84

200 Back

Gemma Spofforth

Florida

2:04.59

500 Free

Elizabeth Goldson

Florida

4:52.05

3M Dive

Lauren LeRoy

Tennessee

367.80

200 Breast

Tiffany Clay

Tennessee

2:19.05

200 FR

Burckle, Pike, Winter, Napier

Florida

1:33.13

 

-UF-

 

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