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Sophomore Lucas Salatta took third place in the 200 IM on Thursday.

Thursday March 15, 2007Three Men's Swimmers Earn Top-Five Finishes In 200 IM On Day One Of NCAA Championships

Minneapolis, MN

Sophomore Lucas Salatta took third place in the 200 IM on Thursday.

Sophomore Lucas Salatta (Sao Paulo, Brazil) led a group of three Florida swimmers to top-five finishes in the 200 individual medley, and the eighth-ranked Gators claimed a share of fourth place on day one of the 2007 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday. UF’s 106 points have them just 81 points behind, and in striking distance of, first-place Auburn.

 

“We had some really close races tonight, and we stood up and faced the challenge,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “Our guys laid it all out there tonight, and it paid off for us because we had a good day. We had young guys step up for us tonight and do a fantastic job, which allowed us to rest some people for the relays. Overall, this was a terrific day for us.”

 

Salatta made a late charge in the 200 IM to earn a third-place finish, while sophomore Bradley Ally (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) placed fourth and freshman Shaune Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) touched fifth. With times of 1:43.69 and 1:43.85, respectively, Salatta and Ally became just the third and fourth swimmers in UF history to post sub-1:44 times in the 200 IM. Salatta’s performance earned him the third spot on the school’s all-time chart, while Ally now ranks as the fourth-fastest Gator to ever swim the event. Fraser, whose career-best time of 1:44.67 from the morning’s prelims session stands sixth all-time at Florida, posted a time of 1:44.93 in the final to round out the UF top-five trio. No school other than Florida had more than one swimmer in the championship final of the 200 IM, while only one team placed a combined three swimmers in the consolation and championship races.

 

The All-America honor that accompanied his third-place finish was the eighth of Salatta’s career, while Ally picked up his seventh career accolade in the effort. Both sophomores have collected All-America recognition in each individual event in which they have competed at the NCAA Championships during their careers. Fraser earned the first individual All-America honor of his young career in the event.

 

“Those guys are all so young, and they’re all going to keep getting better and stronger,” Troy said. “Those are three really great guys, and they raced the whole way. I was really proud of the way they competed tonight. Not only was it great for the team, but it was a tremendous display of their character and desire to race.”

 

Another pair of Gators swam to the first All-America honors of their careers on Thursday night, as freshman Roland Rudolf (Budapest, Hungary) and junior Tobias Work (Falmouth, Mass.) placed ninth and 13th, respectively, in the 500 free. Rudolf notched a time of 4:18.37 during the finals session, bettering his prelims time of 4:18.64. Work, who had narrowly missed earning All-America status in two previous trips to the NCAA meet, turned in a time of 4:20.18 on Thursday night. His time of 4:17.65 in prelims, however, constituted a career best and moved him up to fourth on the school’s all-time list.

 

UF closed the night on a high note, as the 400 MR team of Salatta, Ally, junior Tim Hughes (Winter Park, Fla.) and junior Daniel Penniman (Pensacola, Fla.) registered the third-fastest time in school history with a mark of 3:09.65, good for sixth place. Salatta led-off the race with a split of 46.63 in the 100 back that was not only a career bet, but also propelled him into second on the program’s all-time charts for the event.

 

The evening’s first event, the 200 FR, saw the UF squad of Penniman, Hughes, sophomore Jos Smith (Milledgeville, Ga.) and junior Grant Johnson (Clearwater, Fla.) post a time of 1:18.85, which rated as the sixth-best time in UF history, to place eighth. The performance earned the first career All-America honors for Hughes, Smith and Johnson.

 

“Our relays were better tonight than they’ve been the rest of the season,” Troy said. “I can’t say enough about people like Jos Smith and Grant Johnson, and the way they came up big for us tonight. Performances like those in the relays are what can help set us up to have a great meet.”

 

Florida’s relays were also on top of their game during Thursday morning’s prelims session, beginning with the 200 FR squad of Ally, Penniman, Salatta and Fraser. The quartet qualified eighth for finals with a time of 1:18.27 that ranked as the second-fastest time in school history. Ally led-off the race with a career-best split of 20.08 in the 50 free. Salatta, Ally, Hughes and Penniman capped off the morning with a time of 3:09.88.

 

Johnson lowered his career best in the 500 free to 4:21.08 during prelims to earn a 22nd-place finish. Freshman Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia) also set a personal best on Thursday morning, posting a time of 1:47.78 that was good for 29th place. Penniman’s 27th-place showing in the 50 free came by way of a time of 19.85, which represented another career best and also tied him for 5th in the UF record books.

 

Salatta finished the day as UF’s active leader in All-America honors, having earned three on the day to run his career total to 10. Penniman’s double All-America performance on Thursday gave him nine career honors, while Ally’s three also moved his career haul of All-America plaudits to nine.

 

“We just have to come in tomorrow with our nose to the grindstone and get the job done,” Troy said. “It’s not like we have to save anything, so our guys know that they’re job is give all they have. Our team loves to race, and we’ve got plenty of that ahead of us.”

 

Men’s swimming action will continue from University Aquatics Center on Friday at 1 p.m. EST, and the divers will return to competition at approximately 2:30 p.m. EST. See below for schedule of events. Live results can be accessed via www.gatorzone.com.

 

Team Top-10 Through Day One

1. Auburn – 187 points

2. Arizona – 121 points

3. Texas – 107 points

T4. Northwestern – 106 points

T4. FLORIDA – 106 POINTS

6. Stanford – 100 points

7. Southern California – 60 points

8. Michigan – 58 points

9. California – 52 points

10. Ohio State – 39 points

 

 

Day One Event Winners

Event

Name (School)

Time

200 FR

Cielo, Targett, Goodrich, Lundquist (Auburn)

1:14.71^#%

500 Free

Larsen Jensen (Southern California)

4:09.80%

200 IM

Adam Ritter (Arizona)

1:41.72

50 Free

Cesar Cielo (Auburn)

18.69^#%

1M Dive

Terry Horner (Florida State)

399.35

400 MR

Grevers, Alexandrov, Bubolz, Barbic (Northwestern)

3:04.40^#%

^ - Denotes NCAA record

@ - Denotes American record

# - Denotes US Open record

% - Denotes pool record

& - Denotes NCAA meet record only

 

Day One Prelims Winners

Event

Name (School)

Time

200 FR

Cielo, Targett, Andkjaer, Goodrich (Auburn)

1:15.56

500 Free

Shaun Phillips (Stanford)

4:14.82

200 IM

LUCAS SALATTA (FLORIDA)

1:44.27

50 Free

Cesar Cielo (Auburn)

18.84

1M Dive

Magnus Frick (Hawaii)

390.15

400 MR

Grevers, Alexandrov, Bubolz, Barbic (Northwestern)

3:07.78

 

Florida Finishes

500 Free

9. Roland Rudolf – 4:18.37

13. Tobias Work – 4:20.18

22. Grant Johnson – 4:21.08

 

200 IM

3. Lucas Salatta – 1:43.69

4. Bradley Ally – 1:43.85

5. Shaune Fraser – 1:44.93

29. Omar Pinzon – 1:47.78

 

50 Free

27. Daniel Penniman – 19.85

 

Day Two Schedule of Events

200 MR

400 IM

100 Fly

200 Free

100 Breast

100 Back

3M Dive

 

 

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