seventh ranked University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team wrapped
up competition at the 2007 Purdue Invitational this afternoon, coming away with
564.5 points for a third place finish.
Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) earned her second first place
finish of the meet, taking the top spot in the 200-yard backstroke with a time
of 2:00.25. She bettered her preliminary time by more than two seconds to
take the win. For Vanderbilt it was her best time of the season and keeps
her in the second spot on the Gators’ top-10 season times.
Jenne Ballatore (Gainesville, Fla.) joined Vanderbilt in the 200 back
final, finishing fifth overall with a time of 2:05.44. For Ballatore, it
was a career best time that places her fifth on the season list.
The 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard breaststroke proved to be challenging
events for the Gators this weekend. Florida got their best finish in the
freestyle from Colleen Healy (Cape Coral, Fla.) who finished second in the ‘C’
final to place 18th overall with a time of 52.58. That time is the
seventh best time swum in that event by a Gator this season. Coral Lopez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) took 23rd overall with a time of
In the breaststroke, Florida swam just one competitor in
Denise Gunter (Jacksonville, Fla.). Gunter took the top time
in the ‘C’ final, swimming to the wall with a time of 2:28.29 to place 17th
overall. For Gunter it was a season and personal best time.
Sarah Sykes (Jacksonville, Fla.) turned in her second best
performance of the season, swimming to the wall in 2:04.09 to tie for second
with Missouri’s Jill Granger. Sykes was joined by Lindsay Woodward (Assonet, Mass.) who finished 11th overall with a
time of 2:06.65 and Jenny Lago (Wellington, Fla.) who placed 15th with a time of
Florida’s best finish in the 1,650-yard
freestyle came from Elizabeth Goldson (Glen Cove, N.Y.). Goldson led the way for a
seven-eight-nine finish for the Gators, finishing with a time of 17:15.52.
She was followed by Madison Parker
(Biloxi, Miss.) who
finished eighth with a time of 17:21.99. Sykes rounded out the top
finishers for Florida, swimming in with a time of
17:27.04 to take the ninth spot.
The Gators’ ‘A’ squad took third place in the 400 freestyle relay. Healy,
Vanderbilt, Rebekah Epley (Russellville,
Ky.) and Ballatore finished with a
combined time of 3:28.40, finishing just ahead of Purdue at the wall.
Jeniree Flores (San Cristobal Tachira, Venezuela) finished
fifth to lead the contingent of Gator divers on the platform this afternoon.
Flores finished with 227.85 total
points, marking the first time in her career that she has dove from the
platform for the Gators. Jennifer
Funch (Cincinnati, Ohio) was ninth
with 214.15 points while Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) and Whitney Stern (Safety Harbor, Fla.) finished
in 13th and 14th places respectively with scores of 196.80 and 190.45.
The Gators will return home to face FloridaState on Tuesday evening. The
meet will kick off a week’s worth of events between the Gators and Seminoles
and is scheduled to begin at at the Stephen C. O’Connell