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Friday January 4, 2008No. 5 Men's Swimming Holds off Purdue, 137-125

Gainesville, FL

The No. 5 ranked University of Florida men’s swim team earned seven first place finishes and swept the top three spots in three events to defeat No. 12 Purdue University, 137-125, tonight at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.  Florida improves to 6-1 overall on the season.

 

Florida was led by Bradley Ally (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) who totaled 19 points for the Gators thanks to one first place, two second place and one third place finishes.  Ally won what was perhaps the most important race of the night for the Gators, the 400-yard individual medley, touching the wall with a time of 3:54.33 to help the Gators secure the win.  The 400 IM second place finisher, Shaune Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands), swam his way to one first one second and one third place finish for a total of 16 points. Tim Hughes (Winter Park, Fla.) earned a total of 12 points for his team with three second place finishes for Florida.

 

“Shaune Fraser and Bradley Ally were great tonight. They stood up and swam repetitive swims. They kind of saved the team,” said Head Coach Gregg Troy.  “If those two guys don’t stand up and swim real well then we are in trouble.  A guy like Cody Kauffman did a great job also.”

 

Joey Pedraza (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) earned Florida’s first victory of the evening, taking the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:11.94.  Pedraza was followed by Dustin McLarty (DeLand, Fla.) who swam his way to a time of 9:15.92 and Cody Kauffman (Harrisburg, Pa.) who finished third with a time of 9:16.10.

 

Grant Johnson (Clearwater, Fla.) gave the Gators their second win of the night, touching first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:38.53.  Jos Smith (Milledgeville, Ga.) earned his first top three finish of the night with a third place time of 1:41.40.  Matt Norton touched in fourth with a time of 1:42.48 while Logan Storie (Corvallis, Ore.) finished sixth with a time of 1:43.10 after swimming in the first heat of the race.

 

Ally raced to a third place finish in the 100-yard breast stroke, touching in with a time of 57.11.  He was followed by Kyle Deery (Daytona Beach, Fla.) who touched in right behind him with a time of 58.92.

 

Florida headed into the break in style, placing swimmers in the top two spots thanks to solid swims by Fraser and Hughes.  Fraser touched in first with a time of 1:46.87 followed by Hughes in second with a time of 1:47.67.  Clark Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) rounded out the top four with a swim of 1:48.35.

 

Daniel Penniman (Pensacola, Fla.) touched the wall with Florida’s best finish in the 50-yard free of third.  His time of 20.88 placed him ahead of teammate Smith who finished fifth with a time of 21.38.

 

Out of the intermission, Johnson turned in a third place finish in the 100-yard free to give the Gators their top time in the event.  Smith followed, finishing fourth with his time of 46.81.  Brett Jones also turned in a seventh place time of 48.53.

 

Tullius gave the Gators a big boost in the 200-yard back with his first place swim of 1:48.45.  He out-touched second place finisher and Purdue stand-out Romain Maire by just four one-hundreths of a second.  Roland Rudolf finished .50 behind with a time of 1:48.99 to take third.  Stroman and Pedraza also turned in sixth and eighth place finishes respectively with times of 1:55.40 and 1:58.43.  Pedraza’s swim was part of the first heat of the race.

 

Ally retured to swim the 200-yard breast and was just out-touched at the wall by Purdue’s Jin-Soo Kim.  Kim finished with a time of 2:01.63 while Ally touched in with his time of 2:01.78.  Deery finished fourth for the Gators with a time of 2:06.57 and Kevin Nead (Ithaca, N.Y.), in his first meet since returning from France, took fifth with a time of 2:11.14.  Jarrod Brinker (Kennesaw, Ga.), who swam in the first heat of the race placed seventh overall with a time of 2:14.63.

 

Only up two heading into the 500-yard free, Florida received the boost it needed, sweeping the event en route to jumping up 15 points.  Ryan Crete (Sarasota, Fla.) finished 2.36 seconds ahead of the field, winning the event with a time of 4:32.00.  Storie followed touching the wall in 4:34.36 while Kauffman touched in third with a time of 4:34.46 to give the Gators the sweep.  Eric Shrestha’s (Tallahassee, Fla.) time of 4:35.90 from the first heat of the race was good enough to place him in fourth. 

 

Purdue cut the lead to just eight points with Andrew Langenfeld’s win in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 48.91.  Hughes was a close second, touching the wall in 49.37 seconds.  Walsh turned in a fourth place finish with a time of 50.03 while Penniman finished sixth with a time of 50.74.

 

Florida answered right back, securing the win in the 400-yard individual medley thanks to a sweep of the top four spots on the leader board.  Ally led the way for the Gators, touching in with a time of 3:54.33.  He was followed by Fraser (3:55.07), McLarty (3:55.72) and Nead (3:59.57).  Ally’s time was the lone provisional ‘B’ cut time in the event for the Gators.

 

In the final event of the evening, Florida and Purdue split the top two spots with the Boilermakers coming out on top in the 200-yard free relay with a combined time of 1:22.60.  Florida’s Penniman, Hughes, Smith and Fraser combined to finish with a time of 1:23.02, good enough for second place. 

 

“We had some people that were really good and we had some people that are nowhere near where they need to be,” said Troy.  “Purdue raced us really tough. They have a great dual meet team and raced us very tough. We had some spots that we weren’t prepared very well in.”

 

In Athens, Georgia, the Florida divers took to the boards for the second day of the Georgia Diving Invitational.  The Gators best finish came from Jeanna Bartell (Boca Raton, Fla.) on the three-meter board.  Bartell continued her solid weekend of diving, finishing 14th in the preliminaries with a score of 234.65.  Whitney Stern (Safety Harbor, Fla.) followed closely with a 15th place score of 234.25 while Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) was 16th with a total of 233.05 points.

For the men, Aaron Leech (Newark, Del.) turned in a 21st place showing on the one-meter board with a total of 242.60 points.  He was joined in the standings by Grayson Patten (West Palm Beach, Fla.), who improved on yesterday’s standing, placed 34th with 210.20 points.

 

Florida and Purdue will renew their battle tomorrow as both teams will clash once again, along with Indian River Community College.  The meet is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. in the O’Connell Center.  Florida’s women will also be in action as they host fellow Southeastern Conference foe, University of Arkansas as well as IRCC.

 

Florida’s divers will conclude their stay in Athens, Georgia tomorrow afternoon, as the Gators take to the platform for one round of competition.

 

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