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Saturday January 12, 2008No. 5 Men's Swimming Sails Past LSU

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida No. 5 men’s and No. 7 women’s swimming and diving teams used a total team effort to defeat Southeastern Conference foe No. 21 (M) and No. 24 (W) Louisiana State University, 132-109 on the men’s side and 137-94 on the women’s side at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

 

The dual meet win moves the Gators’ records to 9-1 on the men’s side and 8-1 on the women’s.  The Gators were led by 11 first place finishes for the women and seven for the men.  Florida also swept the top four spots and top three spots in two separate events for the men and a sweep of at least the top three places in three events.

 

“We raced well. We had some people step up and make a little statement that maybe we need to consider them for the conference meet,” said head coach Gregg Troy. “Caroline Burckle has been amazing the 100 freestyle was really good for her. Amanda Hartley was real good. We are seeing some people step up in different events for us which is helpful because we weren’t very versatile on the women’s side.  We are becoming much more versatile.”

 

The meet also gave Florida a chance to rest some of the regulars who have been swimming an intense schedule this season due the training schedule and several national and international meets and Olympic Trials that are set for June.  The Gators will need all the rest they can get before hosting National Champion Auburn in two weeks.

 

“This is the last meet where we had a chance to sub some of the higher profile people not to swim a full slate. Against Auburn they are going to have to go in everything,” said Troy.  “This was the last meet that we had to really establish who our conference team was. So, we will make the final decisions after Auburn. Auburn we get to see the best team in the country, and it will be good for us.”

 

The Florida women led off the meet with a first and third place finish in the 200-yard medley relay.  Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.), Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.), Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) and Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) earned an NCAA provisional time of 1:42.07.  The Gators led LSU from start to finish to claim the victory.  Sarah Peterson (Franklin, Tenn.), Amanda Hartley (Tallahassee, Fla.), Natalie Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Colleen Healy (Cape Coral, Fla.) swam in with a time of 1:44.26 to claim third.

 

For the men, Rex Tullius (Port Orange, Fla.), Bradley Ally (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia), and Daniel Penniman (Pensacola, Fla) touched the wall second, finishing .26 seconds behind first place LSU with a time of 1:30.47.

 

Kristen Beales (Arlington, Va.) swam her way to a first place finish with a time of 10:03.79 in the 1,000-yard free, she was joined by Madison Parker (Biloxi, Miss.) who took second with a time of 10:09.61.  On the men’s side Clark Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) and Tobias Work (Falmouth, Mass.) combined to go one-two.  Burckle finished with a time of 9:10.53 to take the win and Work clocked in with a time of 9:12.14.

 

Pike turned in the Gators third straight win on the women’s side with a time of 1:47.73 in the 200-yard free.  Kim Larson (Longwood, Fla.) (1:51.77) was fourth and Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.) placed fifth (1:51.87).

 

Roland Rudolf (Budapest, Hungary), Tim Hughes (Winter Park, Fla.) and Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) swept through the men’s side.  Rudolf touched in first with a time of 1:39.45 while Hughes (1:40.85) was second and Fraser (1:42.21) was third.

 

The Gators earned their fourth first place time in as many events in the women’s 50-yard free.  Napier out-touched Liz Kemp (Potomac, Md.) to finish with a time of 23.36 to claim the win.  Kemp clocked in second with her time of 23.58.  Penniman finished with the men’s best time of 20.70 to claim second place.  Fraser was third, touching the wall just four one-hundredths of a second behind with a time of 20.74.

 

Florida continued to excel in the 400-yard IM, claiming the top three spots in the event led by Stephanie Proud (Durham, England) with a time of 4:18.26.  Stacy Nedrud (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) and Sarah Sykes (Jacksonville, Fla.) claimed the second and third place spots with times of 4:22.98 and 4:26.31 respectively. 

 

Pinzon claimed first for the men, touching in with a time of 3:51.46 that was 7.14 ahead of the rest of the field.  Tullius was third with his time of 4:01.52.

 

Heading into the first diving break of the afternoon, the Gators held a substantial lead on the women’s side of 71-22, while the men led the Tigers, 57.36.

 

Florida swept through the 200-yard butterfly out of the diving break, Pike, Sykes and Lindsay Woodward (Assonet, Mass.) claimed the top three spots of the event.  Pike took first with a time of 2:02.12.  Sykes (2:02.31) and Woodward (2:05.41) followed in second and third. 

 

Walsh and McLarty combined to go one-two in the men’s 200-yard butterfly.  Walsh finished first with his time of 1:48.64 while McLarty was second with a time of 1:50.55.  Matthew Norton (Port Orange, Fla.) was fourth with a time of 1:52.44.

 

Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ohio) picked up her first win of the season in the 200-yard back, clocking in with a time of 1:59.45.  Vanderbilt finished second with a time of 1:59.95 and Nedrud was fourth with a time of 2:04.90. Pinzon gave the Gators another win on the men’s side, finishing first with a time of 1:47.90.  Kevin Nead (Ithaca, N.Y.) continued to have a strong first week back, finishing second with a time of 1:50.28.

 

Burckle continued to excel, winning the 100-yard free with a time of 49.72. Spofforth was fourth with a time of 51.86 and Napier clocked in sixth with a time of 52.39.  On the men’s end, Fraser had the Gators best finish, placing second with a time of 45.26 and Jos Smith (Milledgeville, Ga.) was third with his time of 46.63.

 

Peterson gave the Gators their ninth win of the afternoon, leading off a 1-2-3-4 sweep in the women’s 500-yard free with a time of 4:58.06.  Goldson placed second (4:58.95), Jenne Ballatore (Gainesville, Fla.) was third (4:59.88) and Beales was fourth with her time of 5:01.19.

 

The Gator men followed suit, sweeping the top four spots led by Rudolf who took first with a time of 4:26.48.  Joey Pedraza (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) was second with a time of 4:26.57, Work was third with a time of 4:31.49 while Kauffman was fourth with his time of 4:34.12 heading into the second diving break.

 

With just two events remaining, the Gators headed into the final stretch with the women ahead 137-50 and the men ahead 114-74.  Hartley won the women’s 200-breast with a time of 2:18.14, she was joined by Ally on the men’s side who took first with a time of 2:02.28.  Deery was second with a time of 2:06.15.

 

In the afternoon’s final event of the afternoon, the 800-yard free relay, the Gators placed first with the quartet of Burckle, Pike, Kemp and Napier finishing with a time of 1:33.15.  The Gator men’s team of Penniman, S. Fraser, Hughes and Smith was out-touched at the wall, finishing second with a time of 1:21.90

 

During the one-meter diving competition, Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) placed second for Florida with a score of 250.20.  She was followed by Jeanna Bartell (Boca Raton, Fla.) who was third with a score of 250.05 and Jennifer Funch (Cincinnati, Ohio) who finished fifth with a time of 245.10.  Aaron Leech (Newark, Del.) took third for the men with a score of 265.35 and Grayson Patten (West Palm Beach, Fla.) was fifth with a score of 241.13.

 

The three-meter dive produced a second place finish from Leech with a score of 293.78 and a fifth place finish from Patten with a score of 229.88.  For the women, Dodson took second place with a score of 288.15.  Funch was fifth with a score of 245.33 and Bartell was sixth with a score of 236.63.

 

Florida will be in action again in two weeks when they host National Champion and SEC rival Auburn at the O’Connell Center on January 26.  The meet is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

 

 

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