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Women's Swimming & Diving Headline


Saturday February 9, 2008No. 3 Women's Swimming and Diving Defeats FAU, 169-124, On Senior Day

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida swimming and diving teams got solid performances from several underclassmen on Senior day en route to defeating Florida Atlantic at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.  The third ranked women handed the Owls a 169-124 defeat while the fifth ranked men came away with a 172-112 victory.


The Gators totaled 30 first place finishes and three NCAA provisional times.  30 of the first place finishes came from 24 different swimmers while 11 of the 24 finished first one or more times over the course of the meet. 


As part of the fesitivities included with the final dual meet of the season, 19 seniors were honored prior to the meet for the dedication and success as part of the Gator Swimming and Diving program.  11 of the 19 seniors honored prior to the start of the meet were able to pick up one or more first place finishes at their final home meet of their career.


“The Seniors did very well today,” said head coach Gregg Troy.   “It’s a really great group and is the largest group to graduate since I’ve been here. They are outstanding people.”


Senior Sarah Ellerby dove her way to a first place total on the one meter board to kick off the meet for Florida.  Ellerby totaled 249.75 points before returning to finish fifth on the three meter board with a total of 241.66.  Ellerby also stepped in and joined the 400 free in the final event for the women, swimming the third leg of the exhibition relay for her first swim as a Gator.


Aaron Leech was the top scorer on both the one and three meter boards for the men, totaling 277.73 on the one meter and 318.08 on the three meter board.


The Gator women led off the afternoon with a first and second place finish in the 200 medley relay.  Gemma Spofforth, Caroline Burckle, Julianne Lago, and Stephanie Napier earned a time of 1:44.64, while Samantha Vanderbilt, Denise Gunter, Colleen Healy, and Elizabeth Kemp clocked in with a second place time of 1:46.24.


The Gator men turned in the same result, finishing first and second in the 200 medley relay.  Omar Pinzon, Clark Burckle, Shaune Fraser, and Daniel Penniman combined for a time of 1:30.33, and were followed by Rex Tullius, Bradley Ally, Tim Hughes and Jos Smith, who finished second with a time of 1:32.27.


Stephanie Proud earned the women’s second first place time of the afternoon, taking the top spot in the 1,000 free with a time of 9:57.51.  Freshman Madison Parker was second with a time of 10:06.16.  J.B. Walsh turned in the men’s top time, swimming the event for the first time this season and touching the wall second with a time of 9:39.78.  Alex Martin followed with his time of 9:44.42.


With two heats in the women’s 200-yard free, the Gators swept the top five spots of the event. Led by Kristen Beales, who touched the wall with a provisional time of 1:50.03, the Gators earned a total of 16 points in the event.  The result was the same on the men’s side, as the Gators swept their way to a 1-2-3-4 finish in the event.  Brett Jones clocked in with a lifetime best time of 1:38.40 to lead Florida.


Colleen Healy and Lago earned the top two spots in the women’s 100 back, separated by just .02, clocking in with times of 57.29 and 57.31 respectively.  Fraser led yet another Gator sweep on the men’s side, touching in with a time of 49.87.  He was joined by Konstantin Sundin (51.30), and Scott Thompson (52.37).


Caroline Drab got things going in the 100 breast for the Gators, finishing with an event best 1:06.26.  She was joined on the men’s side by Kyle Deery, who touched first with his time of 57.26.  Michael Joyce (58.54) and Joey Pedraza (1:00.36) completed the Gator sweep, finishing second and third in the event.


Elizabeth Kemp kept the wins coming for the Gators as she clocked in with a time of 2:03.51 to win the 200 butterfly.  The men turned in another 1-2-3 finish, led by Dustin McLarty, who’s time of 1:50.00 was good enough for the win by just .58 seconds.  Roland Rudolf swam to a time of 1:50.58 for second why Ally was third with a time of 1:51.58.


Natalie Pike earned the event’s best time in the 50-free for the women, clocking in at 23.40.  Vanderbilt was third with her time of 24.32, while on the men’s side Florida had yet another 1-2-3 finish led by Tim Hughes, who touched in with a time of 20.82.


Florida jumped out of the first diving break with two more first place finishes in the 100 free.  Healy won the event for the women with a time of 52.06 while Jones claimed the men’s victory with his second career best time of 45.14.  Matthew Norton and Pinzon followed Jones in second and third with times of 46.13 and 46.45 respectively. 


Florida again earned the top three times in the 200 back on the women’s side and top four times on the men’s.  Vanderbilt touched in first for the women with a time of 2:02.11 while Kemp (2:05.08) and Epley (2:05.17) followed in second and third.  Clark Burckle was first for the men with a time of 1:50.95.  He was followed by Logan Storie (1:51.07) and Sundin (1:52.38) in second and third.


Gunter was the top scorer for the women in the 200 breast, finishing with a second place time of 2:30.44.  She was joined by Kyle Deery and Pedraza who finished first and second with times of 2:03.94 and 2:12.14 respectively.


The 500 free produced a 1-2-3 finish for the women, led by Sarah Peterson, who touched first with a time of 4:56.97.  She was joined by Parker (4:57.14) and Sykes (4:58.15).  Due to score differential the Gator men exhibitioned the remainder of the meet, but were led by Ryan Crete who finished first in the 500 free with a time of 4:33.16.


Florida was led the remainder of the way thanks to first place finishes by Pike (55.96) and Penniman (50.20)in the 100 fly, Beales in the 400 IM (4:21.86), and Kevin Nead in the men’s 400 IM (3:53.65).


The Gators were also able to sweep the final relays of the day in the 400 free.  The women were led by Burckle, Pike, Healy and Vanderbilt who touched in with a time of 3:28.39.  The men’s foursome of Jones, Penniman, Johnson and Hughes led the way with a time of 3:00.57.


In all, 13 women earned a first place spot over the course of the meet, individually or as part of one of the relay teams.  Seniors Pike and Healy each led the way with three first place each, two individually. 


Troy offered his praise of the women’s senior class for their leadership and dedication, “The women’s class leadership has been fantastic very directed,” said Troy.  “They’ve been a good group for four years. They are all good students and have been a real quality group.”


The men’s team had five individuals with two or more first place finishes, including seniors Jones and Deery.


“The men’s class has kind of set the tone for the future,” said Troy.  “They were very unheralded coming in and five of them are leaving as an All-American.”


Florida will be idle until the conference championships begin next week.  The divers will take to the boards first beginning February 15 with the divers following on February 20.

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