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Women's Swimming & Diving Headline

Caroline Burckle won the 200 breaststroke SEC Championship

Saturday February 23, 2008Burckle and Spofforth Pick up Titles on Final Night of SEC Championships

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Caroline Burckle won the 200 breaststroke SEC Championship

Clark and Caroline Burckle became the first brother sister combination to claim Southeastern Conference Championships in the same year at the same meet.  The duo won the 200-yard breast stroke on the final day of the SEC swimming and diving championships to lead the sixth ranked men and third ranked women.  Gemma Spofforth and Omar Pinzon also claimed titles, each winning in the 200-yard backstroke. 

 

Both the men and the women finished second to Auburn.  The men totaled 712 points to Auburn’s 806 while the women finished with 706 points to Auburn’s 761.5.  This marks the seventh straight year that the Gator men have finished second and the first time since 2003 that the Florida women placed second.

 

As a team, the Gators totaled 10 championships, two each by Spofforth, Caroline Burckle and Clark Burckle.  Spofforth and Burckle picked up their third SEC title of the meet when the duo combined with Colleen Healy and Stephanie Napier to win the 200 Medley Relay. 

 

“Really happy with the performance, the women especially, they stayed focused on the meet the whole time,” said head coach Gregg Troy.  “The women swam solid the whole way through the meet.  Individually we had some outstanding swims, Caroline Burckle swam some events that she doesn’t normally swim and people like Amanda Hartley really stood up.”

 

Caroline Burckle swam her way to a career best time of 2:12.49, bettering her preliminary time of 2:15.00, to move up to second on the all-time UF list.  Amanda Hartley joined Burckle on the awards stand, swimming to the wall in 2:13.22. 

 

Clark Burckle touched the wall in NCAA automatic qualifying fashion, clocking in with a time of 1:56.00 to claim the third fastest time in school history with his career best swim.  Bradley Ally, last year’s winner in the event, was fourth with a time of 1:57.20.

 

“On the men’s side we had some really good swims,” said Troy.  “The backstroke guys were fantastic.  Again, a lot of the same situation as with the women, we were trying to squeeze out a few extra points here and there.”

 

Spofforth’s swim was perhaps one of the most exciting of the evening.  The sophomore set her second individual SEC record of the meet, touching the wall in 1:50.56.  The swim broke her own school record and established a new pool record as well.  It marked the second time in as many events that Spofforth broke her own school record at the meet.

 

Pinzon followed Spofforth with a top performance of his own, touching the wall with the third fastest time in the nation, all while setting a new career best and pool record en route to the win.  The 200 back was a Gator sweep as Pinzon was joined on the awards stand by Rex Tullius and Roland Rudolf.  Tullius clocked in with a career best and seventh fastest UF time of 1:42.23 while Rudolf was third with a time of 1:43.65.  Senior Kevin Nead was seventh in the event with a time of 1:45.96.

 

Pinzon later returned to touch the wall fourth in the 200 butterfly with the ninth fastest time in school history of 1:44.43, a career best for the sophomore.  Shaune Fraser followed up his 200 freestyle championship with a third place finish in the 200 fly.  Fraser touched in with a time of 1:44.38.  Tim Hughes was eighth in the event with a time of 1:46.05 while Matthew Norton was tenth overall after finishing second in the consolation final with a career best swim of 1:46.67.

 

Stephanie Proud and senior Leah Retrum turned in strong finishes to get the evening going for the Gators.  Proud finished fourth in the 200 back with an automatic qualifying time of 1:54.64, a career best swim for the sophomore from England.  Retrum was fifth with a time of 1:54.91, just barely missing her career best time, but picking up another automatic qualifying time.  Samantha Vanderbilt took first in the consolation final with a career best and ninth best swim in school history of 1:57.36.

 

In the women’s 100 freestyle, Natalie Pike had Florida’s best finish, touching fifth with a career best time of 49.42.  Pike improved upon her preliminary time to move up to eighth on the all-time UF list.  Napier, who broke Dara Torres’ record in the 50 freestyle earlier in the meet, took eighth with a time of 50.00.  Daniel Penniman picked up the win in the consolation final on the men’s side, touching the wall with a time of 43.49, while Jos Smith turned in a fifth place time of 44.49, a career best.

 

The Gators were able to pick up eighth place points from freshman Sarah Sykes in the 200 butterfly.  Sykes touched in with a provisional time of 2:00.57.  Julianne Lago was ninth overall after winning the consolation final with the ninth fastest swim in school history of 1:58.54, while Liz Kemp was third in the same heat with a career best swim of 2:00.49.

 

Florida was able to pick up big points from the distance swimmers in the 1,650 freestyle.  Ryan Crete was third for the men, touching in with a third place finish of 15:00.14, a career best for the freshman.  Laurabeth Guenthner was the best finisher for the women touching in fourth with a time of 16:07.36.

 

Monica Dodson followed up her fourth place finish in the three-meter with a seventh place showing on the platform.  After finishing second in the preliminaries with a score of 246.65, Dodson scored 230.03 in her first SEC meet.

 

The Gator relay teams each took third place in the last event of the week.  The Gator women were led by Burckle who headed out strong to put the Gators in second place, but strong swims by Tennessee in the later legs gave the Gators a third place finish with a time of 3:16.63.  Burckle was joined by Pike, Napier and Napier on the bronze medal stand.  The swim was the third fastest in school history by a Gator 400 FR team.

 

The men’s team of Jos Smith, Fraser, Penniman and Hughes rallied in the later legs to finish third with a provisional time of 2:54.34 to close out the championships.

 

“We qualified everyone that we needed to qualify for the NCAA meet, 18 men and somewhere between 14 and 16 women with us with some room for divers.  So, we’re happy all the way across the board,” said Troy.

 

Florida will remain idle until next month’s NCAA championships.  The women will hit the water first in Columbus, Ohio from March 20-22.  The men will travel to Federal Way, Washington for the championships from March 27-29.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEC Champions:

Name

Event

Time

Notable

Caroline Burckle

500 Freestyle

4:34.87

Career Best, SEC, UF, Pool Record,

Second best time by a collegian in NCAA history, Fastest time in the country

Bradley Ally

200 Individual Medley

1:44.45

Pool Record

Clark Burckle

400 Individual Medley

3:44.86

Career Best, Sixth Best time in school history

Shaune Fraser

200 Freestyle

1:34.23

Career Best, Fifth fastest time in school history, Pool Record

Gemma Spofforth

100 Backstroke

51.57

Career Best, SEC, UF, Pool Record

Second swimmer in NCAA history to swim under 52 seconds (Natalie Coughlin is the other)

Gemma Spofforth

200 Backstroke

1:50.56

Career Best, SEC, UF, Pool Record, Third fastest in NCAA history.

Omar Pinzon

200 Backstroke

1:41.85

Career Best, Pool record, Fifth fastest time in school history, third fastest time in the nation to date.

Caroline Burckle

200 Breast

2:12.49

Career Best, second fastest time in school history

Clark Burckle

200 Breast

1:56.00

Career Best, third fastest time in school history

Spofforth, Burckle, Healy, Napier

200 Medley Relay

1:37.23

SEC, UF, Pool Record, Fastest time in the country

 

            New School Records:

Name

Event

Time

Old Time/Swimmer/Year

Caroline Burckle

500 Freestyle

4:34.87 (SEC Record)

4:38.08/Tami Bruce/1988

Stephanie Napier

50 Freestyle

22.30

22.38/Dara Torres/1988

Clark Burckle

100 Breaststroke

53.79

53.85/Alex Lopez/2000

Gemma Spofforth

100 Backstroke

51.57 (SEC Record)

52.94/Gemma Spofforth/2007

Gemma Spofforth

200 Backstroke

1:50.56 (SEC Record)

1:52.96/Gemma Spofforth/2007

Spofforth, Burckle, Healy, Napier

200 Medley Relay

1:37.23 (SEC Record)

1:39.01/duPlessis, Bernhardt, Teague, Farrell/2003

 

2008 Southeastern Conference Championships - 2/20/2008 to 2/23/2008

Team Rankings - Through Event 42

Women - Team Scores

Place

School

 

Points

 

 

 

 

1

Auburn University

AU

761.5

2

Florida, University of

FLOR

706

3

Georgia, University of

UGA

566.5

4

Tennessee, University of

UT

477

5

Kentucky, University of

UK

332

6

Louisiana State University

LSU

238.5

7

Arkansas, University of

UARK

229

8

Alabama, University of

UA

202.5

9

South Carolina, University of

SCAR

199

 10

Vanderbilt University

VU

80

 

 

 

 

Men - Team Scores

Place

School

 

Points

1

Auburn University

AU

806

2

Florida, University of

FLOR

712

3

Tennessee, University of

UT

562

4

Georgia, University of

UGA

433

5

Kentucky, University of

UK

345

6

Louisiana State University

LSU

322.5

7

Alabama, University of

UA

293.5

8

South Carolina, University of

SCAR

186

 

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