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Wednesday August 13, 2008Burckle Earns Olympic Bronze in 800 Free Relay

BEIJING, China

Caroline Burckle (U.S.) illuminated the swimming and diving field for UF athletes, reeling in her first ever Olympic medal, earning bronze as a member of the womenís 800-meter free relay.

 

Burckle and U.S. teammates Christine Marshall, Kim Vandenberg and Julia Smit collaboratively established a 7:52.43 prelim mark in the womenís 800-meter free relay for a second-place seed heading into finals of the relay. Burckle swam a lifetime best 1:57.86 200-meter free split as the first leg of the prelim bunch.

 

Following her stellar preliminary split, Burckle secured a spot on the Wednesday evening relay final team alongside U.S. standouts Allison Schmitt, Natalie Coughlin and Katie Hoff. The quartet raced to a third-place, bronze medal finish, tapping in at 7:46.33 behind second place China (7:45.93) and gold medalist Australia (7:44.31 WR). Burckle swam the third leg of the relay in the final showdown, again lowering her 200 free split to a lifetime best 1:56.70 and recording the second-fastest split on the U.S. team behind Hoffís 1:54.73. †

 

In other Wednesday swimming action, following a gold-medal, World Record performance Tuesday evening in the menís 800-meter free relay, Gator great Ryan Lochte (U.S.) started Aug. 13 menís swimming action with first-place finishes in both the 200 IM and 200-meter backstroke preliminaries Wednesday morning. Lochte clocked in at 1:58.15 in the IM event while recording a quick 1:56.29 mark in prelims of the 200 back.

 

Lochte took to the water Wednesday evening in semifinals of both the 200 back and 200 IM. In the backstroke semi, Lochte lowered his prelims score to 1:55.40, achieving a second-place seed heading into the medal heat Thursday evening behind first-place seed, and U.S. teammate, Aaron Peirsol (1:55.26). †Peirsol and Lochte both finished first in their respective eight-man semifinal heats.

 

Lochte returned in the 200 IM semifinal only an hour after his 200 back semifinal to contend for the first-place position in the IM for Thursday finals. Lochte amazingly enough also improved upon his 1:58.15 IM prelims swim to go a 1:57.69, maintaining his No. 1 seed ahead of friend and U.S. counterpart Michael Phelps, who clocked in at 1:57.70.

 

Lochte reeled in a silver medal 200 IM performance in Athens in 2004 and will begin the quest for two additional 2008 Olympic medals to compliment his gold (800 FR) and bronze (400 IM) medals achieved in the first four days of action in Beijing.

 

Gator Bradley Ally (Barbados) joined Lochte in the second heat of the 200 IM semifinal following a career-best 1:58.57 (fifth-place) prelim time. Ally returned in semis with a 1:59.53, ninth-place finish overall, narrowly missing the eight-man medal heat.

 

Finals of the menís 200-meter back are scheduled to begin at 10:19 p.m. (EDT) Thursday evening, while the 200-meter IM kicks off at 10:48 p.m.

 

 

Other Gator Olympian Wednesday Preliminary Swims:

Melanie

Costa-Schmid

Spain

800-meter free relay

8:00.90 (split 2:00.92, 1st leg)

7th in heat

Brett Fraser

Cayman Islands

200-meter back

2:01.17

29th

Omar Pinzon

Colombia

200-meter back

200-meter IM

1:59.11

2:02.28

18th

30th

Roland Rudolph

Hungary

200-meter back

1:59.44

19th

 

 

To view results from Wednesdayís swimming action from the Water Cube in Beijing, click HERE.

 

2008 Gator Medal Count: 4† †(1 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze) 

Gator

Country

Sport

Event

Time

Medal

Caroline Burckle

U.S.

Swimming

800-meter free relay

7:46.33

Bronze

Ryan Lochte

U.S.

Swimming

800-meter free relay

6:58.56

Gold

Ryan Lochte

U.S.

Swimming

400-meter IM

4:08.09

Bronze

Dara Torres

U.S.

Swimming

400-meter free relay

3:34.33

Silver

 

 

-Go Gators-

 

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