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Wednesday October 22, 2008No. 4 Florida Tops No. 17 LSU, 166-131

Baton Rouge, La.

Clark Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) and Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia) led Florida with two individual event victories each as the No. 4 Gator men topped No. 17 LSU, 166-131, for the 19th-straight time in the history of the series Wednesday. The Gators improved to 1-1 overall (1-0 SEC), as they secured their first SEC victory of the season over the Tigers at the LSU Natatorium. Florida won 11 events of the 16-event meet lineup.

 

The men’s 200-yard medley relay quartet of Burckle, Pinzon, and seniors Jos Smith (Milledgeville, Ga.) and Rex Tullius (Port Orange, Fla.), opened up the dual with a relay victory, clocking a time of 1:30.14, good for 11 points.

 

All four members of the opening relay returned stellar individual swims as Burckle collected wins in both the 200 fly (1:49.05) and 200 breast (1:58.71), while Pinzon finished first in the 100 back (48.90) and 100 fly (48.98). Smith led the way for the Gators in the sprint free events, recording a first-place victory in the 50 free (21.06) and second place in the 100 free, with a time of 46.30. After swimming the backstroke leg of the medley relay, Tullius returned to clock a 1:48.54 in the 200-yard back event, good for first place, while swimming to a third-place finish in the 100-yard back (50.19).

 

“We were happy with how we swam today,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We competed much better than we did last week at Michigan, and it’s apparent that we were able to build off of the experience of our first meet.”

 

Freshman Jose Crescimbeni (Holiday, Fla.) had a standout day for UF, placing second in the 200 fly behind Burckle (1:50.44), while sophomore Matt Norton (Port Orange, Fla.) stacked the fly depth with third in the 200-yard fly event and fifth in the 100 fly showdown. Freshman Alex Glover (Safety Harbor, Fla.) contributed with eighth in the 100 fly, while fellow newcomer Robby Kennedy (Ft. Myers, Fla.) recorded three fourth-place finishes individually in the 100 and 200-yard breast events, as well as the 200-yard IM. Mike Joyce (Voorhees, N.J.) reeled in third place in both the 100 and 200-yard breast events.

 

In distance freestyle action, sophomore Logan Storie (Corvallis, Ore.) and junior Ryan Crete (Sarasota, Fla.) led the way for the Orange and Blue. Crete sealed a 9:18.22 victory in the 1,000-yard free, while Storie finished second (9:19.25) and proceeded to take top honors in the 500 free (4:33.02) 10 events later.


Backing up Smith in the sprint free, Storie showed his freestyle versatility with a fourth-place finish in the 50 free, while junior transfer Raul Martinez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) and freshman James Turner (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) contributed. Martinez finished third in both the 50 and 100, while Turner turned in fifth in the 50 and sixth in the 100.

 

Crete and senior Scott Thompson (Birmingham, Mich.) additionally joined Tullius in the 100-yard back charge, Thompson placing fifth (53.37) and Crete taking seventh (54.34) overall. To compliment Tullius’ 200-yard back victory, the Gators racked up third, fourth and fifth-place points from freshman Brian Howell (Cincinnati, Ohio), sophomore Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands), and Thompson, respectively. Howell additionally finished sixth in the 100-yard breast.

 

Sophomore Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) took first-place honors in the 200-yard free (1:39.02) as Gators Roland Rudolph (Budapest, Hungary) and Fraser teamed up for second and third, respectively, for a complete sweep of the top three spots in the event. Sophomore Alex Martin (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) stacked the depth for UF with a 1:45.24, seventh-place mark to round out the 200 free competition, and later finished sixth in the 500-yard free.

 

Providing depth in the distance free realm, senior Eric Shrestha (Tallahassee, Fla.) finished fourth in the 1,000-yard free and third in the 500-yard free, while freshman Austin Detra (Sarasota, Fla.), reeled in fifth-place finishes in both the 1,000 and 500-yard free events.

 

Freshman Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.), the SEC Freshman and Male Diver of the Week for his performance against Michigan, concluded the Gators’ SEC opener in winning fashion by capturing a victory on the three-meter springboard (298.05), the first victory of his collegiate career. Lewark additionally showed his versatility with a second-place finish in the one-meter competition with an overall score of 280.12. Teaming up with Lewark on the diving front, sophomore Grayson Patten (West Palm Beach, Fla.) reeled in fifth on both the one (245.85) and three-meter (219.60) boards.

 

The Gator men will be back in action Thurs., Oct. 30, when they host Georgia at 2 p.m. in the home opener at the O’Connell Center.

 

-Go Gators!-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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