Tuesday November 25, 2008No. 6 Florida Clinches 167-133 Win Over No. 20 FSU
Both Gator swimming and diving squads left Tallahassee with wins in the water against the Florida State Seminoles at the Bobby E. Leach Center Tuesday evening. The No. 5 Florida women (4-2, 2-1 SEC) swam past the Lady Seminoles, posting a 197-98 victory, while the No. 6 UF men (4-1, 3-0 SEC) held steady against the No. 20-ranked FSU menís squad, clinching a 167-133 decision.
After nearly two weeks since Floridaís last dual meet competition, both sides came away with winning swims, despite exhaustion from the three-week training period that just wrapped up. While the Florida women swam past the Seminoles with ease, the Gator men stepped up the competition level to a ranked FSU menís squad.
On the menís side, the Seminoles owned both the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays, only out-touching the Orange and Blue by three-tenths of a second in the medley relay with the winning time of 1:31.45. Florida finished second in both.
Following the opening relay note, the Florida men rallied for stellar swims in the stroke-specific races, with leaders emerging in the back, breast, fly and IM races out of seniors Bradley Ally (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Rex Tullius (Port Orange, Fla.), and juniors Clark Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) and Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia).
It was junior Shaune Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) who stepped it up for Florida in the sprint and middle-distance freestyle events, while Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) rallied for the win in the 500-yard free.
Tullius swam his way to a victory in the 200-yard back (1:47.12), while finishing second in the 100-yard event. Ally (1:51.10), Burckle (1:51.11) and Tullius (1:53.29) rallied for a sweep in the 200-yard IM, finishing first, second and third, respectively. Burckle and Ally teamed up for first and second-place points in the 100-yard breast, Burckle tapping in at 56.45 and Ally clocking a 56.57 swim. Burckle won the 200 breast in 2:00.44, while Pinzon owned victories in both the 100 (48.88) and 200-yard (1:47.80) butterfly races.
Aside from Pinzonís win in the 200 fly, the Orange and Blue also swept second through fourth place, with Gercsak (1:50.08) in second, and freshmen Jose Crescimbeni (Holiday, Fla.) (1:50.40) and Gabriel Huen (Caracas, Venezuela) (1:53.17), in third and fourth, respectively.
Fraser found the wall first in both the 100 and 200-yard free races, closing in on the competition with times of 46.21 and 1:38.35 in each.
The win over the Seminole menís squad would have been a struggle without the depth provided in each race from swimmers like Logan Storie (Corvallis, Ore.) and Joey Pedraza (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), who earned valuable second and third-place points in the 1000-yard free for the Gators.
Floridaís menís divers hit the boards strong on the evening, led by freshman Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.), Floridaís only menís NCAA Zone Diving qualifier. Lewark finished second in the one-meter competition (299.18) and settled for third in the three-meter competition (336.53). Sophomore Grayson Patten (West Palm Beach, Fla.) finished third on the one-meter board (281.55).
On the womenís side, the depth of the Lady Gators shined through, as the team produced numerous one-two-three finishes that fueled the team to a victory.
On the diving front, junior transfer Kara Salamone (Cooper City, Fla.) established presence in both events, finishing first on the three-meter board (311.70), while senior Jeana Bartell (Boca Raton, Fla.) improved upon her Zone qualifying mark with a second-place, 306.60, finish in the event. Salamone finished second in the one-meter competition (261.83) to sophomore diver Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.), who took the title with a score of 265.95.
In the swim pool, both Florida relays were victorious, setting the tone of the meet from the get-go with the 200 medley relay victory. Junior Kristen Beales (Arlington, Va.) jumped out of the gates following the relay to get UF started on the right foot. Beales finished first in the 1000-yard free, while senior Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.), sophomore Madison Parker (Biloxi, Miss.) and freshman Katie Ambridge (Watford, England) finished second through fourth, respectively.
The roles were reversed in the 500-yard free as Guenthner took the top spot (4:49.16) and Beales finished second (4:49.73).
Junior Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) earned victories in her specialty events, the 100 and 200-yard back races, while freshman Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken , Pa.) took second in the 200 back and 200 fly. The butterfly events belonged to sophomore Julianne Lago (Miami, Fla.), who finished in 54.39 in the 100-yard event and 1:59.77 in the 200-yard showdown. Florida additionally reeled in third and fourth in the 200 fly for a complete sweep of the event.
It was all freshmen in the breaststroke races for UF against the Seminoles. Freshmen Lindsay Rogers (Fishers, Ind.) and Daniela Victoria (Cape Coral, Fla.) placed second and third in the 100-yard breast, while newcomer counterpart Carly Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) finished third in the 200-yard event, just ahead of Victoria, who rallied for fourth.
Similar to the men, the Orange and Blue additionally stepped it up on the womenís side in the sprint free races, going one-two in the 50-yard free, with the win by another freshman in Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) (23.44) and second place captured by junior Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) (23.50). The story of the freshmen continued in the 100-yard free as Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.) finished first (50.40) and junior Liz Kemp (Potomac, Md.) clocked in at 51.34, good for second.
Both Gator squads will enjoy Thanksgiving break before splitting for the U.S. National Meet and the Princeton Invite Dec. 5-7. For more information and results regarding UF swimming and diving, visit www.GatorZone.com.