Friday December 5, 2008No. 5 Florida In First With 378 Points at Princeton Open
Approximately 40 members of the Florida swimming and diving squad hit the water in Princeton, N.J., Friday at the first day of the Big Al Open at DeNunzio Pool, hosted by Princeton University. At the three-day open meet that runs Friday through Sunday, the Gators have the opportunity to experience a championship meet format with prelims and finals each morning and evening, while competing against six other prestigious swimming and diving programs in Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Rider, Utah and Rutgers (women only).
Princeton boasts 2008 Ivy League Champion accolades, while the Gators will additionally get used to the competition of the Rutgers womenís squad. The Lady Gators will later face Rutgers Jan. 16-17 as part of the Rutgers Swim Classic in New Brunswick, N.J.
PRINCETON INVITE DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS
Floridaís Sarah Peterson (Franklin, Tenn.) led the way with a career-best mark and third-place finish in the 500-yard free (4:48.29), good for an NCAA B provisional mark after her preliminary swim. Peterson also solidified a provisional mark in the leadoff leg of the womenís 400-yard medley relay with her 54.94 backstroke split.
In menís 500 free action, freshman Jeff Raymond (Davie, Fla.) established a new DeNunzio Pool record with his first place 4:18.19 NCAA provisional mark finish. Senior Scott Thompson (Birmingham, Mich.) additionally surpassed the NCAA provisional mark in the 500 free with his third-place overall finish and his 4:22.89 preliminary mark.
Another freshman in Brian Howell (Cincinnati, Ohio) rallied for a victory in the 200-yard IM (1:48.87), barely missing the 1:47.77 provisional time. In the same championship heat, freshman Robby Kennedy (Ft. Myers, Fla.) swam to a third-place (1:48.97) finish.
Senior Kelsy Smith (Cary, N.C.) was Floridaís representation in the championship final of the 50-yard free, swimming to a career-best time of 23.45 to place fourth overall, while junior Coral Lopez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) (23.89) and freshman Julia Nagy (Viera, Fla.) (23.90) paired up to take ninth and 10th, the top two spots in the ďBĒ final.
In the menís 50 free, freshman James Turner (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) and sophomore Mike Yuan (Winter Springs, Fla.) led the way for the Orange and Blue, capturing sixth and seventh with times of 20.77 and 21.01, respectively in the championship heat of the event.
While both UF menís and womenís 200-yard free relays took second, the womenís 400-yard medley relays swept first and second to accumulate 74 points for the Lady Gators. On the menís side, Howell, Kennedy, freshman Jose Crescimbeni (Holiday, Fla.) and Turner rallied for third (3:19.24).
In womenís one-meter diving action, junior Kara Salamone (Cooper City, Fla.) finished far ahead of the competition with a score of 320.65 (343.15 prelims), good for first place, while sophomore Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) captured third (291.35).
On the menís three-meter board, freshman Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.) rallied for second (310.70) after leading the competition with a 312.60 prelims score in the three-meter springboard competition.
The Gators will be back in action in Princeton Saturday morning for the second day of competition from De Nunzio Pool. Complete results and a recap will be posted on www.GatorZone.com following each day of competition.