Saturday January 17, 2009No. 6 Florida Tops Florida Atlantic, 174-123, Saturday
In an exciting Saturday match-up between the Florida Gators and Florida Atlantic University, both UF squads were victorious against FAU, each adding another win to the dual meet record count. The No. 6 Florida women posted a 159-127 win over the Owls to improve to 6-2 overall (2-1 SEC), while the sixth-ranked men won a 174-123 decision to move to 6-1 (3-0 SEC).
Florida captured every race and diving event of the 32-event meet lineup Saturday, except two that Florida Atlantic claimed on the womenís side. Strong performances from several freshmen headlined the day for the Orange and Blue, while key veterans like junior Kristen Beales (Arlington, Va.) led the Gators to their sixth dual meet win.
Beales rallied for two individual victories, her first coming in the 200-yard free (1:50.75) and her second title later in the 400-yard IM (4:20.40). Sophomore Rebekah Epley (Russelville, Ky.) followed in suit, sweeping both the 100 and 200-yard butterfly races with times of 55.79 and 2:01.35, respectfully.
On the menís side, newcomer Jose Crescimbeni (Holiday, Fla.) swam the butterfly leg of UFís winning 200-yard medley relay in addition to capturing two individual victories in the 100-yard back (51.27) and 100-yard fly (50.58). Freshman James Turner (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) took the 50-yard free title for UF in 21.24 seconds.
Also representing the newcomers on the womenís side, Daniela Victoria (Cape Coral, Fla.) swept first place in both breaststroke events, finishing the 100-yard breast in 1:05.64 and the 200-yard event in 2:21.47. Victoria tacked on another win as the breast leg of the winning 200 medley relay. Fellow freshman Natalie Smith (Gainesville, Fla.) won the 1,650-yard free (17:12.14), while Anna-Liisa Pold (San Diego, Calif.) touched first in the 200 back (2:03.49).
In other menís action, freshman Robby Kennedy (Ft. Myers, Fla.) and sophomore Joey Pedraza (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) teamed up in the 100 and 200-yard breast events for one-two finishes. Pedraza took the 100 breast in 58.61, while Kennedy finished second (59.71), but in the 200 breast, Kennedy took the top spot (2:09.26) and Pedraza backed him up in second with a time of 2:11.22. Pedraza struck again in the menís 400 IM for another victory swim, clocking in at 3:59.68.
Junior Roland Rudolph (Budapest, Hungary) tripled up with wins in the 200-yard medley relay and individually in the 200 fly (1:50.63) and 500 free (4:28.52).
The Gators kept it golden on the diving boards, sweeping both the one-meter and three-meter competitions on the menís and womenís sides. Four different Gator divers walked away with victories Saturday.
In the menís one-meter competition, sophomore Grayson Patten (West Palm Beach, Fla.) walked away with a 284.70-point win, just edging out UF senior Aaron Leech (Naperville, Ill.), who finished second (283.20). On the three-meter board, it was Leech who claimed the victory with a score of 311.25, while Patten finished second for the Gators (268.88).
In womenís diving action, sophomore Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) was the winner on the one-meter board with a score of 273.90, while junior Kara Salamone (Hollywood, Fla.) dove to a first-place finish in the three-meter competition (329.10). Freshman Claire Page (Tampa, Fla.) backed up Salamone on the three-meter board, placing second (293.18), while Dodson finished third (291.98).
The Owls took home the womenís 50-yard free title, captured by Jonna Nyback in 24.47 and the FAU 200-yard free relay team swam to a first-place finish with a time of 1:37.17, just out-touching the Gators (1:37.18) by one-hundredth of a second.
Florida will next be in dual meet action Jan. 24 when they visit Auburn, Ala., for a conference match-up with the No. 5 Auburn women and the No. 7 Auburn men. Meet time is slated for noon from the Auburn University campus.