Saturday January 31, 2009Gators Honor Seniors With Wins Over IRSC and FGCU
Both Florida swimming and diving programs sent their seniors out in winning fashion Saturday afternoon from the Stephen C. OíConnell Center. The No. 5 Gator women flew by both Indian River State College (87-20) and Florida Gulf Coast University (84-28), while the No. 8 men topped Indian River, 128-83, in the Orange and Blueís last home dual meet of the 2008-09 season.
Additionally, Florida Gulf Coast defeated Indian River, 90.5-20.5, as part of the triangular womenís match-up.
Prior to the start of the swimming and diving action, seniors Bradley Ally, Jeana Bartell, Laurabeth Guenthner, Cody Kauffman, Aaron Leech, Eric Shrestha, Jos Smith, Kelsy Smith, Rachel Sowers, Whitney Stern, Scott Thompson, Rex Tullius and Lindsay Woodward accepted flowers, a commemorative plaque and congratulations before swimming and diving in their last meet at the OíConnell Center.
The Gators won every meet of the 26-event meet format. Highlighting the day for the seniors, Jos Smith claimed the 200-yard free in 1:38.86, while Kelsy Smith stole the spotlight in the womenís 50-yard free, clocking in at 24.03.
Woodward took the top spot in the womenís 200-yard fly (2:03.35), while Tullius won the menís 100-yard free in 45.40.
Several underclassmen stepped it up for Florida to honor its seniors, including Anna-Liisa Pold, who captured both the 400-yard IM (4:11.89) and 200-yard back (1:55.77) events in NCAA provisional time in both. Sophomore Brett Fraser placed first in the 200-yard back (1:49.54), while freshman newcomer Jemma Lowe, who earned an automatic bid to the NCAA meet in the 200 fly against Tennessee, took the top spot in the 500-yard free (4:54.35).
Freshman Robby Kennedy won the menís 200-yard breast (2:02.97), just out-touching teammate Mike Joyce by a hundredth of a second (2:02.98), and freshman Jose Crescimbeni notched the victory in the menís 200-yard fly (1:46.65).
Kara Salamone secured wins on both the one and three-meter boards with scores of 317.25 and 315.80, respectively, while Stern took second in both the one and three-meter competitions. Bartell placed fourth on the three-meter board, fifth in the one-meter competition and senior counterpart Sowers took sixth and seventh on the one and three-meter boards, respectively.
In menís diving action, freshman Anthony Lewark rallied for the victory on both springboards, while Leech finished second on the three-meter board (329.20) and fourth in the one-meter competition (305.65).
The Gators will remain idle until they head to the SEC Championship meet Feb. 18-21 in Auburn, Ala.